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ISTANBUL (19 October 2015) – Once again, children, who make up 33% of all migrants globally, were  a central focus of this year’s 8th Global Forum on Migration and Development held in Istanbul, Turkey from 12-16 October 2015.

The Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) is the primary international process aimed at advancing cooperation and reinforcing partnerships on issues linked to migration and development. Arising out of the UN General Assembly High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development of 2006, the Forum is holding its eighth meeting this year, hosted by the government of Turkey with the assistance of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on international migration and development, Mr. Peter Sutherland.

The GFMD is a voluntary, informal, non-binding and government-led platform, and attracts active participation both from governments and from civil society worldwide. Two full ‘Civil Society Days‘ gather non-governmental organizations working on migration and development issues in all regions of the world, allowing them to bring forward civil society perspectives to governments that meet in a two–day Summit that same week.

During the GFMD, IDC members and civil society partners called upon states to uphold their obligations with regard to the non-detention of children.  In his plenary speech addressing about 150 delegations of governments, international organisations and some 265 civil society delegates during the Opening Ceremony of the GFMD, Civil Society Chair, Mr. Ignacio Packer, Secretary General of Terre des Hommes International Federation (TDH), highlighted that “We appreciate governments that are leading the way in applying the recommendations on ending child immigration detention . . . A number of these obligations are particularly relevant to the topics of the Global Forum on Migration and Development 2015. We urge others to follow that lead.” In his speech, Mr. Packer stressed that solutions must be built on values and evidence:

“Global migration policy must be rooted in the values of universal respect for human rights, all human rights, leaving no one behind, including migrants. Migrants’ rights are human rights. Global migration policy must also be rooted on evidence: facts, data and on the reality of the real word in which we live, stated Ignacio Packer. That’s not a choice. It is a necessity.”

Throughout the GFMD’s two Civil Society Days, the IDC and partner organisations hosted information tables on child rights, with a focus on ending child immigration detention, and sharing videos from the Global Campaign to End Child Immigration Detention.

The IDC, together with partners Terre des Hommes (TDH) and PICUM, also hosted a Side Event during the GFMD Civil Society Days featuring IDC members and Ms. Pia Oberoi of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The side event focused on concerns around increasing border security, criminalization of irregular migration, and the practice of child immigration detention.

For more details on GFMD advocacy or any of these events, please contact IDC Advocacy Coordinator, Ben Lewis


Read the overview of the GFMD Civil Society Days by the Destination Unknown Campaign

Read the six bridging papers on child rights perspectives prepared by Terre des Hommes for the GFMD Civil Society Days

MADE network

You can find video recordings of the event at the MADE network YouTube channel

You can download the GFMD 2015 Programme and other background materials in the Background Documents section of the MADE website

Learn more about the Global Campaign to End Child Immigration Detention

From our civil society partner Terre des Hommes – ‘Migration : solutions built on values and evidence

From our civil society partner PICUM – ‘On eve of international forum on migration and development advocates call for humane treatment and guaranteed rights for all migrants and refugees