44th Session of the Human Rights Council


Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants

July 6, 2020


Delivered by: Armando González

Thank you, Madam President,

Franciscans International, PBI and the Franciscan Network on Migration, welcome the report on the right to freedom of association of migrants and their defenders of the Special Rapporteur.

We agree with the Rapporteur on the fundamental role played by civil society, humanitarian assistance and human rights organizations to provide migrants the means to survive, particularly in Mexico and Central America.

Many of the organizations that support the migrant population – including Franciscans – have been the target of attacks, threats, harassment and stigmatization by government authorities and non-state actors, and in other cases criminalized by supporting migrants.

Likewise, the tightening of migration policies, in particular the militarization of borders, creates a context for intimidation, detention, and criminalization of migrants and their defenders, and in general to commit serious violations of human rights. Militarizing or closing borders does not stop migration but encourages the use of other, more dangerous, routes. Despite the current health crisis triggered by Covid-19, asylum claims have increased 33% in the first 2020 quarter in Mexico.

The pandemic has revealed the additional vulnerability of the migrants. To the absence of state protection are added harassment and arbitrary arrests, mass deportations and multiple incidents of racism. The migrant houses face a greater problem of scarcity of resources, which strains human right defenders of migrants.

It is urgent that this Council calls on the governments of the United States and Mexico to stop the deportations of migrants and asylum seekers, seek alternatives to their detention, suspend the safe third country agreements and the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), and protect migrants and their defenders with a human rights approach.

Thank you, Madam President.

Video of the intervention of Br. Armando González, OFM

video courtesy Franciscans International