Weekly Update, 5 March 2021
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March 2021

Upcoming Meeting

11 March 2021
    Subcommittee Time: 11:00am - 11:50am (EST)
    General Meeting:  12:00pm - 1:30pm (EST)

Due to Covid-19 response measures, no in-person meeting will be held in March. Please join us via video conference. REGISTRATION REQUIRED.

In Their Voices: Migrant and refugee women's resilience, agency, and leadership

Join us for a conversation on the importance of migrant women's leadership, meaningful participation and decision making in creating more equitable and inclusive societies, and overcoming barriers to exercising agency.

For more details, please see event FLYER.

UN Network on Migration Releases Statement Addressing Access to COVID-19 Vaccine

As vaccine roll-outs are bringing back hope that the end of the pandemic might be in sight, too many migrants remain excluded from national deployment and vaccinations plans (NDVPs). Although the number of vaccinations globally has overtaken reported COVID-19 infections, only a quarter of NDVPs submitted to the COVAX Facility include migrants.

The United Nations Network on Migration calls on States to guarantee rapid, fair, and equitable access to vaccines for all, and the inclusion of migrants, regardless of their status in their national COVID-19 vaccination programs and other public health interventions.

Read the full statement here. Also available in French and Spanish.


UNESCO Calls for COVID-19 Vaccines to be Considered a Global Public Good

UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee (IBC) and the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) have called for a change of course in current COVID-19 vaccination strategies, urging that vaccines be treated as a global public good to ensure they are made equitably available in all countries, and not only to those who bid the highest for these vaccines.

The Statement stresses three key messages:

  • Firstly, pharmaceutical industries have a responsibility to share the intellectual property acquired with government support to enable manufacturers in all countries to provide access to vaccines for all, which should be considered a global public good
  • Secondly, the IBC and COMEST say that the vaccine’s benefit to the greatest number of people cannot be considered the sole ethical criterion. Equality, equity, protection from vulnerability, reciprocity and the best interests of children must also be taken into account
  • Thirdly, the IBC and COMEST consider that vaccination strategies should be based on a non-compulsory, non-punitive model, grounded in information and education, including dialogue with people who may be hesitant about vaccination or hostile to it. 

Other issues the statement covers include: international cooperation across all different sectors working on COVID-19 to share the benefits of research; the sustainability issues that favor the emergence of zoonotic diseases; trust in science and health care authorities; access for migrant populations and undocumented migrants; the indispensable need for dialogue between science, ethics, politics and civil society.

Read the full statement here (also available in French) or visit the website here.


Save the Date: UN Network on Migration, First Quarterly Meeting with Stakeholders and Partners

The UN Network on Migration is pleased to invite stakeholders and civil society colleagues to a discussion on Network Priorities and planning for 2021, scheduled for 12 March, 14:00-16:00 CET. This will be the first in a series of quarterly meetings (the proposed dates for the others can be found in the Network calendar).

Please sign-up by registering here. Closer to the time, a proposed agenda will be sent to help facilitate the discussion as well as the call-in details.

The UN Network on Migration held a consultation last month to determine priorities for 2021 and how best the Network can, in pursuit of these, support Member States and all partners in the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). Valuable inputs have been received and carefully considered also from the Annual Meeting in December 2021, stakeholder-specific surveys, and the Principals' meeting.

In (1) identifying the Networking priorities heading towards the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) in the first half of 2022, and (2) discussing avenues for which to attain these priorities, while being cognizant of matching ambitions with capacities, a number of substantive issues will set the stage for the discussions to finalize a new workplan including: 
  • Ensuring migrants' access to COVID-19 vaccination
  • Climate change and migration
  • Migration and sustainable development
  • Remittances
  • Emphasizing the guiding principles of the GCM
  • Addressing inequalities
  • Labor migration
  • Forced returns/reintegration
  • Importance of adequate data
On the 12th March, all stakeholder partners and Network members are invited to join a collective discussion to further flesh out key objectives and activities.

Invitation to Attend CSW Parallel Event:
"COVID-19 and Violence Against Women in Migration: Policy Responses"

Mark your calendars. The NGO Committee on Migration (NGO CoM) invites you to attend the 65th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) parallel event, "COVID-19 and Violence Against Women in Migration: Policy Responses."

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic migrant women face soaring risks of exposure to multiple forms of gender-based violence, abuse and exploitation, both personal and institutional. In some locations, as a result of the pressures imposed by lockdowns, domestic violence has escalated as much as 20-40%, and migrant women and girls have been especially at risk. Trafficking for sexual exploitation has seen a terrifying leap, and migrants are subject to glaring inequalities in general health care and rates of vaccination, as compared to the general public.

Confronting the rising threat of violence against women and girls, this workshop will examine the gaps in protection mechanisms and the ways in which nation states, relevant UN agencies, and NGOs can cooperate to find policy solutions that will bring about rights-based and gender-responsive solutions for women in migration, through implementation of the provisions detailed in the Global Compacts for Migrants and Refugees and the mechanisms created for that purpose.

The event is taking place as a part of the NGO CSW Forum and is co-sponsored by the NGO CoM. It will be held from 10:30am-12:00pm (EST) on 17 March. Please read instructions below to register.

For more details regarding the NGO CSW Forum, please visit their webpage. This platform will be hosting nearly 700 parallel events this year (see the schedule here). 
  • If you want to attend any events, you MUST first register for the NGO CSW65 Virtual Forum.
  • Attending the Forum is totally free and open to the public.
  • After you register, you'll receive an email with a link.
  • Click on the link to create your profile on the NGO CSW65 Virtual Forum
  • After you log into your profile, you'll have full access to all Virtual Forum events.

You can register for the NGO CSW65 Virtual Forum here

We need to hear from grassroots, front-line practitioners about how the Covid crisis has affected your work!

Survey on Migrant and Refugee Victims of Xenophobia and Intolerance in the Context of the Coronavirus Pandemic

The NGO Committee on Migration is requesting responses to a survey prepared by the Subcommittee on Xenophobia and Social Inclusion to assess the impact COVID-19 has had on the migrant population in relation to xenophobia and social exclusion.

The survey is available here in 
EnglishSpanish, and French. Please send it out as widely as possible through your networks.

We are seeking replies from NGOs, academia, civil society institutions United Nations entities, and grassroots and front-line practitioners in order to obtain as comprehensive data as possible on this essential grassroots work. Please consult the linked survey for an account of how we plan to use the data and publish the results.   

Thank you for taking the time to respond. If you have any further questions, please contact

Direct Services to Migrant Families/Children in Corona/Elmhurst Queens

The NGO CoM Subcommittee on Migrant and Refugee Children is working on a project to elevate the voices of migrant and refugee children, highlighting the importance of Early Childhood Education and Care.

As part of this initiative, we are seeking contacts with NGOs that provide direct services to the migrant community in the Corona/Elmhurst section of Queens, a neighborhood with the largest share of immigrant households of any community district in NYC and the United States.

If your NGO is a service provider to migrant families/children in Corona/Elmhurst we would greatly appreciate it if you would contact Maria Pia Belloni at or Jane McCall Politi at to explore the possibility of collaborating on this project.


Renew your CoM Membership & Join a Subcommittee!

NGO CoMWe are continuing the process of collecting annual membership dues and convening subcommittees.

The NGO Committee on Migration organizes many of its activities through member participation in the following four subcommittees:

  • Environment / Climate-Induced Displacement
  • Migrant & Refugee Children
  • Migrants in Situations of Vulnerability / Mixed Migration
  • Xenophobia & Social Inclusion
By formally joining a subcommittee, you will be able to receive a link to access the online subcommittee gatherings, which precede the general portion of each Member Meeting.

Click here to renew your CoM membership and here to join one of the four subcommittees listed above!


Multi-Stakeholder Initiative: It Takes a Community

The GFMD Working Group on Public Narratives on Migration developed a collaborative campaign that aims to shift the narrative on migration by sharing stories about the positive impact migration can have on communities worldwide.

It Takes A Community is about celebrating how all people, regardless of where they are born, contribute to making our communities feel like home. By highlighting how migrants and their fellow community members are working together to make the places where they live and work more productive, innovative, caring, safe and welcoming, we can challenge misinformation about migration and build more inclusive communities. Help us show how migration enriches communities by sharing stories of your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and classmates from around the world who are making your community a better place.

The campaign’s soft launch took place on 18 December 2020, and now it's our turn to participate in the campaign’s implementation throughout 2021. 

Find out how you can be a part of the #ItTakesACommunity campaign by clicking here.


Endorse NGO CoM Letter to the US Mission on Climate Displacement


The NGO Committee on Migration is requesting signatures, from member organizations, on a letter to the US Mission addressing climate displacement.

The letter serves as an introduction to our committee, encourages US leadership and action in the interrelated areas of environment and human mobility, and invites collaboration and partnership between the NGO Committee on Migration and the US government in the term ahead.

We are aiming to secure as many member organization endorsements as possible. Interested members of the NGO Committee on Migration may sign on by completing the online form.

Click here to read the letter and click here to sign on.

12 March: UN Network on Migration. First Quarterly Meeting with Stakeholders and Partners. 8:00am-10:00am (EST) *Register

17 March: Seminars in Forced Migration, University of Vienna. "We Are All Refugees": Slums and Camps as Converging Spaces of Global Displacements. 12:00pm (EDT). *Details & Register


CSW Events

14-26 March: NGO CSW (Commission on the Status of Women) Forum. *Details *Register

16 March: Center for Migration, Gender, and Justice. "Gender, Displacement, Violence: 70 Years of the Refugee Convention." 10:00am-12:00pm (EDT) *Details

17 March: NGO CoM, P.E.A.C.E., VIVAT International. "COVID-19 and Violence Against Women in Migration: Policy Responses." 10:30am-12:00pm (EDT). *Concept Note *Register through the NGO CSW65 platform.

17 March: NGO CoM, FAWCO, Early Childhood Peace Consortium, World Organization for Early Childhood Education. "Achieving Women's Empowerment, Early Childhood Development and Care: A Two-Generational Win-Win." 1:30pm-3:00pm (EDT). *Flyer *Register

18 March: DaMigra e.V. "Anti-Discrimination and Violence Protection Strategies for Migrant and Refugee Women." 3:30pm-5:00pm (EDT). *Details

22 March: Global Goals Initiative. "Ensuring Full Participation of Migrant and Ethnic Women in Post-COVID-19 Responses and Decision-Making." 6:00pm-7:30pm (EDT) *Details

24 March: Zonta International. "Migration and Immigrants' Inclusion Based on SDGs." 7:00am-9:00am (EDT) *Details


Event Recordings

Mixed Migration Center. Virtual Launch of M4i Interactive: A portal for exploration and visualization of data on mixed migration. Watch here.

The New School, Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility. "Discussing the New Immigration Agenda." Watch here.



UNICEF. Building Bridges for Every Child: Reception, Care and Services to Support Unaccompanied Children in the United States. *Website *PDF

Center for Migration Studies. How the Asylum Backlog Affects Torture Survivors and What the Biden Administration Can Do to Fix It. *Website

No More Deaths. Left to Die: Border Patrol, Search and Rescue, & the Crisis of Disappearance. *Website *PDF

Center for Migration Studies. Mapping Key Determinants of Immigrants' Health in Brooklyn and Queens. *Website *PDF

United Nations Network on Migration. Report of Global Online Peer Learning Exchange: How to sustain and expand the use of alternatives to immigration detention in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic? *PDF *Annex

Center for Migration Studies. What We Know About Climate Change and Migration. *Website *PDF



New York Times. Ethiopia's War Leads to Ethnic Cleansing in Tigray Region, U.S. Report Says.

Doctors Without Borders. As US Starts Processing Asylum Seekers, Thousands of Migrants Continue to Suffer in Mexico.

The Guardian. Biden is Locking Up Migrant Children. Will the World Still Care with Trump Gone?

New York Times. Smugglers Throw Migrants Overboard; at Least 20 are Feared Drowned.

***Visit the CoM website for additional resources***

Renew Your CoM Membership! 

The membership renewal form for the September 2020-August 2021 term is available here. Please submit it with dues of $40 for this year to keep your organization in good standing!

Submit Your Member Profile!
Tell us how the CoM can best leverage your skills, passion, and expertise by submitting a Member Profile Form. Just one form is needed per organization, so if your NGO has not already submitted a form, please complete and send one to: as soon as possible.

Have notes or summaries from any migration-related events?
Send them to the Executive Committee or upload them directly to the "Events" folder of the CoM Work Hub!

Have a story of migration or work with migrants in the field?
Send them to the Executive Committee for consideration as an addition to the collection on our "Member and Migrant Voices" web page!


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