The Global Migration Group

 GMG logo The Global Migration Group (GMG) is an inter-agency group bringing together heads of agencies which seeks to promote the wider application of all relevant international and regional instruments and norms relating to migration, and to encourage the adoption of more coherent, comprehensive and better coordinated approaches to the issue of international migration.  

The GMG was established by the United Nations Secretary-General in early 2006 in response to a recommendation of the Global Commission on International Migration for the establishment of a high-level inter-institutional group of agencies involved in migration-related activities. The GMG was created by building on an existing inter-agency group with a more limited membership, the Geneva Migration Group, which was established in April 2003.

OHCHR is a founding member of the GMG, and current co-Chair of the GMG Working Group on Migration, Human Rights and Gender. Through the GMG, OHCHR has promoted a human rights-based approach to migration within the UN system and beyond. The GMG’s focus on the human rights of migrants—particularly under the OHCHR chairpersonship—has led to increased awareness of migrants’ rights. For example, the GMG Principals, on 30 September 2010, adopted a landmark joint statement calling for the protection of the human rights of migrants in an irregular situation. It was followed by a full-day GMG experts meeting on the same subject organized by OHCHR in October 2010 which also generated policy recommendations.

The GMG meets at regular intervals, and the Chair is held on a rotating basis by the executive heads of its member organizations. The first meeting of the GMG took place on 9 May 2006 and was chaired by Secretary General of UNCTAD.

GMG Working Group on Migration, Human Rights and Gender
The GMG Working Group on Migration, Human Rights and Gender was established pursuant to a decision of the GMG Principals on 14 November 2012. The Working Group is co-Chaired by OHCHR and UN Women.

The Working Group provides guidance to the GMG in addressing international migration from a human rights perspective, with a particular focus on the promotion and protection of the human rights of all migrants. The Working Group has identified key objectives through which it aims to support the integration of a human rights-based and gender-sensitive approach to migration in key policy processes, including the post-2015 development framework, taking into account the rights of the most vulnerable and fostering the recognition and promotion of the important contributions migrants make to communities, societies, and to development more broadly.

Most recently, the Working Group has developed Principles and Guidelines, supported by practical guidance, on the human rights protection of migrants in vulnerable situations. The development of these guidelines has been through a multi-stakeholder and expert-based approach responding to a pressing need to operationalize existing standards of protection for migrants within these precarious movements.

GMG Statements and Reports

  • Position Document: Including migrants in the post-2015 UN development agenda, Global Migration Group (GMG) Working Group on Human Rights and Gender, 2014  English 
  • Information Note: Protect the human rights of all migrants, Global Migration Group (GMG) 2010 English
  • OHCHR Press Release, ‘Landmark Statement on Protecting the Human Rights of Irregular Migrants’, 2010 English
  • Statement of the Global Migration Group (GMG) on the Human Rights of Migrants in Irregular Situations, 30 September 2010  English