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CPD 2018: Sustainable cities, mobility and international migration takes centre stage

UN member states will be meeting in New York between 9-13 April to evaluate the extent to which they have realised the agenda of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). It will be the 51st gathering of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD). This year’s theme focuses on urbanisation and international migration, and will include discussions on sexual and reproductive rights of marginalised groups in slums, as well as of migrants and refugees.


What’s at stake?

Yet again, it promises to be an interesting CPD. Last year, the member states did not manage to reach consensus, particularly due to the destructive attitude of the United States in relation to abortion and reproductive rights. With President Trump still in charge, this attitude has not changed, and so the United States could again prove to be an obstacle to consensus this year.

In addition to this existing challenge, this year’s theme doesn’t make it any easier. Within the EU as well as between countries across the world, there are considerable differences in ideas on responsibilities of states in relation to (irregular) migrants and refugees. Many countries wish to limit such responsibilities.

What’s Rutgers’ role?

Rineke van Dam, advocacy officer at Rutgers, will take part in the Dutch government’s delegation. She advises the delegation and advocates for the inclusion of references to sexual and reproductive rights of adolescents and youth in particular, including migrants, and their right to access services and comprehensive sexuality education. She works closely with (youth) advocates from around the world, and in particular those from the Right Here Right Now (RHRN) Strategic Partnership. The CPD conference will also be attended by RHRN platform members from the Caribbean, Kenya and Pakistan.

Besides our work at CPD, Rutgers does much more in the area of SRHR of migrants. In the current national and international refugee crisis, SRHR is hardly recognised in humanitarian programmes. The Rutgers programme Forced Migration & SRHR works to embed, integrate and mainstream SRHR programming in humanitarian settings, for young people, women and men. With our programme, Forced Migration & SRHR, we offer SRHR support to existing humanitarian programmes. By adding our knowledge and experience we can help create an additional pillar of safety and trust.