At the same time more than 160 countries adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), on the streets of Marrakesh pro-migration groups and activists gathered in the city centre to chant: “No to the pact of Marrakesh”.
The historic Compact has found itself caught between a rock and a hard place: It has been criticised by nationalists and those arguing for stronger borders on one side, and by human rights and migrant activists on the other.
The protest in Marrakesh brought together people from the National Federation of the Agricultural Sector, the Moroccan Association of Human Rights, the Maghreb Coordination of Human Rights Organisations and the Platform of Associations and sub-Saharan communities in Morocco among other movements and communities.
The Compact, protestors say, does not represent a change in anti-migration policies, or in the current offensive against migrants and refugees by many countries in the northern hemisphere.
“The pact is a setback in terms of human rights, protection of migrants and their families as provided for in international conventions already approved by the United Nations and other institutions,” says Camara Alpha, general secretary of Platform of Associations and Sub-Saharan Communities in Morocco.
Protestors say they want to see a new global pact of solidarity for the rights of migrants, one which will guarantee the inalienable right to free movement of all people, by promoting regional and international cooperation, and public policies protecting migrants.