Sri Lanka calls for adequate reflection of migrant health in the Global Compact on Migration (GCM)

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Highlighting the positive dividends migrant health agenda could contribute to both the individual migrants and to their host countries, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha emphasised that the Migrant Health be an essential element of the 2018 final Global Compact on Migration (GCM) document. Ambassador Aryasinha made these remarks during Sri Lanka’s intervention on 8th May 2017, at the first informal thematic discussion on development of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, held from 8 -9 May 2017 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, which focused on human rights of migrants, including their social inclusion and cohesion and all forms of discrimination, including racism, xenophobia and intolerance. During the session, Sri Lanka also officially tabled the ‘Colombo Statement on Migrant Health’  adopted at the 2nd Global Consultation on Migrant Health, held in Sri Lanka from 21-23 February 2017, as an input to the GCM process.

The mandate for the inter-governmental process for development of a Global Compact on Migration (GCM) is derived from the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which was unanimously adopted by the UN Member States on 19th September 2016 at the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants. The GCM is scheduled to be finalised at the UNGA in September 2018.

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Participating as a panellist at the side event on ‘Mainstreaming Migrant Health into the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration’, which was held on 9th May, on the side-lines of the GCM meeting, organised by the WHO, IOM and a cross regional Group of countries including Sri Lanka, Ambassador Aryasinha, based on Sri Lanka’s experience,  underlined the 7 principles that should be considered in a migration health policy which includes:  i) inclusivity  to address all migration flows, (ii) a  whole of government approach, (iii) being evidence- based rather than ‘opinion based’, (iv) encompass  an accountability framework, (v) being responsive to evolving migration health needs, including health emergencies, (vi) form part of global / regional health stewardship, and (vi) enabling advocacy and engagement at international level.

Full Statement by Ambassador Aryasinha

Colombo Statement on Migrant Health

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
9th May 2017

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