Editor’s Note: accessed online at https://globalcenters.columbia.edu/news/model-international-mobility-convention-launch-nairobi

By: Sarah Deardorff Miller

March 22, 2018

Columbia Global Centers | Nairobi

The Columbia Global Policy Initiative was hosted by the Columbia Global Centers | Nairobi for the launch of the Model International Mobility Convention.

 This brought together participants in the areas of refugee law, human trafficking, economic migration, labour rights, public policy, international law, labor migration and forced migration. The event was moderated by Prof. Sarah Deardorff Miller, an Adjunct Professor with Columbia School of International and Public Affairs.  The panel of speakers were drawn from government, academic and NGO sectors.  These were; Mr. Jo Rispoli, Senior Regional Specialist on Labour Mobility and Human Development at IOM Regional Office.  Ruth Njuguna of Counter-Trafficking Secretariat, Ministry of Labour – GOK.  Dr. Josephine Gitome, Director, Kenyatta University Center for Refugee Studies and Empowerment.  Edwin Righa, Immigration Officer, Directorate of Immigration, Ministry of Labour – GOK.  Tim Howe, Senior Regional Migrant Thematic Specialist for Migrant Assistance for the East and Horn of Africa at IOM Regional Office.

The panel of speakers brought their wealth of experience in discussing all matters pertaining to immigration and discussed at length on the Model International Mobility Convention.

The MIMC provides a holistic and rights-based approach to international mobility that integrates the various regimes that seek to govern people on the move. In addition, it fills key gaps in international law that leave many people unprotected by establishing the minimum rights afforded to all people who cross state borders – whether as visitors, tourists, students, workers, residents, entrepreneurs, forced migrants, refugees, victims of trafficking, people caught in countries in crisis and family members – and defines their relationships to their communities of destination, origin, and transit.

The Model International Mobility Convention proposes a framework for mobility with the goals of reaffirming the existing rights afforded to mobile people as well as expanding those basic rights where warranted.  The preamble of the mobility convention establishes the complementarity of the convention with existing international legal instruments.  These include the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as other core international human rights treaties.