UNHCR has released its ‘zero-draft’ for the Global Compact on Refugees, ahead of the formal consultations happening over the next six months. While it provides a list of good practices to improve refugee protection, its proposals for improving responsibility sharing are hardly the groundbreaking system change that was the initial intention for the Compact. The draft lacks a ‘responsibility-sharing mechanism’, and as a result, the outcome of the process is unlikely to drastically increase access to durable solutions for refugees and displaced people. As several major international NGOs commented in their recent joint statement ‘the zero draft does not present a practical blueprint that would deliver on this commitment through a concrete mechanism for international solidarity’.
As the Global Compact process enters the consultation phase, the window of opportunity for proposing ‘blueprints’ for greater responsibility sharing is closing. Over the past year, many refugee protection advocates have pointed to the decades of failed attempts to secure global responsibility sharing for refugees, and have remained stuck between the idea that a voluntary agreement will do little to change the current system and that states will never agree to a binding agreement. Yet this paralysis should not stop us from devising a middle ground option, and for proposing a blueprint, however imperfect, up for debate.
In order to sketch and define a middle ground option…Continue reading this article on the Refugee Law Initiative Blog on Refugee Law and Forced Migration