International & Comparative Law Program

Achiume Leads Adoption of International Migration Pact at UN Summit in Morocco

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UCLA Law professor E. Tendayi Achiume meets with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at the U.N. meeting in Morocco.


UCLA School of Law professor E. Tendayi Achiume served in a prominent role at a summit where 164 nations adopted the United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the first international agreement on global migration governance, on Dec. 10 and 11.

The nonbinding pact aims to promote international coordination for safe and orderly migration across national borders while ensuring migrants’ human rights. The United States was among the few nations that did not sign it.

A core faculty member of the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA Law, Achiume serves as the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

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Achiume meets with Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

At an event featuring representatives of U.N. member states and other top international officials, Achiume urged nations to seriously consider how a lack of sustainable and equitable legal and policy frameworks for international migration produces wide-scale crises, chaos and human rights violations.

“We are increasingly confronting the reality that we share a single planet, its atmosphere and its resources,” Achiume said. “This basic truth makes global coordination vital, even just as a matter of the survival of anyone nation or community.”

She also cautioned that border militarization, the racialized criminalization of migration and denying migrants their human rights would do nothing to solve the deeper structural ills that are at the center of populist nationalist backlashes that scapegoat migrants and refugees.

The trip was Achiume’s third excursion this fall in her role as U.N. special rapporteur. For each trip, she has relied on students in her International Human Rights Clinic to perform extensive research and writing. Students Ohene Ampofo-Anti LL.M. ’19, Amanda Brown ’20, Julie Dargus ’20 and Rie Ohta ’19 collaborated with Achiume to prepare for her work in Morocco.