Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council - 25th Regular Session

Australian statement at the high-level panel discussion on Mainstreaming Human Rights of migrants

4 March 2014


Australia recognises that the complexity and the scale of contemporary mobility patterns require thoughtful policy responses from states, international agencies and our civil society partners.

For our part, we view legal migration as a critical nation-building tool – nearly half of all Australians were born overseas or have a parent born overseas. Over 210,000 people joined Australia’s population through permanent migration pathways in our 2012-13 program year, with many more coming on a temporary basis. By providing targeted, orderly and safe migration options for migrants and their families, with differentiated responses for meeting labour market needs, for family reunion, and for those needing protection, we aim to facilitate triple wins — for migrants, for Australia and for countries of origin.

The issue of migrants and their rights is already firmly on our agenda at the global and regional level. Discussions on these issues continue in the Global Forum on Migration and Development and in the IOM. As new scenarios emerge we respond – for example the Migrants in Countries of Crisis initiative is a much-needed solutions-focused approach and we are pleased to be on the Steering Group to take this forward.

We note the suggestions from the panel on the need to strengthen the UN system’s responsiveness to the protection of migrant rights. We also recognise the Treaty Bodies’ efforts to sharpen the focus of states on their treatment of migrants. In addition we are pleased to see the Global Migration Group’s focus on improving inter agency co-ordination across the UN system. We would appreciate further clarification on the value new mechanisms could bring in terms of tangible protection results.

Thank you.