Whenever there is an endeavor to go forward as a truly global UN, it is difficult when many play by other rules than those believed to be and held up as being universal.
Playing by the same rules, accepting the same standards, including the many standards already agreed upon, is not what we can observe presently.
This makes it difficult to find common ground despite of wide acceptance of certain basic tenets:
- Everybody agrees that migration must be regulated (the question is how).
- Many understand and agree that there should be more open channels and lower thresholds for regular migration.
- Most agree that refugees and those forced to migrate have a right to international protection, and everybody understands that effective protection of refugees can only be upheld
- with solidarity among countries and by sharing the "burden" of hosting refugees.
- There is furthermore agreement that all countries have the right to have their own migration rules and visa requirements, but then there is no agreement on how to deal with those in breach of migration procedures.
- For some they are all victims - for others and I hesitate to say this, although it is no exaggeration - they are criminals.
- One of the problems is that there have been so far no sufficient efforts to find a common language or discourse about whether Migration is a Right that should a priori benefit all or only some.
There is furthermore no agreement or clarity over whether the right of states prevails over the right of individuals or the other way around.
However, there may be reason for hope as there is no escaping from a "smaller", more travelled, more globalized world - in short: from more migration in all its forms.
Just as it is possible to have a global and truly universal understanding and acceptance that strict compliance with clear rules must prevail in order for tens of thousands of flights carrying billions of air travelers around the globe every year can take off, it should be possible to balance the rights AND obligations of all migrants with the rights AND obligations of all states one day.
Article by Martin Wyss
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