UN Global Compact on Migration: Preventing torture of migrants should be at the core of the Compact

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

In view of the increasing use of immigration detention as a deterrent of migration and the toughening of domestic and regional migration policies resulting in human rights violations, including torture and other forms of ill-treatment, the APT considers that the Global Compact on Migration offers a timely opportunity to raise concerns over these issues. APT proposes a position paper that contains seven key advocacy messages that are indispensable to the Compact from a torture prevention perspective.

The key messages are:

  1. It is not a crime to migrate. Detention of migrants must remain a measure of last resort.
  2. Immigration detention of children must end.
  3. If migrants are deprived of liberty as a last resort, authorities should not impose criminal-like conditions of detention.
  4. Legal and procedural safeguards must be guaranteed to all migrants deprived of liberty.
  5. Forced returns increase the risks of torture and ill-treatment and should be a measure of last resort.
  6. Persons in situation of vulnerability should be diverted from detention.
  7. All situations of deprivation of liberty of migrants should be regularly monitored by independent bodies.


The UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is an intergovernmental process established under the 2016 New York Declaration with the purpose of defining an international framework to address the challenges posed by migration nowadays.

Aimed at adoption in 2018, the Compact addresses issues related to migrants’ human rights; drivers of migration; international cooperation and governance of migration; contributions of migrants and diasporas; smuggling, trafficking and contemporary forms of slavery; and irregular migration and regular pathways.

Read the APT position paper here