On Global Migration

The board of directors of the General Board of Church and Society took action at the spring 2018 board meeting to pass a resolution on global migration.

Resolution on Global Migration

That mobility has always been one of the characteristics of human existence,
That human mobility is a protected human right in local, national and international law,
That this human right is the sacred freedom of movement of all God’s people.
That our human rights owe from the gift of God’s likeness in all human beings,
That all human rights are the rights of all migrants, refugees, and displaced peoples,
That these human rights are intrinsic to their life narratives.

That there are more than 65 million displaced peoples in the world today,
That every five seconds a person is displaced or forced to flee their home,
That this crisis of forced movement is unprecedented since World War II.
That forced movement is a human tragedy at once very local and certainly global,
That forced movement is an assault on the dignity of real peoples and communities,
That these assaults take the form of xenophobia, racial discrimination and intolerance.

That forced migration is visible in the lives and witness of migrant workers, refugees, persons in situations of trafficking and human smuggling, and stateless peoples,
That the root causes of forced migration include wars, civil conflicts, violence, natural disasters, political persecution, and economic hardships,
That the drivers of migration, including climate change, uneven economic development and structural inequalities in and among countries,
That the migratory route of country origin, transit and destination are entangled with historic injustices of slavery, colonialism and genocide,
That migration today is highly globalized but racialized, securitized and criminalized, gendered and sexualized,
That migration today significantly affects and increases the vulnerabilities of children, women, the elderly, and persons of varied disabilities.

That nothing about migrants should be negotiated outside of their presence and direct participation,
That migrant voice and agency is crucial in addressing the crisis of massive displacement and forced movement,
That democratic, representative and accountable governance provide for robust participation and engagement by all stakeholders in resolving the migration crisis,
That any consideration of the plight of migrants, refugees and displaced peoples must focus on the beneficial improvement of their lives and communities,
That beneficial improvement includes issues of safe movement, labor rights, decent living conditions, family reunification, reintegration, inclusion, and nondiscrimination,
That the search for local remedies and international recourse to solve the migration crisis must engender safe and enabling environments.

That human mobility and migration are public goods that benefit all peoples and communities,
That the United Methodist Church, through the General Board of Church and Society, is committed to advocate for the rights of all migrants and applaud their efforts toward responsible self-organization and self-determination”,
That we are committed to “engage in strong, coordinated advocacy on migration issues that seeks to overcome poverty, war and other causes leading to the displacement and marginalization of people” (Book of Resolutions #6028),
That we will engage in a variety of platforms, especially multilateral forums, where the migration crisis and the plight of migrants, refugees and peoples in situations of trafficking and smuggling are addressed,
That we will participate in the nuancing, drafting and negotiating of United Nations-led processes that will produce the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees,
That we will invite and engage fellow United Methodists in this process in a variety of settings in the church and in the wider society, including ecumenically, as nongovernmental organization, as part of civil society, and multilaterally through regional and international forums through but not limited to the United Nations.