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The Global Migration Group (GMG) was an inter-agency group established by the United Nations Secretary-General, bringing together the heads of relevant UN agencies working on migration. The GMG sought to promote the wider application of 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. In 2018, the Secretary-General replaced the GMG with a new inter-agency coordination mechanism, the United Nations Network on 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 and included ILO, IOM, OHCHR, UNCTAD, UNHCR and UNODC. The first meeting of the GMG took place on 9 May 2006 and was chaired by Secretary General of UNCTAD. The GMG met at regular intervals, and the Chair was held on a rotating basis by the executive heads of its member organizations.

OHCHR was a founding member of the GMG, and former co-Chair together with UN Women of the GMG Working Group on Migration, Human Rights and Gender. Through the GMG, OHCHR worked to promote 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 in 2010—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, and the GMG Working Group on Migration, Human Rights and Gender developed the OHCHR/GMG Principles and Guidelines, supported by practical guidance, on the human rights protection of migrants in vulnerable situations.

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