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15 - Access to basic services

GCM Objectives
15 - Access to basic services

Provide access to basic services for migrants

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is based on 23 objectives. This page provides resources for objective 15 (Provide access to basic services for migrants):

“31. We commit to ensure that all migrants, regardless of their migration status, can exercise their human rights through safe access to basic services. We further commit to strengthen migrant inclusive service delivery systems, notwithstanding that nationals and regular migrants may be entitled to more comprehensive service provision, while ensuring that any differential treatment must be based on law, proportionate, pursue a legitimate aim, in accordance with international human rights law.

To realize this commitment, we will draw from the following actions:

(a) Enact laws and take measures to ensure that service delivery does not amount to discrimination against migrants on the grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, disability or other grounds irrespective of cases where differential provision of services based on migration status might apply;

(b) Ensure that cooperation between service providers and immigration authorities does not exacerbate vulnerabilities of irregular migrants by compromising their safe access to basic services or unlawfully infringing upon the human rights to privacy, liberty and security of person at places of basic service delivery;

(c) Establish and strengthen holistic and easily accessible service points at local level, that are migrant inclusive, offer relevant information on basic services in a gender- and disability responsive as well as child-sensitive manner, and facilitate safe access thereto;

(d) Establish or mandate independent institutions at the national or local level, such as National Human Rights Institutions, to receive, investigate and monitor complaints about situations 23 in which migrants’ access to basic services is systematically denied or hindered, facilitate access to redress, and work towards a change in practice;

(e) Incorporate the health needs of migrants in national and local health care policies and plans, such as by strengthening capacities for service provision, facilitating affordable and non-discriminatory access, reducing communication barriers, and training health care providers on culturally-sensitive service delivery, in order to promote physical and mental health of migrants and communities overall, including by taking into consideration relevant recommendations from the WHO Framework of Priorities and Guiding Principles to Promote the Health of Refugees and Migrants;

(f) Provide inclusive and equitable quality education to migrant children and youth, as well as facilitate access to lifelong learning opportunities , including by strengthening the capacities of education systems and by facilitating non-discriminatory access to early childhood development, formal schooling, non-formal education programmes for children for whom the formal system is inaccessible, on-the-job and vocational training, technical education, and language training, as well as by fostering partnerships with all stakeholders that can support this endeavour.” (GCM, 2018: para. 31)

Migration contributes to positive development outcomes and to realizing the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. But migrants cannot contribute to society at their full potential unless their universal human rights, including access to basic services, are respected, protected and fulfilled at all times. In objective 15 ‘Provide access to basic services’ of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), Member States commit to ensure that all migrants, regardless of their migration status, can exercise their human rights through safe access to basic services.

For advancing migrants’ access to services, a whole-of-government approach is needed to ensure horizontal and vertical policy coherence. The access to services is the basis for also achieving other objectives, including objective 16 (“Empower migrants and societies to realize full inclusion and social cohesion”) and objective 17 (“Eliminate all forms of discrimination and promote evidence-based public discourse to shape perceptions of migration”). For enhancing the ability of all government actors to plan for the provision of adequate services, decision-making processes must be based on data, including from different sectors and policies and strategies must be reviewed regarding their inclusivity.

Objective 15 in the text of the Global Compact

The theme of objective 15 is also mentioned in the following sections of the GCM: 

  • Objective 1 (para. 17)

The Global Compact for Migration (GCM) report is available in AR, ZH, EN, FR, RU, ES.

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