In 2020, approximately 281 million people were international migrants. As COVID-19 ravaged across the world, they were among those groups most impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, through increased risk of infection, limited access to health services and social protection, job losses or extended family separation.
The essential roles that many migrants played as front-line service providers, pivotal actors in our supply chains and crucial sources of support for their families and communities have been recognized in many countries.
Fortunately, as countries responded to the pandemic and its impacts, many showed foresight in breaking down barriers, through policy or practice, to ensure non-discriminatory health care and vaccine access for migrants. States additionally worked to ensure migrant workers remained employed, for example, by extending the stay of migrants. Some countries even halted deportations and accelerated the use of alternatives to immigration detention. Additionally during the pandemic, remittance flows have remained resilient as critical sources of support for families and communities.
Since the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in Marrakesh on 10 December 2018, international migration has remained at the forefront of the global community’s attention. This year’s International Migration Review Forum could not come at a more critical time as countries are integrating lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic into their migration policies and accelerating efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The Forum, taking place on 17-20 May 2022, serves as the primary intergovernmental global platform for Member States to discuss and share progress on the implementation of all aspects of the Global Compact, including as it relates to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and with the participation of all relevant stakeholders.
The first day and a half of the forum will consist of four roundtables, which will review the status of implementation of the 23 objectives of the Global Compact. A policy debate, to be chaired by the Director-General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), will be held during the afternoon of the second day. The plenary will be held during the third and fourth day. A Progress Declaration is expected to be adopted during the closing segment.
UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Liu Zhenmin will deliver a keynote address during roundtable 4, which will take place on 18 May 2022, from 10 am to 1 pm in the Trusteeship Council Chamber. This round table, chaired by Azerbaijan and Morocco, will review progress made in the implementation of Objectives 1 (data), 3 (information provision), 7 (reducing vulnerabilities), 17) (eliminating discrimination), and 23 (international cooperation).