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 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
Posted by Raj Bardouille on August 2, 2022
I had known John since my UN days at HQ in New York and then through the various meetings of the Global Forum on Migration and Development, subsequently the Global Compact on Migration process. His contribution to the various migration events and processes was consistently stellar, his ideas profound and his commitment to migrants’ and migration issues unflinching. He will be sorely missed by the migration community. I extend my sincere condolences to his family and friends and may his soul Rest In Peace!
Posted by Bijaya Rai Shrestha on August 2, 2022
Deepest condolences to your grieving family John!
Dear John, Rest in Eternal Peace!

Your contributions to bring change in the life of many migrants and their family will be remembered always. We will miss you always in our journey…..

An inspiration and a wonderful friend to be with!!!!

Bijaya Rai Shrestha
AMKAS Nepal (Organization by for and of returnee women migrant workers)
Posted by William Gois on August 2, 2022
It is with great sadness we hear the demise of brother John Bingham. Our deepest sympathy and assured prayers for the family and friends.

Fr. Anton Sriyan
National Director/ Executive Secretary
Catholic National Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, Prisoners, Health Care Workers, Seafarers & Tourists
Sri Lanka
Posted by Sudheer Thirunilath on August 2, 2022
I'm deeply sorry to learn of the passing of John K. Bingham, he will be fondly remembered.Let his soul rest in peace and receive the heavenly reward for all the intervention and help extended to all people through his service.
My heartfelt condolences to the family of John

Sudheer Thirunilath
World NRI Council
Kingdom of Bahrain
Posted by John P Loonam on August 2, 2022
I was John's friend through our teenage years and beyond. He was central to my life and I would not be the person I am without his love and guidance over the years.

Though we were separated by continents in recent years, when we saw each other we picked up right where we left off. He was the smartest, kindest person and he lived a life of compassion and justice.

As I read these other tributes I am filled with pride.

My love to Agnés and his boys. I will miss him.
Posted by Rejimon Kuttappan on August 2, 2022
I met John first in Stockholm GFMD 2013. And then in several other meetings.

Most of the time, he was a trainer for learners like me. He was a great person with immense knowledge of migration and a compassionate heart for migrants.

Yes, I haven't talked much with John. But I have heard from him a lot during many sessions, online and offline.

John, your absence can't be filled by anyone else's presence. I will miss you, John.
Posted by Alan Ackroyd on August 1, 2022
I knew of John as Mr. Bingham, parent of amazing, amazing children, scholars and human beings. As a teacher and fellow parent I marvelled at and appreciated the dynamic presence of such talented learners and naturally compassionate human beings in my classroom, all of them with such great qualities and lives to live.

I had to meet Mr. Bingham (John) in a parents' meeting: he was passionate and engaged both in his offsprings' work and in encouraging and making this teacher feel valued and powerful in his teaching role: I began to see where some of the qualities of the children had come from. Later he dedicated precious time without question to the school's Model United Nations' club.

Heartfelt condolences to all: John, Thomas, Jeremy and Mathias and to Agnes (or Mrs Bingham as she was to me, the mother of these pupils).
Posted by Kevin Malone on August 1, 2022
I first met John around 1990 on the Thai Cambodian border in the Site 2 Cambodian Refugee Camp. The camps were a tough place. He had been there a while. He was sort of the unofficial leader of the volunteers. The Cambodian crew that ran the COEER Office loved him. His Uncle Fr. Ken was adored too. I was ready to not like him- lawyer, clean cut, sort of proper. And clean looking all the time in the dusty red dirt camps. It didn't work out. He was way too likable and kind and generous. As the camps neared closing, tensions rose among the volunteers- we were worried about the refugees going home to war and strife and little help, we were worried about the end of our own work, we were endlessly torn inside by our inability to really help or do anything to assist people that we loved, and we turned on each other- circular firing squad. So what did we do? We went to Ken. He facilitated a set of meetings after (and this was the hard part) he got agreements for everyone to come and actually see each other. He was a peace maker. He was gifted.

And there is a story. A funnier one. Before I arrived in the camps, Ken was chosen to give a welcome speech in the camps to the then"Prime Minister" in exile. Ken's Khmer language was..let's say adequate. He could make himself understood eventually. And the word for help in Khmer (juy) was very close to the word for f**k (joy). He practiced for the speech. Got most of the words right ... but he said the the Prime Minister in exile.. We f**k you very much for being with us here today. The Khmer crowd was silent. Speechless. Ken went on, apparently unaware of the gaff.

And another story of Ken and Agnes. Fast forward a few years. I was living in Battambang. Ken and Agnes were in Phnom Penh. I left Cambodia for a bit and came back a few months later with my not yet wife Ali. We met a traveling forest monk friend of mine who predicted that Ali and I were "dai goo" meaning married for countless lives, meant for each other- then he paused, looked at me and said this will be hard to hear..do you want to hear it? I said yes.. He looked at Ali and said you will have three pregnancies and two children. A month or two later, Ali miscarried while we were at Ken and Agnes's house in Phnom Penh. Ali had to go to Bangkok for a procedure and we had no money. Ken lent us the money and let us stay and heal at their place. And took care of us. And did not let us pay him back. (And we have two lovely children!) Ken knew how to take care of people. The world is a lessor place without him. Thoughts and prayers for Agnes and the whole family.

Kevin Malone & Alison Ramsay
Posted by Eve Geddie on August 1, 2022
Deeply saddened to learn of John's passing. John was such a force in the global migrant rights movement. He was kind, humble and brilliant, with the best sense of humour.

I was lucky to have made several trips with John - including one with several flight connections & a diplomatic welcome to El Salvador. John led a small delegation to visit the Centro Monsigneur Romero at the Jesuit College and the Cathedral. He was the best tour guide and graciously shared with us all the background and history. It clearly resonated strongly with him, making the visit so powerful.

John had many hilarious stories which still make me giggle - teaching rice in Cambodia, surprises when tracing his Irish family tree, meeting Senator Clinton.

He spoke so adoringly of his wife & sons, thinking of them at this difficult time & thanking them for sharing him with us all. X
Posted by Laura Zorrilla Fernandez on August 1, 2022
My deepest condolences to John's family. His commitment and drive to improve migrants' rights will always be an inspiration to me. His legacy will live on in the minds and hearts of all of us who had the chance to work with him. Que la tierra te sea leve John!
Posted by William Gois on August 1, 2022
My deepest sympathies to John's family and his loved ones and may his soul Rest in Peace!

-Ruchira Gunasekera
Lawyers beyond borders - Sri Lanka
Posted by William Gois on July 31, 2022
My condolences and prayers! He will always be remembered as an inspiration!

- Nilambar Badal
MFA Nepal
Posted by William Gois on July 31, 2022
THIS VERY SAD
My deepest condolences to you comrades in MFA and to his family and to all
justice seekers

-Karim Radhi
GFBTU, Bahrain
Posted by William Gois on July 31, 2022
Our deepest condolences to you/us all in our shared loss and mutual grief*
It's been several hours since we all received this shocking communication,
and it is still taking a while to process.

Prayers for his final migration RIP.

Pefi Kingi
Pacific Win Pacific, Australia
Posted by William Gois on July 31, 2022
Deepest condolences to his family and prayerfully remembering them in this
difficult time.
May the Soul of John Rest In Eternal Peace.

Migrant Workers Protection Society (MWPS) Team
Bahrain
Posted by William Gois on July 31, 2022
I simply can't believe this news !! He was a great friend and mentor of the
global safer migration fraternity. His sudden demise is an irreparable loss
to our shared mission. Rest in peace brother !

Gopal Krishna Siwakoti
INHURED International, Nepal
Posted by William Gois on July 31, 2022
Very shocked to hear about the untimely and sudden demise of John Bingham.

He was a passionate champion in promoting at the highest level the rights and dignity of migrant workers.

My deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. May his soul rest in everlasting peace. Amen!

In grief,
Mehru Vesuvala
MFA, India
Posted by William Gois on July 31, 2022
We are deeply shocked by the news. My condolences to his family. we
will remember his contribution in the field.

-Shom Luitel
People Forum, Nepal
Posted by William Gois on July 31, 2022
It is really shocking and unbelievable. May the departed soul rest in
eternal peace!

Madhavan Kalath
Lawyers Beyond Borders, Bahrain
Posted by William Gois on July 31, 2022
Thank you for giving us such shocking bad news and remembering our dear friend John Bingham, dear William. Please let us know more in the future.
I am grateful for all his opinions and explanations, I learned too much from him and I am not ready to resume it now. It takes time, and probably for everybody of us is not easy now...
It is a piece of History.

Manfred Bergman
Migrants Rights International, Italy
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
Our sincerest condolences to John's Family and Friends. We are deeply shocked by the news. John's passion and courage to work for the migrant workers will always be remembered. Wishing his family peace and lots of courage at this time of sorrow.

May his departed Soul Rest in Peace !

- Laxman Basnet
South Asian Regional Trade Union Council, Nepal
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
My condolences to his family. Truly a shock. A tragic loss of a genuinely
good person, and a strong advocate for migrants. His absence will be felt.

-Brahm Press
Migrants Assistance Program (MAP), Thailand
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Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
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
his Life

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