18 December 2018
17 December 2018 marks the approval by the UN General Assembly of the United Nations Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). A result of a series of thematic discussions and formal consultations conducted by the UNHCR from 2017 through 2018, the GCR aims to strengthen the international response to large movements of refugees and protracted refugee situations.
Its four key objectives are to:
- Ease the pressures on host countries;
- Enhance refugee self-reliance;
- Expand access to third-country solutions;
- Support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity.
The GCR consists of the comprehensive refugee response framework (CRRF) and a programme of action.
Public service workers are at the frontlines in providing vital public services to refugees, from emergency response, reception, shelter, water, sanitation, health care, education and social services. Together with other civil society organisations, PSI welcomes the adoption of the GCR in protecting the human rights of refugees and ensuring their access to quality public services, particularly for women and children, who make up half of the total refugee population. With poorer countries hosting 80% of the world’s refugees, the GCR aims to ease the pressure on these host countries and promote responsibility-sharing among UN member states.