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17 - Eliminate discrimination

GCM Objectives
17 - Eliminate discrimination

Eliminate all forms of discrimination and promote evidence-based public discourse to shape perceptions of migration

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is based on 23 objectives. This page provides resources for objective 17 (Eliminate all forms of discrimination and promote evidence-based public discourse to shape perceptions of migration):

“33. We commit to eliminate all forms of discrimination, condemn and counter expressions, acts and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, violence, xenophobia and related intolerance against all migrants in conformity with international human rights law. We further commit to promote an open and evidence-based public discourse on migration and migrants in partnership with all parts of society, that generates a more realistic, humane and constructive perception in this regard. We also commit to protect freedom of expression in accordance with international law, recognizing that an open and free debate contributes to a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of migration.

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

(a) Enact, implement or maintain legislation that penalizes hate crimes and aggravated hate crimes targeting migrants, and train law enforcement and other public officials to identify, prevent and respond to such crimes and other acts of violence that target migrants, as well as to provide medical, legal and psychosocial assistance for victims;

(b) Empower migrants and communities to denounce any acts of incitement to violence directed towards migrants by informing them of available mechanisms for redress, and ensure that those who actively participate in the commission of a hate crime targeting migrants are held accountable, in accordance with national legislation, while upholding international human rights law, in particular the right to freedom of expression;

(c) Promote independent, objective and quality reporting of media outlets, including internet-based information, including by sensitizing and educating media professionals on migration-related issues and terminology, investing in ethical reporting standards and advertising, and stopping allocation of public funding or material support to media outlets that systematically promote intolerance, xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination towards migrants, in full respect for the freedom of the media 25;

(d) Establish mechanisms to prevent, detect and respond to racial, ethnic and religious profiling of migrants by public authorities, as well as systematic instances of intolerance, xenophobia, racism and all other multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination in partnership with National Human Rights Institutions, including by tracking and publishing trends analyses, and ensuring access to effective complaint and redress mechanisms;

(e) Provide migrants, especially migrant women, with access to national and regional complaint and redress mechanisms with a view to promoting accountability and addressing governmental actions related to discriminatory acts and manifestations carried out against migrants and their families;

(f) Promote awareness-raising campaigns targeted at communities of origin, transit and destination in order to inform public perceptions regarding the positive contributions of safe, orderly and regular migration, based on evidence and facts, and to end racism, xenophobia and stigmatization against all migrants;

(g) Engage migrants, political, religious and community leaders, as well as educators and service providers to detect and prevent incidences of intolerance, racism, xenophobia, and other forms of discrimination against migrants and diasporas and support activities in local communities to promote mutual respect, including in the context of electoral campaigns."

(GCM, 2018: para. 33)

Anti-migrant narratives use frames that directly or indirectly evoke fear, discrimination, exclusion and even hatred and violence. They often perpetuate misperceptions, stereotypes of migrants or disinformation around migration and lead to the dehumanization of migrants, negatively impacting their human rights and those of broader society. In GCM Objective 17, States committed to take action to eliminate discrimination, racism and xenophobia against migrants and to promote a new narrative on migration and migrants. 

Discrimination, racism and xenophobia in the text of the Global Compact

Objective 17 is also mentioned in the following sections of the GCM:

  • Guiding principle human rights 
  • Objective 2, para. 18 (b) 
  • Objective 7, para 23 (f) 
  • Objective 11, para. 27 (b) 
  • Objective 13, para. 29 (g) 
  • Objective 15, para. 31 (a) 
  • Objective 16, para. 32 (c) (i)

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


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*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).