We thank both the Special Rapporteurs for the presentation of their reports.
- Our expression of solidarity with migrants particularly women and girls, is very timely. Undoubtedly, Global Compact is a milestone in the context of the global dialogue and international cooperation on migration which is a source of progress and prosperity in today’s world.
- Being a country of origin, transit and destination, Pakistan has vast experience and realization of the issues of migrants. Around 7.6 million Pakistanis are contributing to the economies of destination countries around the world. As a destination country of migrants, we are hosting 1.4 million Afghan nationals, in addition to the 1.4 million registered refugees enjoying social mobility, employment opportunities and access to health and education.
- Cognizant of the multidimensional character of migration, our Government is working with whole-of-government approach. We are developing effective migration policies and implement them through legislative and administrative actions. In order to protect aspiring migrants from the hands of human smugglers, we have taken elaborate measure and, recently enacted a legislation (i.e. Prevention of Smuggling of Migrants Act, 2018) which has empowered our Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to effectively prosecute criminals associated with human smuggling, while protecting rights of smuggled migrants.
- On the basis of our experience as well as the findings of the reports of the Special Rapporteurs, following points are highlighted for consideration:
- Positive impacts of migration can be optimized by improving migration governance and fostering cooperation at international, regional, sub-regional and national levels.
- While States retain the sovereign right to strengthen their border security, this right should be consistent with the international law.
- Migrants, regardless of their migration status, are entitled to the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, which must be respected, protected and fulfilled across all stages of the migration cycle. The principles of non-regression and non-discrimination must be adhered to while handling the migrants’ cases.
- We have to curb trafficking of migrants and enhance better management of borders in line with international human rights law. We call for using gender-sensitive approaches while handling illegal migrants, with particular focus on taking care of the special needs and vulnerabilities of women, girls and children in the migratory process.
- The practice of targeting humanitarian groups that make efforts to rescue and provide necessities of life to irregular migrants especially those in distress at sea must be stopped immediately.
- Strengthen State oversight and monitoring of private recruitment agencies and brokers to ensure that overseas employment programmes and work permits are administered in a manner that respects gender equality and the rights of migrant women
- Guarantee adequate recognition of foreign qualifications and skills to ensure that migrant women do not become underemployed or “deskilled”.
- States should consider instituting a positive obligation to rescue migrants in distress in their territories, and not criminalize or suppress humanitarian actors who make an effort to do so.
- Gender responsive approaches must be followed by States in formulating migration related policies and programs, in order to curb the discrimination, abuse and difficulties faced by migrant women and girls.
I thankyou Mr. President.