ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our friend, brother, mentor, counsellor, and supporter, John Bingham. For more than four decades he was at the forefront of advocating for the rights of migrants and refugees. John passed away on 26 July 2022. We will remember him forever.

Memorial Service

Please join us for an online global memorial on 15 August 2022 at 3PM CET as we come together for our dear friend John.
Register here: https://bit.ly/inmemoryofjohnbingham
Posted by Agnès Dupré la Tour on August 29, 2022
“It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of John Bingham, a deeply committed advocate of fair and inclusive migration policies. John’s contribution to migration governance has been significant and invaluable; it was borne out of his own extensive experience as a ‘practitioner’ in providing assistance and advice to migrants and refugees. John’s eloquent yet gentle advocacy was evident from the very first meetings of the GFMD, and he contributed to the GFMD civil society days with unwavering commitment. Yet this was just one part of his work. He gave his time generously to many other initiatives, at the national and international level, and was a valuable contributor to IOM’s Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative, as well taking part in the IOM Migration Advisory Board. On behalf of IOM, I extend my deepest condolences to John’s family, friends, and civil society colleagues. His dedication to advancing migrants’ rights, and his many achievements, deserve the highest praise, respect, and recognition from the international community.”                       António Vitorino, IOM Director General
"C'est avec une grande tristesse que j'ai appris le décès de John Bingham, un défenseur profondément engagé des politiques migratoires équitables et inclusives. La contribution de John à la gouvernance des migrations a été importante et inestimable ; elle est le fruit de sa propre expérience en tant que "praticien" de l'aide et du conseil aux migrants et aux réfugiés. Le plaidoyer de John, à la fois éloquent et doux, était évident dès les premières réunions du FMMD, et il a contribué aux journées de la société civile du FMMD avec un engagement inébranlable. Mais ce n'était qu'une partie de son travail. Il a donné généreusement de son temps à de nombreuses autres initiatives, au niveau national et international, et a apporté une contribution précieuse à l'initiative de l'OIM sur les migrants dans les pays en crise, tout en prenant part au Conseil consultatif de l'OIM sur la migration. Au nom de l'OIM, je présente mes plus sincères condoléances à la famille de John, à ses amis et à ses collègues de la société civile. Son dévouement à l'avancement des droits des migrants et ses nombreuses réalisations méritent les plus grands éloges, le respect et la reconnaissance de la communauté internationale. "                                                          António Vitorino, Directeur général de l'OIM
Posted by Agnès Dupré la Tour on August 29, 2022
“With the untimely passing of John K. Bingham, we have lost a visionary leader, a steadfast defender of migrants’ rights, an inspiring counselor, a dedicated advocate but mostly a dear, dear friend. John never sought the limelight, never aimed to be at the forefront but rather empowered others to step up, created and shaped spaces for others to have their voices heard and made sure that others felt that their opinions matter as well. These are the markings of a true leader, not driven by personal ambitions but by an unmatched sense of serving others. To recount John’s contributions for migrants and civil society is to draw a line through all the major achievements in the last 15 years. He knocked on the GFMD door, still closed to civil society, in its early stages, not with brute force but with quite a unique skillset of wit, charm and unquestionable reason why civil society had to be part of the forum and convinced one government after the other to open the door. His contributions to civil society’s voice at the second UN High Level Dialogue and beyond was infused by his dedication and passion but also crafted with smartness and political savvy. He knew what it took to be heard as civil society in multilateral arenas even in times when the space was unbearably small and sometimes shrinking. True to his nature, John would have probably hated all this attention. But we have to pay tribute where tribute is due and he deserves every word of praise and respect for what he has done as a compassionate and selfless advocate for all the migrants in vulnerable situations needing a strong voice in faraway conference rooms. For all of us who had the great privilege of knowing John personally, we will certainly miss him dearly as civil society leader but he will live on in our memories as the humble, generous, funny and supportive person he was. Amongst the many unforgettable moments are the Whiskeys we shared with him at the end of yet another GFMD. And so, while we join all the others, heartbroken by this great loss, in expressing our sincerest condolences to John’s family, we also raise our glasses for one final “Cheers! Here is to you, dear John!”
The Swiss GFMD Team 

Avec le décès prématuré de John K. Bingham, nous avons perdu un leader visionnaire, un défenseur inébranlable des droits des migrants, un conseiller inspirant, un avocat dévoué mais surtout un ami très, très cher. John n'a jamais cherché à être sous les feux de la rampe, il n'a jamais cherché à être au premier plan, mais il a plutôt donné aux autres les moyens d'agir, il a créé et façonné des espaces pour que les autres puissent faire entendre leur voix et il s'est assuré que les autres sentent que leurs opinions comptent aussi. Ce sont les marques d'un véritable leader, qui n'est pas guidé par des ambitions personnelles mais par un sens inégalé du service aux autres. Raconter les contributions de John pour les migrants et la société civile revient à tirer un trait sur toutes les réalisations majeures de ces 15 dernières années. Il a frappé à la porte du FMMD, encore fermée à la société civile, à ses débuts, non pas avec une force brutale mais avec des compétences uniques d'esprit, de charme et de raison incontestable pour laquelle la société civile devait faire partie du forum et a convaincu un gouvernement après l'autre d'ouvrir la porte. Sa contribution à la voix de la société civile lors du deuxième dialogue de haut niveau des Nations unies et au-delà était imprégnée de son dévouement et de sa passion, mais aussi de son intelligence et de son sens politique. Il savait ce qu'il fallait faire pour être entendu en tant que société civile dans les arènes multilatérales, même à une époque où l'espace était insupportablement petit et parfois même rétréci. Fidèle à sa nature, John aurait probablement détesté toute cette attention. Mais nous devons rendre hommage à qui de droit et il mérite tous les éloges et le respect pour ce qu'il a fait en tant que défenseur compatissant et désintéressé de tous les migrants en situation vulnérable qui avaient besoin d'une voix forte dans des salles de conférence lointaines. Pour tous ceux d'entre nous qui ont eu le grand privilège de connaître John personnellement, il nous manquera certainement beaucoup en tant que leader de la société civile, mais il restera dans nos mémoires comme la personne humble, généreuse, drôle et solidaire qu'il était. Parmi les nombreux moments inoubliables, citons les whiskys que nous avons partagés avec lui à la fin d'un énième FMMD. Ainsi, alors que nous nous joignons à tous les autres, le cœur brisé par cette grande perte, en exprimant nos plus sincères condoléances à la famille de John, nous levons également nos verres pour un dernier "Cheers" ! A ta santé, cher John !"
L'équipe suisse du FMMD 



“As founding Executive Director of the Global Forum on Migration and Development in 2007, I bore the responsibility for its conception, working methods and architecture. From the start, I was convinced that a discussion on a theme such as Migration, laden as it is with social ramifications, would be incomplete and inacceptable without the involvement of the civil society. The ‘mandate’ received from the General Assembly referred also to the involvement of all stakeholders, which in my opinion referred to state actors, yes, but also to non-state actors and for that matter international organisations. However, this opinion was not largely shared. John was a staunch ally in this matter, and, most helpful, also a most competent one. We had many enlightening conversations, in Geneva, Brussels and elsewhere… Soon it became clear that, after a prudent start in 2007 to avoid backlash and negative reviews, the role of the Civil Society in the GFMD, would have to increase. The involvement of the ICMC and the always thoughtful input of John in particular, made that happen over time and ICMC became a critical partner for the GFMD, which in turn benefitted a lot from their input, supported by their real time and on the ground experience. John had the rare gift to be critical while being gentle. He did not have to raise his voice or be sharp to make his point, clearly uncompromising, but courteous. He was not only deeply committed to the cause and wellbeing of migrants and refugees, but also brought their causes forwards in significant and concrete ways. He also was convinced of the need and value of the process of an informal dialogue to raise awareness and understanding, without people getting into ideological trenches, and saw the GFMD as a critical instrument for the same. His work on the future of the Forum demonstrated that. Thank you, John, for your shining light, your commitment to migrants and refugees, they and we will miss your wise advice and your gentle but unwavering supportive voice!!!”
Regine De Clercq, Founding executive director of the GFMD, Belgium Chair 2007

"En tant que directeur exécutif fondateur du Forum mondial sur la migration et le développement en 2007, j'ai assumé la responsabilité de sa conception, de ses méthodes de travail et de son architecture. Dès le départ, j'étais convaincu qu'une discussion sur un thème tel que la migration, chargé de ramifications sociales, serait incomplète et inacceptable sans la participation de la société civile. Le "mandat" reçu de l'Assemblée générale faisait également référence à l'implication de toutes les parties prenantes, ce qui, à mon avis, faisait référence aux acteurs étatiques, certes, mais aussi aux acteurs non étatiques et aux organisations internationales. Toutefois, cette opinion n'était pas largement partagée. John était un allié fidèle dans cette affaire et, ce qui est le plus utile, il était aussi très compétent. Nous avons eu de nombreuses conversations instructives, à Genève, à Bruxelles et ailleurs... Il est vite apparu qu'après un démarrage prudent en 2007 pour éviter les retours de bâton et les critiques négatives, le rôle de la société civile dans le FMMD devait s'accroître. L'implication de la CICM et l'apport toujours réfléchi de John en particulier, ont fait que cela s'est produit au fil du temps et que la CICM est devenue un partenaire essentiel du FMMD, qui à son tour a beaucoup profité de son apport, soutenu par son expérience en temps réel et sur le terrain. John avait le don rare d'être critique tout en étant doux. Il n'avait pas besoin d'élever la voix ou d'être tranchant pour faire valoir son point de vue, clairement intransigeant, mais courtois. Il était non seulement profondément engagé dans la cause et le bien-être des migrants et des réfugiés, mais il a également fait avancer leurs causes de manière significative et concrète. Il était également convaincu de la nécessité et de la valeur du processus de dialogue informel pour accroître la prise de conscience et la compréhension, sans que les gens ne s'engagent dans des tranchées idéologiques, et considérait le FMMD comme un instrument essentiel à cet égard. Son travail sur l'avenir du Forum l'a démontré. Merci, John, pour ta lumière brillante, ton engagement envers les migrants et les réfugiés, tes conseils avisés et ta voix de soutien douce mais inébranlable leur manqueront, à eux et à nous !!!"
Regine De Clercq, Directrice exécutive fondatrice du FMMD, Belgique Présidente 2007

Posted by Agnès Dupré la Tour on August 29, 2022
It is with extreme sadness that the GFMD community has learnt of the passing of John K. Bingham on 26 July 2022. A leading advocate for civil society and a key interlocutor in the migration governance dialogue at global level, John played a decisive role in bringing the voice of civil society to the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). The GFMD community extends its sincere condolences to John’s family. *** *** *** *** ***

C'est avec une extrême tristesse que la communauté du FMMD a appris le décès de John K. Bingham le 26 juillet 2022. Grand défenseur de la société civile et interlocuteur clé dans le dialogue sur la gouvernance de la migration au niveau mondial, John a joué un rôle décisif pour faire entendre la voix de la société civile au Forum mondial sur la migration et le développement (FMMD). La communauté du FMMD présente ses sincères condoléances à la famille de John.

“France joins the GFMD previous Chairs and all actors who had the opportunity to work alongside John Bingham and extends its sincere condolences to his family”.
The French GFMD Team, 2022-2023

"La France s'associe aux précédents présidents du FMMD et à tous les acteurs qui ont eu l'occasion de travailler aux côtés de John Bingham et adresse ses sincères condoléances à sa famille".
L'équipe française du FMMD, 2022-2023

“John Bingham was a passionate advocate for migrants, a humanitarian and a great representative of civil society. He was gracious with his time, heart and mind. Working with him was a joy. We learnt from him that to remain firm and humble is the means to achieving anything in this life. We are very saddened by his loss, and our prayers are with his family.” 
Abdulla Ali Alnuaimi on behalf of the UAE GFMD Team 2020-2021

"John Bingham était un défenseur passionné des migrants, un humanitaire et un grand représentant de la société civile. Il était généreux de son temps, de son cœur et de son esprit. Travailler avec lui a été un plaisir. Nous avons appris de lui que rester ferme et humble est le moyen d'accomplir quoi que ce soit dans cette vie. Nous sommes très attristés par sa perte, et nos prières vont à sa famille." Abdulla Ali Alnuaimi au nom de l'équipe du FMMD des EAU 2020-2021

“The Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the UN in Geneva deeply regrets the departure of Mr. John Bingham, and would light to highlight at this time the excellent relations maintained with Mr. Bingham, particularly on the occasion of the Twelfth GFMD Summit Meeting, held in Quito in 2019. Mr. Bingham will be remembered for being a fervent leader who always worked for the cause of migrants around the world. We convey our sincere condolences to his family and colleagues for this sad loss.” The Ecuador GFMD Team, 2019-2020

" La Mission permanente de l'Équateur auprès de l'ONU à Genève regrette profondément le départ de M. John Bingham, et tient à souligner à cette occasion les excellentes relations entretenues avec ce dernier, notamment à l'occasion de la douzième réunion au sommet du FMMD, qui s’est tenue à Quito en 2019. On se souviendra de M. Bingham comme d'un leader fervent qui a toujours œuvré pour la cause des migrants dans le monde. Nous transmettons nos sincères condoléances à sa famille et à ses collègues pour cette triste perte."
L'équipe du FMMD Equateur, 2019-2020


“The news of John Bingham passing away struck us out of the blue. Together will Bill Swing and Peter Sutherland (another proud Irishman), John left his marks in our discussions for a migration in the mutual, in the common interest. Advocating the case of the weakest, mostly the migrants themselves, it was always worthwhile listening to his arguments when trying a balance between all parties involved. Embedded in his strong faith he will rest now in peace. But for my Moroccan co-chair El Habib Nadir and me, you will stay with us – your joyful character and our laughter as well as deep discussions in the most unlikely places. Honoring your commitment to the cause, we keep on working for a better migration. We will not forget you!”
Goetz Schmidt-Bremme and El Habib Nadir, Co Chairs (Germany and Morocco) of GFMD 2017-2018

"La nouvelle du décès de John Bingham nous a frappés de plein fouet. Avec Bill Swing et Peter Sutherland (un autre fier Irlandais), John a marqué de son empreinte nos discussions pour une migration dans la réciprocité, dans l'intérêt commun. Défendant la cause des plus faibles, la plupart du temps les migrants eux-mêmes, il valait toujours la peine d'écouter ses arguments pour tenter de trouver un équilibre entre toutes les parties concernées. Ancré dans sa foi profonde, il reposera désormais en paix. Mais pour mon coprésident marocain El Habib Nadir et moi, tu resteras avec nous - ton caractère joyeux et nos rires ainsi que les discussions profondes dans les endroits les plus improbables. En honorant ton engagement pour la cause, nous continuons à travailler pour une meilleure migration. Nous ne t’oublierons pas !"
Goetz Schmidt-Bremme et El Habib Nadir, coprésidents (Allemagne et Maroc) du FMMD 2017-2018.

"Words fall short. We had the opportunity to work closely with John Bingham for many years within the GFMD. He was a wonderful person, we will always remember him for his humanism, generosity, humour, and care. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and colleagues. John Bingham was such a wonderful partner; we will never forget him.
Ahmed Skim, Morocco GFMD Team

  "Les mots manquent. Nous avons eu l'occasion de travailler en étroite collaboration avec John Bingham pendant de nombreuses années au sein du FMMD. Il était une personne merveilleuse, nous nous souviendrons toujours de lui pour son humanisme, sa générosité, son humour et son attention. Nous adressons nos sincères condoléances à sa famille et à ses collègues. John Bingham était un partenaire si merveilleux, nous ne l'oublierons jamais.
Ahmed Skim, équipe du FMMD Maroc


“I was very much shocked and saddened to hear of John Bingham’s passing. He was not only a key partner on migration governance issues, but also a man of principle. He tirelessly worked for the benefit of the most vulnerable segments of societies. I had the privilege of working with John during the 2014-2015 Turkish Chairmanship of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).

We both were fully aware of the fact that no country alone can address such a complex global challenge. Cooperation of other stakeholders, including international organizations, civil society, private sector, and migrants themselves was essential. John’s dedication to the cause was infectious and inspired close collaboration across a number of disparate groups. His vision and passion helped us move forward and succeed beyond what we could have hoped. At that critical time, we accomplished so much for migrants, which would not have been possible without his full commitment. My sincerest sympathy to his family and loved ones.”
Mehmet Samsar, Ambassador, GFMD Chair for Turkey, 2014-2015


 "J'ai été très choqué et attristé d'apprendre le décès de John Bingham. Il était non seulement un partenaire clé sur les questions de gouvernance migratoire, mais aussi un homme de principe. Il travaillait inlassablement au profit des segments les plus vulnérables des sociétés. J'ai eu le privilège de travailler avec John pendant la présidence turque 2014-2015 du Forum mondial sur la migration et le développement (FMMD). Nous étions tous deux pleinement conscients du fait qu'aucun pays ne peut à lui seul relever un défi mondial aussi complexe. La coopération des autres parties prenantes, notamment les organisations internationales, la société civile, le secteur privé et les migrants eux-mêmes, était essentielle. Le dévouement de John à cette cause était contagieux et a inspiré une collaboration étroite entre plusieurs groupes disparates. Sa vision et sa passion nous ont aidés à aller de l'avant et à réussir au-delà de ce que nous aurions pu espérer. À ce moment critique, nous avons accompli tant de choses pour les migrants, ce qui n'aurait pas été possible sans son engagement total. J'adresse mes plus sincères condoléances à sa famille et à ses proches."
Mehmet Samsar, ambassadeur, président du FMMD pour la Turquie, 2014-2015.


“The unexpected news about John Bingham´s passing left me struck by sadness. How is it that such a wonderful and energetic human being can be ripped away so suddenly and so much too early? I met John during my own involvement in the GFMD process since 2007, back in the day when we were building up the modalities of the process and carving out the ways that civil society and government representatives should interact and collaborate. We were both part of setting the agenda, forming the ways to address the issues identified by the first high-level dialogue in the UN General Assembly in 2006. We had a lot of great discussions and mostly agreed from our different vantage points. John´s kind and humorous approach contributed significantly to the improved climate of cooperation between government and civil society representatives which only got better over time. Trust and understanding were built. John´s personal engagement and significance cannot be overestimated. John also had an invaluable knowledge and experience of the issues at stake. He was an eloquent speaker who always found a nice twist to his persistent message about both the good and bad sides of international migration and the need to protect the human rights of migrants and their families. I will always cherish the memory of John´s thoughtful kindness in remembering my birthday, asking about my aging mother, and being caring and considerate and also a lot of fun. We had many good laughs together. I will miss him so very much.”
Eva Åkerman Börje, GFMD Chair for Sweden, 2013-2014

"La nouvelle inattendue du décès de John Bingham m'a laissé frappé par la tristesse. Comment se fait-il qu'un être humain aussi merveilleux et énergique puisse être arraché si soudainement et si tôt ? J'ai rencontré John lors de ma propre participation au processus du FMMD depuis 2007, à l'époque où nous élaborions les modalités du processus et définissions les modes d'interaction et de collaboration entre les représentants de la société civile et du gouvernement. Nous avons tous deux participé à l'établissement de l'ordre du jour et à la définition des moyens d'aborder les questions identifiées lors du premier dialogue de haut niveau à l'Assemblée générale des Nations unies en 2006. Nous avons eu beaucoup d'excellentes discussions et nous nous sommes surtout mis d'accord sur nos points de vue différents. L'approche aimable et humoristique de John a contribué de manière significative à l'amélioration du climat de coopération entre les représentants du gouvernement et de la société civile, qui n'a fait que s'améliorer avec le temps. La confiance et la compréhension se sont renforcées. L'engagement personnel de John et son importance ne peuvent être surestimés. John avait également une connaissance et une expérience inestimables des questions en jeu. Il était un orateur éloquent qui trouvait toujours une tournure agréable à son message persistant sur les bons et les mauvais côtés de la migration internationale et sur la nécessité de protéger les droits humains des migrants et de leurs familles. Je chérirai toujours le souvenir de la gentillesse attentionnée de John, qui se souvenait de mon anniversaire, s'informait de ma mère vieillissante, était attentionné et prévenant et était aussi très amusant. Nous avons beaucoup ri ensemble. Il va beaucoup me manquer."
Eva Åkerman Börje, présidente du FMMD pour la Suède, 2013-2014

“John was a champion and tireless advocate for migrants. His leadership was an inspiration for us all. He identified with those who did not have a voice and prevailed upon governments to engage with migrants and to recognize their humanity. He will be missed by all whose lives he touched.”
Marielle Sander, Civil Society Liaison during the Swedish Chairmanship

"John était un champion et un défenseur infatigable des migrants. Son leadership a été une source d'inspiration pour nous tous. Il s'est identifié à ceux qui n'avaient pas de voix et a convaincu les gouvernements de s'engager auprès des migrants et de reconnaître leur humanité. Il manquera à tous ceux dont il a touché la vie." 
Marielle Sander, Liaison avec la société civile pendant la présidence suédoise "


Posted by Leila Marzo on August 21, 2022
It has been a shock to me learn that John left us so (too) soon. My deep condolences to the family.

I will always remember John as someone full of energy, determination and good humor. I have great memories of all our team work for GFMD, MADE and other. He has truly inspired us.

May you rest in eternal peace John.
Posted by Jan Knockaert on August 17, 2022
Dear John,

My engagement at the global migration level is quite limited. Nevertheless, I was able to meet you several times on these occasions. I was immediately charmed by your humour, your overview of the subject matter, your commitment and your diplomatic approach. You will be greatly missed.
Posted by Alanna Imbach on August 16, 2022
Oh, John! It's been nearly 3 weeks since I got word of your passing and I still can't find the words...

I was oh-so-lucky to have landed alongside John as his Policy Associate at ICMC in 2007, which proved to be some of the most formative years of my career and life to date. They say that people will forget what you said, forget what you did, but that they'll always remember the way you made them feel.

From the day that I met him, John always made me feel seen, heard, valued, and truly capable. John brought out the very best in me, and made sure that others saw that, too. 

His storytelling was epic ("I almost fell out of my seat!" he'd always say, while flapping his arms), his attention to the little things uncanny (always a handwritten note of welcome, congrats, or encouragement left on the door), and his insistence on hard copy everything with handwritten notes in the margins endearing, if not utterly laughable. John was a teacher, in every sense of the word.

I penned many of his speeches in those days, and specifically recall preparing for the very first UN High Commissioner's Dialogue on Protection Challenges in 2007. The stakes were so high--the situation so urgent. We worked together on that statement at the office until late into the night, John stopping only to mindlessly swallow down his trademark can of ravioli (!) I went home to grab a few hours of sleep, and finally finished the statement at 4am.

When we arrived at the Dialogue that day, minutes before he was on the agenda to speak, John suddenly insisted that I read it. I was the youngest, most junior person in that room by far that day. Perhaps because of that, our statement took the room by utter storm. It's a day that I'll never forget, and one that both opened doors for me professionally, and carried critical momentum into that very first GFMD. 

By luck or fate, John and I shared one last meal at Bain des Paquis and a treasured afternoon walk this past January, reminiscing on our work together -- the laughs, the frustrations, our hopes for the future, our concerns for the present, and all the latest personal life updates. How thankful I am for the time with him that day. 

Dearest Agnès, Johnny, Thomas, Jérémy and Matthias -- I know you know this, but John loved you so, so deeply, and was so tremendously proud of you. Never did I have a conversation with him that did not include the proudest---proudest!--updates on each of you, too. 

I have just one handwritten note from John that I've kept over the years. A card, which he gave to me when I was grieving the passing of my grandmother. And so, I leave John's very own words of comfort and love here for all of you.

Rest in Power, Boss. You are so missed.

"...where I am off to
is really not so far: it is
in point of fact just 
here, this very same place, this green and starry
world we loved and dreaded. True
I'll be departing, but
I'm leaving here
to go here, 
to arrive here
and to be here, actually
be
what up to now I 
merely daily 
see. And you might even say
when the time comes
that 'here' is what I am
at last, now. Where
else would I go, and 
what else
would I be? I will be
seeing these (through your eyes) shining
leaves, I'll be touching
the world with your hand
signing our name
Oh go on for my sake
hear the music we loved for me--
Remember me to the sky
the wheat, the changing light, the clouds
the color of incandescent distances...
and those sea clouds, shimmering remoteness
the color of just barely audible children's voices singing...
And remember me... 
remember
I will be walking beside you." 

(from the book "God's Silence", poems by Franz Wright)
Posted by Colin Rajah on August 16, 2022
There is so very much to say about John, as reflected in the outpouring of messages and statements since his premature passing. But in a tradition that John would appreciate, I will offer three comments – following the tried-and-true practice of Bill Swing, the former Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), with whom John shared a mutual admiration society.

First, in addition to being brilliant, profoundly just, fully committed in word and deed to social justice and protecting the rights and well-being of all migrants and refugees, spectacularly funny and kind, John was brave. As just one indication of this, John broke with tradition and took the chance to engage fully with IOM and challenge this behemoth of an organization to do better, to strive higher, to raise the bar and speak out about and commit itself fully to the protection of migrant’s rights. He did so at every opportunity possible – in global and regional fora, in private dialogues, in specific concrete situations, always. While there is of course still a very long way to go, I can personally attest that IOM is fundamentally changed and for the better because of John. He has helped set us on a more solid course for good.

Second, and this is a very personal reflection, as a man of faith, John respected and honored the faiths of others. I am Jewish. Every year since we met, John unfailingly sent me at each of the Jewish holidays a personal message wishing me well in the spirit of the holiday to be celebrated. Each and every message contained, in classic John fashion, words of wisdom and inspiration from one or more of the great Jewish theologians or practitioners. When my mother passed last year, the message was particularly profound and touching. I keep a separate email file of “messages from John” and a special place in my heart for my dear, beloved friend John.

Third and finally -- and as John would so often do -- I’d like to share the words of another truly great man – Nelson Mandela – on heroes. “For thousands of years, and one generation after another, the human race has thrown up men and women of love, vision, and boundless courage. It is thanks to these towering giants that our humanness has always remained with us and will always remain with us, no matter how difficult the challenges history throws at us from one historic era to another.” “Those who are prepared to face problems at eyeball range, and who embrace universal beliefs which have changed the course of history in many societies must, in due course, command solid support and admiration far beyond their own ranks.”

John – thank you for looking me and my colleagues at IOM in the eye. You are my hero, and your legacy will shine on for generations to come in Agnés and your precious sons, in IOM and the international migration community, and in this deep admirer and friend.

Godspeed, dear John.

With love – Michele Klein Solomon
Posted by Catherine Tactaquin on August 15, 2022
Even in his passing, John has continued to convey to us how precious life and our friendships are. I am forever grateful to John for "being there" when many were not, in those days many years ago when "civil society" was seeking access to important global spaces on migration. I truly appreciate his friendship, and his caring, which touched me in many ways throughout the years, even more recently when he reached out share his continued support as I passed yet another anniversary of the death of my son. That he remembered our conversations and shared his own grief in losing his young brother meant a lot to me. And as we managed the twists and turns of complex and challenging tasks, he remained true to the cause of rights for all and we have all benefitted from his deep beliefs and commitment. Again, my condolences and love to his family and many friends. He is gone too soon.
Posted by Sophie van Haasen on August 15, 2022
Dear friends, how much I find comfort in being here with you today at this beautiful Memorial.

I still find it difficult to believe John is no longer with us, it seems to come to me in bursts of realisation, every time striking me just as hard.

John had an enormous impact on all of those that called him their colleague, friend, mentor, …, including me. I met John for the first time in 2014 where he immediately struck me as incredibly funny, positive, and brilliant.

As a boss, John would - straight away – trust in your ability to navigate the migration world and make it your own. He would make the time to have long conversations with his staff. You’d see your phone light up: 'oh ow, its John. Do I have an extra 2 hours before catching my train?'. 
He was always coaching, always supporting and always co-creating / never imposing. I believe this was magic potion to everyone who was around him.

John had the ability to think outside the box – and to create bridges. and there are so so many examples of this, such as:
- Bringing together migrant and refugee groups for joint advocacy and creating the tea tables as an informal network moment with States
- And in the past two years, while I was working with the Mayors Mechanism, our conversations on the possibility of local action became more and more concrete.

John was a true storyteller, and in any statement he made – John would make sure people in the room were reminded of why we needed to do better: he would always recall lost lives of migrants and fiercely advocate for more and safer pathways – pathways - pathways.

John was a truly exceptional human being, he was kind and warm hearted, humble, brave and passionate, with the strength to assume the best in people, always.

I will be forever grateful for:
- the calls, for the voicemails full of exclamation marks and the many many emails with word puns and animated GIFs.
- for the papers glued to the ICMC office door to welcome us, visiting from abroad
- for the unreadable handwritten edits to work documents which we’d need to decipher with the full team
- for the wonderful dinners at the Bingham-Duprez house
- for the continuous reference to my son - born during the GFMD Common Space in Bangladesh - as my 'Common Space Baby and Key Deliverable'
- for the lunches at the Geneva Piscine or the Thai place
- for always having the team’s back and being there when things got difficult.

John, thank you for the impact you have had on so many of us. You will forever inspire – and give hope - as the work continues.

Dear Agnes, dear 'Magnificent Four', sending you all my love.

Rest in power dear John.
Posted by Monami Maulik on August 15, 2022
Thank you so much to Agnes, John’s sons, family and international friends for the memorial service, for sharing incredible memories and pieces of John's heart and life with us all. And thank you to Agnes for being a teacher to me in a different space, always weaving a spirit of intercultural sharing in your work as well. I've had the privilege to know and work with John since the very early days of the GFMD and People’s Global Action for migrants when I was a young migrant organizer myself. His grounding in local NY area immigrant rights work extended to his leadership in scaling up global advocacy was an inspiration to myself and many others to commit to building this global community for migrant rights. In those years, he always opened spaces for me and others to find our voice in an intimidating global policy space. And he encouraged, like Elana shared, words of empowerment- a 'BRAVO!' and 'KUDOS!' in his emails to me always. There are many memories to reflect on, his kindness, child-like enthusiasm blended with intelligent strategic drive, capped off with a lovely, fun sense of humour…these stand out always. One important memory is when he took the time to not only come to the Queens community migrant workers’ center of my grassroots organization in NY back during the 2013 UN HLD- but he also whole-heartedly dialogued with over a hundred migrant workers in the room about the value of investing time in the global migration policy space, when the impacts seem so slow moving. He exchanged ideas with them and laughs. His sister Mary’s words ring true that when John spoke to anyone, he was fully mindful, fully present and led his words with compassion. That always struck me and taught me. His and the family’s deepest genuine commitment to migrants, refugees and people displaced in this world is an enormous legacy- to so many of us, beyond us, to institutions he helped build, to migrants and refugees, to achieving change. Thank you, John. Rest in peace and power, John.
Posted by Marika McAdam on August 16, 2022
Each time I met John, I was struck by how unreservedly present he was. He seemed to give his time and attention with the earnest expectation of seeing his own humanity reflected back at him. May we all remember John’s faith in us to rise to that call. I am grateful for the brief, uplifting moments I crossed his courageously-traversed path. 
Posted by Elana Wong on August 15, 2022
Feeling such sadness, it is hard to fathom that I have only known John for just under 2 years, and only online. It has been such a privilege to know him, because even just through Zoom and email it doesn't feel true to say he was just a colleague or professional contact.

I joined the migration space as a true novice, part of the youth representation and with no prior politics or advocacy experience, and I will never forget the way he welcomed me with such warmth and support. For a girl feeling slightly overwhelmed, who was more than half his age and in another country on a screen, he was always one of the first to send me direct messages saying 'nice to see you here!' in many large and often long Zoom meetings. After one of my first public speeches, as my voice shook with nerves, he was one of the first to message me with genuine words of praise and support.

Seeing his name or his face in any meeting was always a source of comfort, each time he took the floor, I was always inspired. This extended to even those of us in our youth representative group who hadn't spoken to him directly, and countless friends and colleagues would say 'who was that? he was amazing'. John relentlessly encouraged, relentlessly reinvigorated, relentlessly inspired.

The last time we emailed directly was during the IMRF in May when I emailed him to say how disappointed I was that he wasn't there, and how it was such a loss for those in the IMRF that he would only be able to contribute to the parallel People's Forum. We had by then said many times we were overdue for a coffee or drink in person! In true John enthusiasm, supportive spirit, and unique emailing style, he said this:

"you are too kind, Elana--
yourself so solid and inspiring already this week.
And it's only Tuesday mid-day!

Shine on-- the light is needed, and shows the way
even if it's slow getting there!"

Rest in Peace and Power John. I am not religious, but never have I been so sure that there is a Heaven, as Heaven would be created for people like you.

I hope we meet again one day, as I still owe you that drink. 
Posted by cathleen caron on August 15, 2022
My deepest condolences to his family, colleagues, and everyone his spirit touched. I would see John when I occasionally had the opportunity to attend a global event. When he would see me, he always remembered my name and my efforts to promote portable justice for migrants.I was honored and awed by that, as I was no one "important' on the global scene. Thank you for seeing and hearing all of us, John. We will continue the work and your lessons of walking truthfully as we move forward. Cathleen Caron/Justice inMotion
Posted by Joanne Irvine on August 15, 2022
My sincerest condolences to John's family, friends and colleagues. Every interaction I had with John was full of energy and passion for social change, a true inspiration and lovely colleague that will be sorely missed. I will never forget the little dance on stage he did during a GFMD event a few years back, he always brought joy even to serious discussions. People do remember you for how you made them feel and John made everyone feel heard, respected, included and appreciated. With deepest gratitude and respect, rest in peace.
Posted by Louis Viladent on August 15, 2022
“When I take you to the Valley, you’ll see the blue hills on the left and the blue hills on the right, the rainbow and the vineyards under the rainbow late in the rainy season, and maybe you’ll say, “There it is, that’s it!” But I’ll say. “A little farther.” We’ll go on, I hope, and you’ll see the roofs of the little towns and the hillsides yellow with wild oats, a buzzard soaring and a woman singing by the shadows of a creek in the dry season, and maybe you’ll say, “Let’s stop here, this is it!” But I’ll say, “A little farther yet.” We’ll go on, and you’ll hear the quail calling on the mountain by the springs of the river, and looking back you’ll see the river running downward through the wild hills behind, below, and you’ll say, “Isn’t that the Valley?” And all I will be able to say is “Drink this water of the spring, rest here awhile, we have a long way yet to go and I can’t go without you.” -Ursula K. Le Guin, Always Coming Home
Posted by Monami Maulik on August 15, 2022
In memory of John K. Bingham, global civil society advocate for the human rights of migrants

The UN Network on Migration expresses our deep condolences to the family, friends and civil society community on the loss of our colleague, John K. Bingham. Over the last several decades, John truly lived a calling to champion the human rights of migrants worldwide. From his own work on the ground assisting migrants in Southeast Asia to his eventual role as a leader of global civil society in intergovernmental processes on global migration governance, John brought dedication, passion and depth to all he did.

John played a key role in raising the active engagement of civil society advocates while serving at the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) and coordinating the Civil Society Mechanism of the GFMD. His work was integral to the founding of the Migration and Development (MADE) Civil Society Network, as well as various civil society advisory roles with IOM. 

From the very start of the process towards the adoption of the Global Compact on Migration, John played a leadership role in civil society through the Civil Society Action Committee and later in his role with the NGO Committee on Migration, and the International Organization of Employers, among others.

As a regular civil society speaker in numerous Network COVID-19 listening sessions, events and webinars, John brought attention to key human rights issues affecting migrants and always with his hallmark sense of urgency and compassion. Although unable to attend the first International Migration Review Forum in person, John was active at every step in raising civil society’s core values as a co-author of the Action Committee’s 12 Key Ways advocacy paper.

We share the deep sense of loss felt amongst colleagues in the international advocacy community and pledge to uphold his legacy of working to improve the lives of migrants. 
Posted by Ignacio Packer on August 15, 2022
Our lighthouse on a rock

Worldwide, in the hundreds, we join in celebrating John’s life.

John will remain our Lighthouse, built on rock. A combination of the words « light » meaning «brightness» and «house» meaning «home». Working with John, you get to believe in the impossible. John would bring us “home” with his “brightness” and we would become a team and develop strong bonds.

Like a lighthouse, John symbolizes strength and resilience, safety, individuality, and existentialism. John’s passion and dedication will continue being an inspiration to all who worked to improve the lives and the rights of migrants everywhere.

All major advances in our movement over the past decade have John’s fingerprints on them, and most were primarily driven by him.

We are united today and always with John. Our banner for you John will forever read: "Farewell John K. Bingham, our lighthouse on a rock; we will keep the faith! "

Ignacio Packer
Posted by Jennifer W-C on August 15, 2022
I remember John from when we were kids in Rockville Centre, New York. He was my best friend Mary´s older brother and a friend to all his classmates, including my own brothers, at the public high school but also in the Saint Agnes Cathedral community.

One common memory of John takes place by the informal entrance to and exit of the family´s home on Oxford Road. John was always going somewhere decisively, and with good speed. Every time we passed as he exited, John stopped to give me a heartfelt and sincere greeting and asked how things were going. He was emblematic. The Bingham household: big smiles, a lot of care, enthusiasm, sincerity and smiles. John spread these wherever he went.

As we got older, Mary would keep me posted about John, his school activities, his work and his trip to help his name sake uncle - Father John Kennedy Bingham. It sounded pretty wild. But nothing prepared me for the slideshow John shared with a number of people at Mary and Johnny´s house in South Hempstead. Here was a passionate and deeply impacted John who wanted to share his foreign, and in some ways, incredible, world with us. He spoke in a way that breathed life into the images he displayed - telling stories about these people who at first looked like they were out of a post-war magazine article but who, it turned out, John knew personally. It was deeply moving. So it didn`t surprise me when, years later, I found out that this experience fed his passions right up to the end. An amazing man and an amazing life.

To Mary, John and each of John K´s siblings; to your children and extended families; to Agnes, John, Thomas, Jérémy, Matthias and your extended family and friends - I am so sorry for your loss. May your fond memories bless you and the spirit and love of John embrace you forever.


“To laugh often and much

to win the respect of the intelligent people

and the affection of children

to earn the appreciation of honest critics

and endure the betrayal of false friends

to appreciate beauty

to find the beauty in others

to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child

a garden patch

or a redeemed social condition

to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here.

This is to have succeeded.”

                attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson



Posted by Don Kerwin on August 14, 2022
I was shocked to learn of John Bingham's passing, and want to express my condolences to John's family and countless friends. I met John roughly 20 years ago, when he headed the Diocese of Rockville Centre's migration and refugee programs, and of course I admired his long life-long commitment to uprooted people ever since. John had an electric personality and never lost his sense of urgency about the need to center the dignity and rights of migrants in our lives. At a migration and development gathering in Mauritius, a state minister questioned the legitimacy of "unelected" civil society members participating in the event. John responded that civil society "legitimized" state actors, not vice versa. I will remember too John's pride in his family. In my mind's eye, I can see his sons as children attending perhaps John's first intervention at a UN event in New York. I will also remember John's fearlessness -- his work in refugee camps, his advocacy in the US, his family's decision to host trafficking survivors, and his work to strengthen the UN system's response to migrants and refugees. Most of all, I will remember his strong faith. Here's how John described his vocation at a MRS/CLINIC gathering in 2003: "For us, immigration issues are not just personal, or emotional, or political, or economic. They are biblical. Straight out of the Hebrew Scripture, and straight out of the Good News of compassion, resurrection, redemption, and liberation, our response is evangelical Evangelical!" So was this good man's life -- and may it continue to be for all of us.
Posted by Syed Saiful Haque on August 15, 2022
I was both shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of my dear friend, mentor, and well-wisher “John Bingham”. Words don’t justify how I felt upon hearing the news of this loss as he was an incredible friend of mine and many of us.

He always talks with a smile and appreciation for whatever we say or do. He was a master of global advocacy for the rights of migrants and he inspired us how to work sincerely to bring the issues of migrants from the grassroots to the global level. John was a dear and kind man, and I always remember him for his humor, generosity, and care. I will never forget the time we met, spent, and shared together. I believe he will be with us always in our endeavors because he is a saint, an immortal soul.

I pray to the almighty god for John’s eternal peace and to give us the strength and to the bereaved members of his family, friends, and colleagues to bear his physical absence. 

….. Saiful, Bangladesh

Posted by Thomas Mathew on August 14, 2022
John is a true dedicated valiant fighter for the cause of migrant labor rights and human rights. He was a very good organizer, trainer, teacher, and team player. 
His untimely and sudden departure is a great loss, especially to the migrant civil society movement that works tirelessly for the migrant communities the world over.

My first meeting with him was in 2014 in Kuwait and I was moved by ardent enthusiasm or single-minded devotion to the training program. He admitted me into the training session, even though I was not an invitee, after coming to know that I am a migrant social worker from Kuwait itself. Many a time after that I had the opportunity to interact with him and learn more about the working of migrant civil societies in the COD.

My heartfelt condolences 
Posted by Athanasia Ioannou on August 12, 2022
I met John 15 years ago. We worked together within the Council of Europe on Civil Society issues. He was a very special person, dedicated on migrants and refugee wellbeing and policy making for improvement of their lives. He was kind and nice with a vision for bettering the life of vulnerable people. I pray for his salvation! Good Paradise John!
Nassia
Posted by Karla Estrada Navarro on August 11, 2022
I met John when I did an internship at ICMC, for my master's degree, and worked directly with him for 3 months in 2017 as a Policy intern. In that time, John was not only my boss, he was a mentor, a guide, a close, kind person, who showed me incomparable human warmth. He introduced me to his family and made my stay in Geneva memorable. John believed in me even when I was young and his advice marked my personal and professional development forever. Thanks to John I discovered my passion for international migration and research.

His departure, unexpected and abrupt, leaves a great void in many, personally it causes me deep sadness, but I know that those of us who knew him have a mission, to continue his legacy.

I want to remember John as that smiling person, full of light and hope, determined to fight for the rights of migrants.

Thank you, John, for marking my life, for having been the best boss, for always giving a smile and for transmitting that love for migrants. Thank you for having shown me the face of Jesus, for having been family and for being so interested in my country, El Salvador. I promise to honor your life and carry you in my heart always.

May God give his family peace and hope that one day they will be together again .
Posted by Mohamed Osman on August 11, 2022
John was a very kind and thoroughly decent man who was a pleasure to work with throughout my time knowing him. He will truly be missed. Condolences to his family.
Posted by Rick Swart on August 11, 2022
John was a force for good, improved the lives of thousands, and was always kind (in a New York tough but gentle kind of way). He pushed us all to create a better world. 
-Rick Swart
U.S. Department of State
Posted by Francesca Pizzutelli on August 11, 2022
Working with John was a pleasure and a privilege. He was able to show care, humanity and compassion in the smallest of interactions.
To his family and friends my deepest condolences,
Francesca Pizzutelli
Amnesty International
Posted by Craig Hoffman on August 10, 2022
From the day we met at Hewitt School in 3rd grade, John became my best friend.  We had just moved to RVC and typical of John, he took the time to make someone feel welcome. All the way up to High School, I spent more hours than I can count at 58 Oxford Road, and the whole Bingham family was so warm and loving. John and I lost touch after high school, but I wasn't surprised that he chose to dedicate his life to helping others--that's just who he was, from a very early age. We did get to connect again a year or two ago, and it was as if no time had passed. This is a tremendous loss to everyone who knew him, and my heart goes out to his entire family.
Posted by Seth Schonwald on August 10, 2022
I am so saddened and overwhelmed to hear about this. 

John and I were so close in high school… he was hilarious and kept a notebook and underlined lots of things. He was class president and seemed to run everything. He lit up a room. Growing up in Rockville Centre, to a person, he was loved by his teachers and friends… to those fortunate and less fortunate… he was charitable, kind, warm, God-fearing, and humble.

At one point, John and I drove cross country… we stayed in cheap motels and got a small feel for all the wheat and stone between New York and LA. We laughed and argued politics. We marveled at his journey from SouthSide to Wall Street. He would talk a mile a minute. That trip has become part of who I am.

John brought so much joy to my life and I will always love him.

To Agnes and his sons and his family, I can only say that we were fortunate to have known that laugh and that gentle touch. I will always miss him. God Bless you all.
Posted by Cary Tenenbaum on August 10, 2022
I went to HS with John in RVC and though we were not close, I wanted to offer condolences to his family and friend. I remember him well.
Posted by chris Damilatis on August 10, 2022
While very saddened by the loss of John, I am confident that we all find great comfort knowing the depth of John’s Faith.  I have not seen or spoken to John in over 25 years. There are many wonderful memories of John while we were younger at St. Johns and those formative years after we graduated. He was always willing to talk to all and provided great insight on almost any topic of discussion. Remembering that great John Bingham smile which he retained through life and how he always greeted me with such joy. 

Having read about John’s accomplishments over those years as well as looking back you could see how he was destine to achieve greatness. It looks to me that his greatest accomplishments in life was his family and having loved an touched so many people by his passion. 

With immense pride beyond all measures I will always say I was friend of John K. Bingham. Our prayers and thoughts are with his wonderful family.

Posted by Mirela Shuteriqi on August 10, 2022
My condolences to the family of John
For me it was always a pleasure to work and exchange with John. He was extremely kind and resourceful, coming up with the right wording at the right time. His commitment to refugee and migrants rights and his trust and encouragement of younger colleagues will stay with me and many other colleagues throughout the world. We all miss you John!
Posted by Emer Groarke on August 10, 2022
John K Bingham was endlessly kind and unapologetically hopeful. So exacting of himself but so generous in his support of others, myself included. He made the road by walking it, as he always urged the rest of us to do, and forged remarkable advances in the areas of migration policy and practice. One of those rare leaders who practiced more than he preached, John never asked of others what he wouldn't do himself.

He always loved his big statements so I'll try to channel him now. John was a MAGNIFICENT human. He took on the magical mystery ride of life and - oh! What an incredible ride he made of it. The B-rilliance of Bangladesh, Brussels, Berlin and the Big Apple, and always back to the Bingham HQ on the border, which all roads led to for John.

There was a magic to the man, a gentle manner combined with fierce intelligence. Government officials loved him, often despite themselves. Our civil society network was infected time and again by his enthusiasm and faith in our cause, also often despite ourselves. And his MADE team, well, we would have done anything for our fearless leader and visionary.

John's energy was so ethereal I struggle to believe he's gone. A light has gone out far too soon with his passing. Lucky for all of us that he left so much of his undiluted goodness behind, in his actions, achievements and words that will live on, and in his remarkable boys who he was so proud of. Lucky for all of us that John K Bingham dedicated his life to shaping a better world and let us come along for part of the ride.

Goodbye John, and thank you so much for everything you gave. Rest in peace.

My sincere condolences to Ágnes, Johnny, Thomas, Jeremy and Matthias, as well as to Mary and all the extended Bingham family.
Posted by Fr. Dennis Williams on August 8, 2022
It is with sorrow and shock that I learned of the death of Mr. John Bingham. Mr. Bingham was among the most intelligent, kind, insightful and hard- working persons to be found in any walk of life, and that he brought these sterling qualities to his lifelong dedication to his several charitable and altruistic concerns speaks volumes about him.  He had tremendous personal integrity, and he sacrificed a great deal in order to pursue a path which he deemed to be of greater importance than that of personal enrichment. To all who knew him (when I did) decades ago at Kidder, Peabody Investment Bank he was a true, tireless friend and a valuable resource. He always wanted and worked to see others succeed in their legitimate endeavors. His surviving family and friends should be strengthened by their pride in their close association with him! My prayers and Mass remembrances go out for his soul and for the comfort of all his bereaved mourners. "Requiescat in Pace."    
Posted by Loida Carriel on August 8, 2022
Nuestras sentidas condolencias a la familia. Lamentamos la pérdida de alguien tan humano y preocupado por las personas en movilidad humana a nivel mundial. Gracias por todo el trabajo realizado. 
Posted by Nicole G on August 8, 2022
My sincere condolences to John's family, friends and colleagues.

I met John during my three-month internship at ICMC back in 2008. Albeit a brief period, John's kindness has stayed with me over the years. In addition to the incredible legacy he leaves with his work, he was a genuinely good person with respect for everyone. It was an honor to have met him.
Posted by Abera JOTTE on August 8, 2022
It is a great loss to our community. Let God keeps his family in His arms.
Posted by Francois Crepeau on August 8, 2022
John had the gift of finding the words that could bring together all participants of any meeting he was part of. The strength of his emotional commitment, the depth of his intellectual reflection and his ability to connect the dots always impressed me. Warts and all, the world is a better place thanks to his leadership. Heartfelt condolences to his family.
Posted by Gocha Goguadze on August 8, 2022
My heartfelt condolences.

I met with John only twice in Brussels, but we have a very useful and productive cooperation during decades...
People like John make this grey world much more better place !
Posted by Marika Sidoti on August 7, 2022
This is a really shocking and sad news. John, a wonderful person and strong human rights advocate. If there were more people like him we would leave in a better world. I stand by his family and friends, this is a great loss for everyone. Rest in peace, dear John.
Posted by Dorrie King on August 7, 2022
Speaking on behalf of our mother, Marie Bingham King, my sister Deborah Marie King and myself, John was beloved for his immeasurable support in times of difficulty, for his good spirits, his encouragement to the good and his deep sincerity. 

His life and spirit will continue to inspire all of us remaining to lead finer lives than we might had we not known John.

-Dorothy King
Posted by Beata Godenzi on August 7, 2022
Oh John…tu es parti trop tôt. Ta personnalité, tes valeurs, ton courage empreint de ce formalisme rassurant que tu savais si bien utiliser, m’ont inspirée. Et je me souviens avec émotion de ce moment surréaliste où nous avons dessiné, sur un coin de table dans un café de Genève, ce qui allait devenir le futur dispositif de collaboration entre la société civile et les gouvernements pour le Forum global migration et développement (GFMD) 2011 sous le lead de la Suisse et perdurer. Tu vas manquer. Que la terre te soit légère!
Posted by Nisha Varia on August 5, 2022
My forever memories of John are of his strong presence. John radiated genuine kindness, caring, and deep commitment. There was an energy force field around him. He was a wonderful colleague. I feel privileged to have spent time fighting for migrants’ rights with him and appreciated how he was always meditating on how to make our movement as strategic and impactful as possible.

John, you have a lasting presence through the fruits of your work and your place in the hearts of many. Sending my deepest sympathies to all your loved ones.
Posted by Noha Roukoss on August 5, 2022
I remember John with his everlasting smile that brought positive vibes whenever we meet at the workshops. He served the cause till the last minutes. He was one of the first believers in bringing ICMC partnership to Caritas Lebanon to serve the most vulnerable migrant domestic workers and victims of human trafficking. John won't be forgotten and his memory will accompany us in each step of our continous fight for social justice. Rest in Peace dear friend and my sincere condolences to your family.
Posted by Maria Mercedes Rossi on August 5, 2022
Deepest condolences to his family.

John was a great man with a beautiful soul, so committed to the cause of justice, especially of migrants and refugees; a very kind person, always ready to help the others and so cheerful. He was a great believer.

I cherish every moment I spent with him when we, as APG23, had our office at the ICMC and John was working there as a Policy and Advocacy Officer. He was a dear friend to all of us!

May the Lord, our Saviour, embrace him in heaven and console and give strength to Agnes, the wife, and his sons.

Posted by Maha Al-Adhami on August 5, 2022
John’s family, there are no words to express my sorrow for your loss. I will always remember John’s compassionate joyful loving spirit and the legacy he created. May you find comfort in the loving memories you had together. My deepest condolences to the family. Rest in Power, John.
Posted by Paul Tacon on August 3, 2022
I will remember John for his huge contributions to pushing for civil society's place in migration discussions, making sure that they could voice the real concerns of migrants. I will also remember him for his tremendous kindness and openness. He will be deeply missed
Posted by Raphaela Schweiger on August 3, 2022
My heartfelt condolences. You've been a true fighter for migrants and refugees, for human rights, with all your heart and mind. You will be missed.
My prayers and heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved family.
Posted by Johnny D. Bingham on August 3, 2022
Ode to John


There was once a fellow
From an Island so long
A most noble fellow
Whose first name was John

He left his long island
For the world was a mess
To do the Lord’s work
With beloved Agnes

I met him in France
On old Malivert Road
He chimed to me proudly:
“Bud, what’s the good word?”

Though he majored in law
I quite soon discovered
He was a master of pancakes
All covered in Butter

He would summon us down
With the old dinner Bell
To feed his four hungry boys
Often others as well…

He spent his life giving
To those we’ve forgotten
He stood for: The weak,
The poor, the downtrodden…

Though today we feel sorrow
I can feel far less anger:
For though the Earth lost a hero 
Heaven, in turn, gained an angel


-Pavel Nash, cherished family friend
Posted by Rafeek Ravuther on August 3, 2022
Dear John,
You’ll always be remembered for the words you raised for the poor and needy, the time you spend in your whole life for their protection, and your presence all our way to stand with them...
You will live forever in the memories we keep.

Team CIMS India
Posted by Víctor Genina on August 2, 2022
Very sad for John's departure. Will remember not only his commitment, but his joyful spirit. I wish to his family God's consolation in these difficult hours. We will miss him a lot but he certainly will be present in our efforts. Thank you John for all what you did
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Recent Tributes
Posted by Agnès Dupré la Tour on August 29, 2022
“It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of John Bingham, a deeply committed advocate of fair and inclusive migration policies. John’s contribution to migration governance has been significant and invaluable; it was borne out of his own extensive experience as a ‘practitioner’ in providing assistance and advice to migrants and refugees. John’s eloquent yet gentle advocacy was evident from the very first meetings of the GFMD, and he contributed to the GFMD civil society days with unwavering commitment. Yet this was just one part of his work. He gave his time generously to many other initiatives, at the national and international level, and was a valuable contributor to IOM’s Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative, as well taking part in the IOM Migration Advisory Board. On behalf of IOM, I extend my deepest condolences to John’s family, friends, and civil society colleagues. His dedication to advancing migrants’ rights, and his many achievements, deserve the highest praise, respect, and recognition from the international community.”                       António Vitorino, IOM Director General
"C'est avec une grande tristesse que j'ai appris le décès de John Bingham, un défenseur profondément engagé des politiques migratoires équitables et inclusives. La contribution de John à la gouvernance des migrations a été importante et inestimable ; elle est le fruit de sa propre expérience en tant que "praticien" de l'aide et du conseil aux migrants et aux réfugiés. Le plaidoyer de John, à la fois éloquent et doux, était évident dès les premières réunions du FMMD, et il a contribué aux journées de la société civile du FMMD avec un engagement inébranlable. Mais ce n'était qu'une partie de son travail. Il a donné généreusement de son temps à de nombreuses autres initiatives, au niveau national et international, et a apporté une contribution précieuse à l'initiative de l'OIM sur les migrants dans les pays en crise, tout en prenant part au Conseil consultatif de l'OIM sur la migration. Au nom de l'OIM, je présente mes plus sincères condoléances à la famille de John, à ses amis et à ses collègues de la société civile. Son dévouement à l'avancement des droits des migrants et ses nombreuses réalisations méritent les plus grands éloges, le respect et la reconnaissance de la communauté internationale. "                                                          António Vitorino, Directeur général de l'OIM
Posted by Agnès Dupré la Tour on August 29, 2022
“With the untimely passing of John K. Bingham, we have lost a visionary leader, a steadfast defender of migrants’ rights, an inspiring counselor, a dedicated advocate but mostly a dear, dear friend. John never sought the limelight, never aimed to be at the forefront but rather empowered others to step up, created and shaped spaces for others to have their voices heard and made sure that others felt that their opinions matter as well. These are the markings of a true leader, not driven by personal ambitions but by an unmatched sense of serving others. To recount John’s contributions for migrants and civil society is to draw a line through all the major achievements in the last 15 years. He knocked on the GFMD door, still closed to civil society, in its early stages, not with brute force but with quite a unique skillset of wit, charm and unquestionable reason why civil society had to be part of the forum and convinced one government after the other to open the door. His contributions to civil society’s voice at the second UN High Level Dialogue and beyond was infused by his dedication and passion but also crafted with smartness and political savvy. He knew what it took to be heard as civil society in multilateral arenas even in times when the space was unbearably small and sometimes shrinking. True to his nature, John would have probably hated all this attention. But we have to pay tribute where tribute is due and he deserves every word of praise and respect for what he has done as a compassionate and selfless advocate for all the migrants in vulnerable situations needing a strong voice in faraway conference rooms. For all of us who had the great privilege of knowing John personally, we will certainly miss him dearly as civil society leader but he will live on in our memories as the humble, generous, funny and supportive person he was. Amongst the many unforgettable moments are the Whiskeys we shared with him at the end of yet another GFMD. And so, while we join all the others, heartbroken by this great loss, in expressing our sincerest condolences to John’s family, we also raise our glasses for one final “Cheers! Here is to you, dear John!”
The Swiss GFMD Team 

Avec le décès prématuré de John K. Bingham, nous avons perdu un leader visionnaire, un défenseur inébranlable des droits des migrants, un conseiller inspirant, un avocat dévoué mais surtout un ami très, très cher. John n'a jamais cherché à être sous les feux de la rampe, il n'a jamais cherché à être au premier plan, mais il a plutôt donné aux autres les moyens d'agir, il a créé et façonné des espaces pour que les autres puissent faire entendre leur voix et il s'est assuré que les autres sentent que leurs opinions comptent aussi. Ce sont les marques d'un véritable leader, qui n'est pas guidé par des ambitions personnelles mais par un sens inégalé du service aux autres. Raconter les contributions de John pour les migrants et la société civile revient à tirer un trait sur toutes les réalisations majeures de ces 15 dernières années. Il a frappé à la porte du FMMD, encore fermée à la société civile, à ses débuts, non pas avec une force brutale mais avec des compétences uniques d'esprit, de charme et de raison incontestable pour laquelle la société civile devait faire partie du forum et a convaincu un gouvernement après l'autre d'ouvrir la porte. Sa contribution à la voix de la société civile lors du deuxième dialogue de haut niveau des Nations unies et au-delà était imprégnée de son dévouement et de sa passion, mais aussi de son intelligence et de son sens politique. Il savait ce qu'il fallait faire pour être entendu en tant que société civile dans les arènes multilatérales, même à une époque où l'espace était insupportablement petit et parfois même rétréci. Fidèle à sa nature, John aurait probablement détesté toute cette attention. Mais nous devons rendre hommage à qui de droit et il mérite tous les éloges et le respect pour ce qu'il a fait en tant que défenseur compatissant et désintéressé de tous les migrants en situation vulnérable qui avaient besoin d'une voix forte dans des salles de conférence lointaines. Pour tous ceux d'entre nous qui ont eu le grand privilège de connaître John personnellement, il nous manquera certainement beaucoup en tant que leader de la société civile, mais il restera dans nos mémoires comme la personne humble, généreuse, drôle et solidaire qu'il était. Parmi les nombreux moments inoubliables, citons les whiskys que nous avons partagés avec lui à la fin d'un énième FMMD. Ainsi, alors que nous nous joignons à tous les autres, le cœur brisé par cette grande perte, en exprimant nos plus sincères condoléances à la famille de John, nous levons également nos verres pour un dernier "Cheers" ! A ta santé, cher John !"
L'équipe suisse du FMMD 



“As founding Executive Director of the Global Forum on Migration and Development in 2007, I bore the responsibility for its conception, working methods and architecture. From the start, I was convinced that a discussion on a theme such as Migration, laden as it is with social ramifications, would be incomplete and inacceptable without the involvement of the civil society. The ‘mandate’ received from the General Assembly referred also to the involvement of all stakeholders, which in my opinion referred to state actors, yes, but also to non-state actors and for that matter international organisations. However, this opinion was not largely shared. John was a staunch ally in this matter, and, most helpful, also a most competent one. We had many enlightening conversations, in Geneva, Brussels and elsewhere… Soon it became clear that, after a prudent start in 2007 to avoid backlash and negative reviews, the role of the Civil Society in the GFMD, would have to increase. The involvement of the ICMC and the always thoughtful input of John in particular, made that happen over time and ICMC became a critical partner for the GFMD, which in turn benefitted a lot from their input, supported by their real time and on the ground experience. John had the rare gift to be critical while being gentle. He did not have to raise his voice or be sharp to make his point, clearly uncompromising, but courteous. He was not only deeply committed to the cause and wellbeing of migrants and refugees, but also brought their causes forwards in significant and concrete ways. He also was convinced of the need and value of the process of an informal dialogue to raise awareness and understanding, without people getting into ideological trenches, and saw the GFMD as a critical instrument for the same. His work on the future of the Forum demonstrated that. Thank you, John, for your shining light, your commitment to migrants and refugees, they and we will miss your wise advice and your gentle but unwavering supportive voice!!!”
Regine De Clercq, Founding executive director of the GFMD, Belgium Chair 2007

"En tant que directeur exécutif fondateur du Forum mondial sur la migration et le développement en 2007, j'ai assumé la responsabilité de sa conception, de ses méthodes de travail et de son architecture. Dès le départ, j'étais convaincu qu'une discussion sur un thème tel que la migration, chargé de ramifications sociales, serait incomplète et inacceptable sans la participation de la société civile. Le "mandat" reçu de l'Assemblée générale faisait également référence à l'implication de toutes les parties prenantes, ce qui, à mon avis, faisait référence aux acteurs étatiques, certes, mais aussi aux acteurs non étatiques et aux organisations internationales. Toutefois, cette opinion n'était pas largement partagée. John était un allié fidèle dans cette affaire et, ce qui est le plus utile, il était aussi très compétent. Nous avons eu de nombreuses conversations instructives, à Genève, à Bruxelles et ailleurs... Il est vite apparu qu'après un démarrage prudent en 2007 pour éviter les retours de bâton et les critiques négatives, le rôle de la société civile dans le FMMD devait s'accroître. L'implication de la CICM et l'apport toujours réfléchi de John en particulier, ont fait que cela s'est produit au fil du temps et que la CICM est devenue un partenaire essentiel du FMMD, qui à son tour a beaucoup profité de son apport, soutenu par son expérience en temps réel et sur le terrain. John avait le don rare d'être critique tout en étant doux. Il n'avait pas besoin d'élever la voix ou d'être tranchant pour faire valoir son point de vue, clairement intransigeant, mais courtois. Il était non seulement profondément engagé dans la cause et le bien-être des migrants et des réfugiés, mais il a également fait avancer leurs causes de manière significative et concrète. Il était également convaincu de la nécessité et de la valeur du processus de dialogue informel pour accroître la prise de conscience et la compréhension, sans que les gens ne s'engagent dans des tranchées idéologiques, et considérait le FMMD comme un instrument essentiel à cet égard. Son travail sur l'avenir du Forum l'a démontré. Merci, John, pour ta lumière brillante, ton engagement envers les migrants et les réfugiés, tes conseils avisés et ta voix de soutien douce mais inébranlable leur manqueront, à eux et à nous !!!"
Regine De Clercq, Directrice exécutive fondatrice du FMMD, Belgique Présidente 2007

Posted by Agnès Dupré la Tour on August 29, 2022
It is with extreme sadness that the GFMD community has learnt of the passing of John K. Bingham on 26 July 2022. A leading advocate for civil society and a key interlocutor in the migration governance dialogue at global level, John played a decisive role in bringing the voice of civil society to the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). The GFMD community extends its sincere condolences to John’s family. *** *** *** *** ***

C'est avec une extrême tristesse que la communauté du FMMD a appris le décès de John K. Bingham le 26 juillet 2022. Grand défenseur de la société civile et interlocuteur clé dans le dialogue sur la gouvernance de la migration au niveau mondial, John a joué un rôle décisif pour faire entendre la voix de la société civile au Forum mondial sur la migration et le développement (FMMD). La communauté du FMMD présente ses sincères condoléances à la famille de John.

“France joins the GFMD previous Chairs and all actors who had the opportunity to work alongside John Bingham and extends its sincere condolences to his family”.
The French GFMD Team, 2022-2023

"La France s'associe aux précédents présidents du FMMD et à tous les acteurs qui ont eu l'occasion de travailler aux côtés de John Bingham et adresse ses sincères condoléances à sa famille".
L'équipe française du FMMD, 2022-2023

“John Bingham was a passionate advocate for migrants, a humanitarian and a great representative of civil society. He was gracious with his time, heart and mind. Working with him was a joy. We learnt from him that to remain firm and humble is the means to achieving anything in this life. We are very saddened by his loss, and our prayers are with his family.” 
Abdulla Ali Alnuaimi on behalf of the UAE GFMD Team 2020-2021

"John Bingham était un défenseur passionné des migrants, un humanitaire et un grand représentant de la société civile. Il était généreux de son temps, de son cœur et de son esprit. Travailler avec lui a été un plaisir. Nous avons appris de lui que rester ferme et humble est le moyen d'accomplir quoi que ce soit dans cette vie. Nous sommes très attristés par sa perte, et nos prières vont à sa famille." Abdulla Ali Alnuaimi au nom de l'équipe du FMMD des EAU 2020-2021

“The Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the UN in Geneva deeply regrets the departure of Mr. John Bingham, and would light to highlight at this time the excellent relations maintained with Mr. Bingham, particularly on the occasion of the Twelfth GFMD Summit Meeting, held in Quito in 2019. Mr. Bingham will be remembered for being a fervent leader who always worked for the cause of migrants around the world. We convey our sincere condolences to his family and colleagues for this sad loss.” The Ecuador GFMD Team, 2019-2020

" La Mission permanente de l'Équateur auprès de l'ONU à Genève regrette profondément le départ de M. John Bingham, et tient à souligner à cette occasion les excellentes relations entretenues avec ce dernier, notamment à l'occasion de la douzième réunion au sommet du FMMD, qui s’est tenue à Quito en 2019. On se souviendra de M. Bingham comme d'un leader fervent qui a toujours œuvré pour la cause des migrants dans le monde. Nous transmettons nos sincères condoléances à sa famille et à ses collègues pour cette triste perte."
L'équipe du FMMD Equateur, 2019-2020


“The news of John Bingham passing away struck us out of the blue. Together will Bill Swing and Peter Sutherland (another proud Irishman), John left his marks in our discussions for a migration in the mutual, in the common interest. Advocating the case of the weakest, mostly the migrants themselves, it was always worthwhile listening to his arguments when trying a balance between all parties involved. Embedded in his strong faith he will rest now in peace. But for my Moroccan co-chair El Habib Nadir and me, you will stay with us – your joyful character and our laughter as well as deep discussions in the most unlikely places. Honoring your commitment to the cause, we keep on working for a better migration. We will not forget you!”
Goetz Schmidt-Bremme and El Habib Nadir, Co Chairs (Germany and Morocco) of GFMD 2017-2018

"La nouvelle du décès de John Bingham nous a frappés de plein fouet. Avec Bill Swing et Peter Sutherland (un autre fier Irlandais), John a marqué de son empreinte nos discussions pour une migration dans la réciprocité, dans l'intérêt commun. Défendant la cause des plus faibles, la plupart du temps les migrants eux-mêmes, il valait toujours la peine d'écouter ses arguments pour tenter de trouver un équilibre entre toutes les parties concernées. Ancré dans sa foi profonde, il reposera désormais en paix. Mais pour mon coprésident marocain El Habib Nadir et moi, tu resteras avec nous - ton caractère joyeux et nos rires ainsi que les discussions profondes dans les endroits les plus improbables. En honorant ton engagement pour la cause, nous continuons à travailler pour une meilleure migration. Nous ne t’oublierons pas !"
Goetz Schmidt-Bremme et El Habib Nadir, coprésidents (Allemagne et Maroc) du FMMD 2017-2018.

"Words fall short. We had the opportunity to work closely with John Bingham for many years within the GFMD. He was a wonderful person, we will always remember him for his humanism, generosity, humour, and care. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and colleagues. John Bingham was such a wonderful partner; we will never forget him.
Ahmed Skim, Morocco GFMD Team

  "Les mots manquent. Nous avons eu l'occasion de travailler en étroite collaboration avec John Bingham pendant de nombreuses années au sein du FMMD. Il était une personne merveilleuse, nous nous souviendrons toujours de lui pour son humanisme, sa générosité, son humour et son attention. Nous adressons nos sincères condoléances à sa famille et à ses collègues. John Bingham était un partenaire si merveilleux, nous ne l'oublierons jamais.
Ahmed Skim, équipe du FMMD Maroc


“I was very much shocked and saddened to hear of John Bingham’s passing. He was not only a key partner on migration governance issues, but also a man of principle. He tirelessly worked for the benefit of the most vulnerable segments of societies. I had the privilege of working with John during the 2014-2015 Turkish Chairmanship of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).

We both were fully aware of the fact that no country alone can address such a complex global challenge. Cooperation of other stakeholders, including international organizations, civil society, private sector, and migrants themselves was essential. John’s dedication to the cause was infectious and inspired close collaboration across a number of disparate groups. His vision and passion helped us move forward and succeed beyond what we could have hoped. At that critical time, we accomplished so much for migrants, which would not have been possible without his full commitment. My sincerest sympathy to his family and loved ones.”
Mehmet Samsar, Ambassador, GFMD Chair for Turkey, 2014-2015


 "J'ai été très choqué et attristé d'apprendre le décès de John Bingham. Il était non seulement un partenaire clé sur les questions de gouvernance migratoire, mais aussi un homme de principe. Il travaillait inlassablement au profit des segments les plus vulnérables des sociétés. J'ai eu le privilège de travailler avec John pendant la présidence turque 2014-2015 du Forum mondial sur la migration et le développement (FMMD). Nous étions tous deux pleinement conscients du fait qu'aucun pays ne peut à lui seul relever un défi mondial aussi complexe. La coopération des autres parties prenantes, notamment les organisations internationales, la société civile, le secteur privé et les migrants eux-mêmes, était essentielle. Le dévouement de John à cette cause était contagieux et a inspiré une collaboration étroite entre plusieurs groupes disparates. Sa vision et sa passion nous ont aidés à aller de l'avant et à réussir au-delà de ce que nous aurions pu espérer. À ce moment critique, nous avons accompli tant de choses pour les migrants, ce qui n'aurait pas été possible sans son engagement total. J'adresse mes plus sincères condoléances à sa famille et à ses proches."
Mehmet Samsar, ambassadeur, président du FMMD pour la Turquie, 2014-2015.


“The unexpected news about John Bingham´s passing left me struck by sadness. How is it that such a wonderful and energetic human being can be ripped away so suddenly and so much too early? I met John during my own involvement in the GFMD process since 2007, back in the day when we were building up the modalities of the process and carving out the ways that civil society and government representatives should interact and collaborate. We were both part of setting the agenda, forming the ways to address the issues identified by the first high-level dialogue in the UN General Assembly in 2006. We had a lot of great discussions and mostly agreed from our different vantage points. John´s kind and humorous approach contributed significantly to the improved climate of cooperation between government and civil society representatives which only got better over time. Trust and understanding were built. John´s personal engagement and significance cannot be overestimated. John also had an invaluable knowledge and experience of the issues at stake. He was an eloquent speaker who always found a nice twist to his persistent message about both the good and bad sides of international migration and the need to protect the human rights of migrants and their families. I will always cherish the memory of John´s thoughtful kindness in remembering my birthday, asking about my aging mother, and being caring and considerate and also a lot of fun. We had many good laughs together. I will miss him so very much.”
Eva Åkerman Börje, GFMD Chair for Sweden, 2013-2014

"La nouvelle inattendue du décès de John Bingham m'a laissé frappé par la tristesse. Comment se fait-il qu'un être humain aussi merveilleux et énergique puisse être arraché si soudainement et si tôt ? J'ai rencontré John lors de ma propre participation au processus du FMMD depuis 2007, à l'époque où nous élaborions les modalités du processus et définissions les modes d'interaction et de collaboration entre les représentants de la société civile et du gouvernement. Nous avons tous deux participé à l'établissement de l'ordre du jour et à la définition des moyens d'aborder les questions identifiées lors du premier dialogue de haut niveau à l'Assemblée générale des Nations unies en 2006. Nous avons eu beaucoup d'excellentes discussions et nous nous sommes surtout mis d'accord sur nos points de vue différents. L'approche aimable et humoristique de John a contribué de manière significative à l'amélioration du climat de coopération entre les représentants du gouvernement et de la société civile, qui n'a fait que s'améliorer avec le temps. La confiance et la compréhension se sont renforcées. L'engagement personnel de John et son importance ne peuvent être surestimés. John avait également une connaissance et une expérience inestimables des questions en jeu. Il était un orateur éloquent qui trouvait toujours une tournure agréable à son message persistant sur les bons et les mauvais côtés de la migration internationale et sur la nécessité de protéger les droits humains des migrants et de leurs familles. Je chérirai toujours le souvenir de la gentillesse attentionnée de John, qui se souvenait de mon anniversaire, s'informait de ma mère vieillissante, était attentionné et prévenant et était aussi très amusant. Nous avons beaucoup ri ensemble. Il va beaucoup me manquer."
Eva Åkerman Börje, présidente du FMMD pour la Suède, 2013-2014

“John was a champion and tireless advocate for migrants. His leadership was an inspiration for us all. He identified with those who did not have a voice and prevailed upon governments to engage with migrants and to recognize their humanity. He will be missed by all whose lives he touched.”
Marielle Sander, Civil Society Liaison during the Swedish Chairmanship

"John était un champion et un défenseur infatigable des migrants. Son leadership a été une source d'inspiration pour nous tous. Il s'est identifié à ceux qui n'avaient pas de voix et a convaincu les gouvernements de s'engager auprès des migrants et de reconnaître leur humanité. Il manquera à tous ceux dont il a touché la vie." 
Marielle Sander, Liaison avec la société civile pendant la présidence suédoise "


his Life

Global Memorial Service for John

On 15 August 2022, an online global memorial service in honor of John K. Bingham was held. You may watch the service through the embedded Youtube video.

Memorial Service for John

Please join us for an online global memorial on 15 August 2022 at 3PM CET as we come together for our dear friend John.
Register here: https://bit.ly/inmemoryofjohnbingham
John Kennedy Bingham, whom many knew as John, Ken, or Dad, was a man full of compassion. He was a lawyer, a migrant, a social worker, and a human rights defender, who dedicated his life to advocating for the promotion and protection of the rights and dignity of migrants and refugees. He was an inspiration to many through the gentleness, generosity and solidarity with which he treated all around him, serving others and striving to make each and everyone feel respected, included and valued.

A graduate of Fordham Law School and St. John’s University in New York, John worked for eight years in the legal department of a major Wall Street investment bank, where he was Vice President.

After working in Wall Street, John spent eight years teaching human rights and criminal justice in a refugee camp of 240,000 Cambodians in Thailand, and later business law at the university in Phnom Penh, where he co-authored two books, Free Market Contract Law and an English-Cambodian Law Dictionary.

From Cambodia, he went on to work for eight years at Catholic Charities in New York, where he was director of the departments of Immigrant and Refugee Services and later Capital Projects and Law. He also served as Chair of the Board of the New York Immigration Coalition, and on the migration advisory group of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

In 2005, he joined the International Catholic Migration Commission as Head of Policy of ICMC in Geneva where he worked until 2018.

As Civil Society Organizations prepared for the first ever Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in 2007, John took the reins as a global civil society leader, fighting for civil society engagement in what was initially planned as a primarily States event.  Together with others, he led the fight for CSO and migrant representation in GFMD’s preparatory meetings. His legacy thereon would show that John accomplished so much for migrants and civil society with his passion, far beyond what many imagined as possible in those early days. Early breakthrough led to substantive civil society engagement at the United Nations High Level Dialogue (UN HLD)and the Global Compact for Migration (GCM).

After his departure from ICMC in 2018, he continued as an independent consultant and expert on global migration policy and governance. He served as an advisor to the Ecuadorian and UAE Chairs of the GFMD in 2018-2020. He was engaged as a consultant with the International Organization of Employers (IOE) in 2021 and continued to advise and serve as the Geneva Representative of the NGO Committee on Migration.

John’s passion and dedication were an inspiration to all who worked to improve the lives and the rights of migrants everywhere. All major advances in the migrants’ rights movement over the past decade and more had John’s mark on them, and often were primarily driven by him. This included the current civil society self-organized formations such as the GFMD’s Civil Society Mechanism and Coordinating Office; the Migration and Development (MADE) Civil Society Network, the predecessor to which coordinated regional and thematic civil society initiatives and projects between each GFMD summit; the Civil Society Action Committee (AC); the NGO Committee on Migration; and countless other civil society networks and formations. Through these initiatives and many others, he helped shape global migration governance, and created spaces for dialogue where concrete solutions for the well-being of migrants and societies could be found.

John continued to bring his unwavering energy and visionary focus to shape global civil society work and contributions to global migration governance, in his ability to see beyond processes and politics, and to remind us of the need to seek concrete solutions to improve migrants’ lives. Most recently, he was one of the initial co-authors of the AC’s 12 Key Ways advocacy paper for the first International Migration Review Forum (IMRF), and was often a featured panelist at the People’s Migration Challenge (PMC) webinars.

More than anything however, John left a personal touch on everyone he met and worked with. His genuine care and generosity for all, especially for the most humble and vulnerable, radiated around him. His commitment to migrants’ rights and lives stemmed from his deep personal commitment to the good of all.

We have lost a friend, brother, mentor, counsellor, and supporter. May the inspiration and energy of John remain with us forever.

Recent stories

CONVERSATIONS WITH JOHN

Shared by William Gois on August 2, 2022
Among the many conversations John and I had over the years, I once asked him, not too long ago, John, when did we first meet? And he reminded me that it was at the first Global Forum on  Migration and Development (GFMD) in Brussels in May 2007. I was there to represent the newly formed NGO Committee on Migration, which gave me the opportunity to meet, for the first time, NGO colleagues from all world regions and discuss common concerns and strategies. John was there as the Social Policy Chief and Civil Society coordinator at the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) in Geneva.  We hit it off right away, and our collaboration and friendship grew exponentially ever since.

In 2011, when I made my first trip to Geneva to attend the 5th GFMD, I heard John address the People’s Global Action Forum, strongly advocating already then for the regularization of undocumented migrants. It was also the first of my many visits with his family in Pouilly, where a big welcome sign at the front door and big smiles by his wonderful wife Agnes and his four sons awaited me.

At the 10th annual GFMD in  Berlin in 2016. we gave a workshop at one of the sessions and John was a very proud Dad to see his oldest son, Johnny Dupre, take part in it.

The following year, in 2017,  the first phase of the UN negotiations for a Global Compact on Safe, Regular Migration began with a series of consultations on major issues, such as trafficking in persons, held in Vienna in the late summer. In that connection, John invited the ten members of the  Core Group of the Civil Society Action Committee to a retreat in Vienna, to draft a Civil Society vision for a global compact to present to member States for their consideration before they began formal negotiations of their own. The document. entitled Now and How: Ten Acts for the Global Compact, was distributed to NGOs and Member States for their consideration.

For me, this was probably the most memorable trip on which John and I were together, because I was able to show him where my family had lived before my parents and I, then a small child, had to flee to escape the Nazi takeover in 1938.

Occasionally, John also came to New York for United Nations meetings. During the lunch break a few members of our NGO Committee had lunch together at an unassuming cafeteria across the street from the U.N.  Since John loved cheesecake, we ordered it regularly for dessert, and our little group became known as the cheesecake conspiracy. When the shop went out of business, we moved the conspiracy to Muldoon’s Irish Bar on Third Avenue. There is a photo of the last meeting of our conspiracy before the pandemic, with John, his wonderful sister Mary, the indefatigable Sister MaryJo Toll, a former chair of our Committee, and Eva Richter and me, two of its three founding mothers.

As the pandemic cut off travel, John and I had a habit of frequent telephone conversations, two or three times a week, to discuss our work, our hopes, and disappointments. We tossed ideas back and forth to enrich our thinking and writing, as individuals and as a team.

Last November, I received an invitation to write a chapter on The Role of NGOs: The Committee on Migration for a book on Coming to America: Psychosocial Experiences and Adjustment of Migrants. I told John about it, he thought it was great.   I said to John, yes, but I will only do it if it is co-authored—with you. Despite much protesting, John agreed to do it, and the book editors were thrilled. This was our last joint effort, and whatever is really good in that chapter, to no surprise, is due to him.

Our last conversation took place last Monday, July 25th. John told me his cough from the virus was almost gone, he still had a cold, but if he tested negative, he hoped that Agnes and he would return to Pouilly on Wednesday.  I still asked his opinion about a round table proposal I was considering for the annual meeting of the International Council of Psychologists for which I am one of the accredited U.N. representatives. As usual, he was ready to share his views and encourage solutions. He underscored the lack of decent funding for mental health services for traumatized refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations, as well as the lack of progress in solutions that would end the smuggling and trafficking, environmental disasters and political persecution that migrants and refugees were experiencing,

As we got ready to end our conversation, I said to him:  thank you so much for your call, John, you’ve made my day; and he replied: and you made mine.

Eva Sandis
Fordham University