GFMD 2016 Bangladesh Outlook: Official, Parallel and Counter-Events

gfmd_logo_m0dIn less than six weeks from now, the 9th Global Forum on Migration and Development will take place in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This will mark the first major global gathering on the issue after the UN summit on migrants and refugees took place in September this year. As has become the norm, the occasion of this meeting will be used to create space for a myriad of parallel- and counter-events. In this post, I have compiled an overview of the events to come:

First of all, before the actual GFMD will take place, there will be “A Dialogue on Global Migration Compact” on 14 November 2016 at the UN HQ in New York. At the UN summit, agreement was reached to develop two global compacts on migration and refugees (more on these in an upcoming post) and the meeting will discuss the social, economic and legal aspects of the compact that focusses on migration. This event is closely linked to the GFMD, since representatives of the past (Turkey), current (Bangladesh) and future (Germany/Morocco) chairs are present.

I have uploaded the draft program here:


The actual GFMD will take place from 8 – 12 December. The Civil Society Days component of the event will run from 8-9 December and you can find the concept paper here;


The International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) which organizes this part of the GFMD has also compiled a leaflet that provides you with a quick overview of the process:


On 10 December, civil society and government representatives will converge for the Common Space under the proposed theme “Time to Act – Compact for Governance of Migration”.

This will be followed by the Government Days on 11-12 December. Roundtables will address topics such as “Reducing migration costs”, “Protection of migrants in all situations” and “Migrants in situations of crises: conflict, climate change and natural disasters”. You can find the draft program here:


But that’s not all: There will be several civil society and grassroots events as well. For once, from 5- 10 December, the well-established People’s Global Action on Migration, Development, & Human Rights (PGA) will take place, thus leading up to and running parallel to the GFMD (thereby providing space not only for the selected delegates but also to all interested representatives of migrant civil society). Unfortunately, as of 31 October, no program or online registration options are available, but speaking from my experience during the past 8 years, these will materialize eventually… Keep checking their website (and this blog) for updates:

UPDATE 2 November: The program is now available; the Location will be Bangla Academy / Dhaka University:

Click to access PGA-program-overview.pdf

While the PGA adopts an “inside-outside” approach of critical engagement, the International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR) stands in strong opposition to the GFMD and will meet on December 10 for a “Speak Out!” event organized by the International Migrants Alliance (IMA).

(see, among other publications, my article on how these two processes have adopted different strategies based on the GFMD in Manila:

The IAMR is closely linked to the Churches Witnessing With Migrants 7th International Consultation (CWWM7) that will be held from 6-8 December at the Hope Training Center, Baroipara, Savar, Dhaka. I have been informed that the venue will be in a distance of at least 1.5 hours from the GFMD venue, so the logistics of my research will surely be challenging…

(I have spent endless hours in traffic jams in cities such as Manila or Jakarta, but this will be my first time in Dhaka and apparently I ain’t seen nothing yet in terms of traffic: )

One of the goals of the consultation is “to reflect with grassroots migrants, refugees and survivors of human trafficking on the abuse and rejection they experience and identify the ethical and spiritual challenges that are posed for the life and witness of faith communities”; a final document will be prepared and strategies for campaigning around major international initiatives on migrants and refugees will be discussed.

Two more faith-based consultations will take place before and during the GFMD (thanks to CWWM for informing me about these):

A Consultation on Migration of the World Student Christian Federation is scheduled from 3-5 December.

On 8 December, the Asia Pacific Forum (of North American church executives relating to Asia Pacific) will hold a Whole Day Consultation on Human Trafficking.


Any more events I have missed? Please inform me, I will update accordingly!

I have been accredited as a delegate for the GFMD Civil Society Days and will try to cover these and as much of the other events as logistically possible in my blog and on my Twitter account:





About Dr. Stefan Rother

Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institute at the University of Freiburg -- Freelance journalist -- You can find my CV at the links below:
This entry was posted in Gfmd, GFMD Civil Society Days, GFMD Government Meeting, GFMD in General, Migration and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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