Invitation to Public Seminar: Global Migration and Refugee Law in Egypt and Morocco

Date: 02 June, 2024
Time: 2-5 pm
Place: Netherlands-Flemish Institute Cairo (NVIC)

We are pleased to announce that we are organising, together with the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo (NVIC), a public seminar on global migration and refugee law in Egypt and Morocco, focusing on the International Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers (ICRMW), the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) and the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR).

Registration: Please fill in <> before 30 May 2024, 1 pm


The GCM is a soft law instrument that rests on core international human rights treaties, including the ICRMW as well as on the International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions on promoting decent work and labour migration. As such, the GCM, the ICRMW and ILO Conventions are interlinked and interdependent international law instruments. Particularly, the GCM and the ICRMW are overlapping and mutually complementary. In this sense, the United Nations’ Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW) has been drafting General Comment no. 6 on the convergence between the ICRMW and the GCM. Moreover, both the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have been working towards the complementary implementation of the GCM and the GCR. Both Egypt and Morocco are countries of immigration, transit, and emigration, and they are the only two North African countries which have ratified the ICRMW and endorsed the GCM and the GCR. Both countries are closely collaborating with the UN Network on Migration (UNNM) by serving as “Champion Countries” for the implementation of the GCM. In this sense, they both receive explicit support from the UNNM, while also generating positive practices that can be shared with other Member States. In addition, both Egypt and Morocco have been contributing to the work of the UN Committee on Migrant Workers, in particular by taking part in the CMW and by submitting country reports in the context of the CMW’s reporting procedure. Furthermore, both countries are intensively collaborating with the UNHCR, have been engaging with the GCR and participated in the Global Refugee Forum which took place in 2023.


Against this background, this public seminar aims (a) to identify governmental and non-governmental practices engaging with the GCM, GCR and the ICRMW and (b) to discuss how those practices can advance the complementary implementation of those three global instruments. The seminar is not concerned with whether Egypt and Morocco comply with the GCM, GCR and the ICRMW, but rather focuses on existing good practices and possibilities of collaboration which have the potential to stimulate a joint implementation of the three instruments. The emphasis is on the role of the government, local civil society organisations and international organisations, in particular IOM, UNHCR and ILO.


The seminar will be opened by Edgar Corzo Sosa, Chair of the UN Committee on Migrant Workers (UN CMW). In his talk, he will shed light on the upcoming CMW’s General Comment no. 6 on the convergence between the GCM and the ICRMW. Duncan Breen, Senior Protection Officer, UNHCR Regional Bureau for MENA, Amman will address complementary implementation of the GCM and GCR in the context of mixed movements. Ibrahim Awad, Professor of practice of global affairs and director of the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS) at the American University in Cairo (AUC) will share his reflections on the adoption and application of international migration law in North Africa, including Egypt. Younous Arbaoui, Assistant Professor within the ACMRL at the VU University Amsterdam, and Guest Researcher at the NVIC, will present his ongoing research into GCM and ICRMW’s practices in Egypt and Morocco. 


Moderator: Ifdal Elsaket (NVIC)   

13.30: walk in 

Session I (14-15:30)

  • Edgar Corzo Sosa (UN CMW): ‘Genesis and aim of General Comment 6 on the convergence between the GCM and ICRMW’  
  • Duncan Breen (UNHCR Regional Bureau for MENA): ‘Advancing complementary implementation of the GCM and GCR in the context of mixed movements’  
  • Discussion   

Session II (15:30-17:00) 

  • Ibrahim Awad (CMRS, AU Cairo): ‘Migration and International Law in North Africa’ 
  • Younous Arbaoui (ACMRL, VU Amsterdam): ‘Global Migration Law in Morocco and Egypt: How can governments and civil society increase the cross-fertilization between the GCM and the ICRMW? 
  • Discussion   

17.00: Drinks 

Organizing committee

Dr. Younous Arbaoui, Assistant Professor, Amsterdam Centre for Migration and Refugee Law (ACMRL), VU University Amsterdam

Dr. Ifdal Elsaket, Assistant Director for Arabic and Islamic Studies, Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo (NVIC)


For questions regarding the seminar, please send an email to