“Soon, it became clear that the situation was untenable, and the international community sat down to negotiate a policy framework,” she added. The result was the UN’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, a non-legally binding agreement that was adopted in December 2018.
The agreement includes a call on States to invest in ethical reporting standards and ethical advertising, and to “promote evidence-based public discourse to shape perceptions of migration.”
But as Oberoi underscored in a 7 December podcast by the Conscious Advertising Network, there was (and is) opposition to the global effort to ensure human rights-based migration policies. The gunman in New Zealand who killed 51 people in a March 2019 attack on Muslim worshippers at a pair of mosques in Christchurch, for example, had a message etched into the barrel of the weapon he used to commit the massacre: “Here’s Your Migration Compact.”
So what’s the best way to overcome the challenges and change narratives on migration? “To me, the answer has to be more speech, more discussion, more collaboration,” Oberoi said. “We’ve been trying over these last years to understand a little bit better where human rights fits in this conversation, and how to bring companies into a conversation on human rights which is meaningful to them.” The UN Secretary-General’s strategy and action plan on hate speech recognises the important role of media and business in tackling the problem.
Along with civil society partners such as Stop Funding Hate, UN Human Rights has been engaging with the Conscious Advertising Network, which is a voluntary coalition of brands, advertising agencies and NGOs dedicated to consciously changing the way advertising operates as well as the ad content that is produced.
“The advertising world is waking up to the fact that whether we like it or not, we fund a large part of the internet,” Conscious Advertising Network co-founder Jake Dubbins said in the December podcast. “This dialogue, this continued mutual understanding between the world of human rights and the world of advertising is absolutely necessary. In a world that has literally been taken over by monetised business models that make money from hate and disinformation, it is beholden upon all of us … to take responsibility, work together and really learn each other’s languages in order to better attempt to solve these problems.”