UN Refugee Compact: World leaders not up to the challenge

Responding to the release of the , which was agreed by UN Member States, Charmain Mohamed, Head of Refugee and Migrant Rights at Amnesty International, said:

“The Global Compact was an ambitious endeavour that should have created a wholesale change in the way governments treat refugees. Sadly, world leaders were not up to the challenge of delivering the bold and brave solutions that are so urgently needed.

“The final text simply entrenches the current unsustainable approach whereby wealthier states can pick and choose which, if any, measures they take to share responsibility. This will leave many refugees languishing in poorer countries which are unable or unwilling to support them.

“While the Compact contains some good suggestions on how to make responsibility sharing a reality, it’s not clear whether there is the political will to enforce them. Even before the ink on the Compact was dry, the actions of many governments flew in the face of the Compact’s stated purpose of protecting refugees and sharing responsibility for them.

“As diplomats were negotiating the Compact at the UN, European governments were attacking NGOs’ capacity to rescue refugees stranded at sea and hatching new plans to deter and detain refugees, while Australia continued to justify its cruel and torturous detention practices on Manus and Nauru.

“What is needed more than ever is a human-rights based, compassionate response to refugees’ needs, based on global responsibility sharing not responsibility shirking.”