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News > Chile

Chile Joins Italy, US and Hungary To Reject UN Migrant Pact

  • Chile's President Sebastian Pinera the Valle Central copper mine, in Rancagua, Chile Dec. 6, 2018.

    Chile's President Sebastian Pinera the Valle Central copper mine, in Rancagua, Chile Dec. 6, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 December 2018

Nationalist Piñera government says it won't sign UN Global Compact for Migration because migration 'is not a human right', but a government right. 

Chile’s government announced it will not sign the United Nations Global Compact for Migration, declaring Sunday that "migration is not a human right,” adding, “if it were a human right, then we would be in a world without borders.”

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Chile’s Undersecretary of Interior, Rodrigo Ubilla said Sunday: "Our position is clear. We say that migration is not a human right. Countries have the right to define the conditions under which foreign citizens enter," their countries, said, Ubilla. He added, "If it were a human right, then we are in a world without borders. We firmly believe in the human rights of migrants, but migration is not a human right," stressed the interior minister.

He said that "allowing (people) to change their immigration status within the country of destination encourages irregularities and attacks against migration security."

The undersecretary’s statement came as he announced that billionaire Chilean President Sebastian Piñera will not attend the U.N. two-day Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration coming up Dec. 10 and 11 in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Some 180 world leaders, including delegates from over 70 cities worldwide are set to sign the Global Pact for Migration that outlines how governments and organizations can help to protect people who migrate, and how to integrate them into new countries, according to Reuters.

Chilean Congress member Carmen Hertz, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee in the House of Representatives accused the government of criminalizing migrants. Piñera’s administration has been criticized for his anti-immigrant Humanitarian Return Plan focused on sending back the country’s Haitian population to their poverty-stricken nation, airlifting nearly 600 Haitians to their native country since the program was initiated two months ago.

Former Chilean president turned UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, told local media she’s "very disappointed" by the countries that have decided not to sign the pact because "many leaders, instead of leading and setting an example they prefer to look at the polls to see if people fear immigration."

The government argues that the U.N. agreement "does not distinguish between regular and irregular migration."

Chile joins the ranks of other right-wing administrations in the United States, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Israel to boycott the migration agreement.

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