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 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 Alison Ramsay 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
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
Condolences to the late John K. Bingham.

Some deaths are lighter than a bird's feather, but John K. Bingham's death is heavier than the Himalayas. Billions of migrants do not know what the late John & his ICMC did for them. But on behalf of all migrants, we pay tribute to his departed soul.

-Anisur Rahman Khan
AWAJ Foundation, Bangladesh
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
Very sad news .

Condolences to his family. May god bless his soul and bless his family.

-Prabir Kumar Biswas
Bangladeshi Ovhibashi Mohila Sramik Association (BOMSA), Bangladesh
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
Terrible news. What a shock. Sorry for those who miss him.

Let his soul rest in peace and receive the heavenly reward for all the intervention and help extended to people.

In solidarity,

Lissy Joseph
National Workers Welfare Trust, India
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
It's a great sorrow to lose him. May he rest in peace and may god bless his soul and bless his family.

-Preeda Tongchumnum
Human Rights and Development Foundation, Thailand
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
What a shocking news. Indeed So sad. I’m so lost of words. We had just met him at the IMRF and never thought it would be our last meeting.

My deepest heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.May his good soul rest in eternal peace.

-Bijaya Rai Shrestha
Aprabasi Mahila Kamdar Samuha (AMKAS), Nepal
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
What a shocking and sad news!
May John forever live on in our hearts and our deepest condolences to his family.

-Misun Kim
Migrant Health Association in Korea WeFriends, Korea
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
I remember his kind and calm demeanor in the disquieting sessions of GFMD. We will miss him and you more so - losing a global partner. Let us find comfort in the knowledge that he has served his God and neighbors well. And celebrate his life lived in service.

-Mayan Villalba
Unlad Kabayan Migrant Services Foundation, Philippines
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
It is an unbearable loss for migration sector. His ever-supporting mind will be always with us!

His support for the migrants' welfare will keep him alive! Comrades never die. Praying his departed soul be salvaged and rested in peace!!!

BNSK women migrants will organize a special prayer for John!

-Sumaiya Islam
Bangladesh Nari Sramik Kendra (BNSK), Bangladesh
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
Thanks for sharing the news. It was really shocking to me too. I met him several times, He was at the forefront and always advocate and debate for the rights of migrant workers and refugees.

I wish his soul rest in peace.

My condolences to the family of John

-Mom Sokcha
Legal Services for Women and Children, Cambodia
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
Thank you for informing the network about john's passing even if it was too painful for you to do so. John will always be a dear friend and colleague of Migrant Forum in Asia, a colleague in advocacy for migrants rights. He will be terribly missed. Please extend our heartfelt condolences to  his loved ones.

A tight embrace to all of us for the untimely demise of our beloved John.

-Ellene Sana
Center for Migrant Advocacy, Philippines
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
The news is shocking to all of us and it is unbelievable.
Our heartfelt condolences to the family members of our
dearest friend John Bingham. We pray for the eternal
peace of his soul....Amen

-Saiful Haque
WARBE Development Foundation, Bangladesh
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
John Bingham, you left us this morning suddenly, without a goodbye.
John, you were a dear friend of members of Migrant Forum in Asia. You were there at most of our events, always encouraging and cheering us on - in person and online. You had so much to share, so much of inspiration for a better world for migrants.

Words fail me to describe the tremendous loss I feel of your passing. I shall miss you, your warmth and words of wisdom.

May he rest in peace and power. Deepest condolences to his family and dear ones.

-Sumitha Kishna
Migrant Forum in Asia Chairperson
Our Journey Malaysia and Migration Working Group Malaysia
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
May his soul rest in Peace.. a big loss for the international migrant advocacy community.

-Stanley Sudhagaran Singh
Migration Working Group, Malaysia
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
It’s a grief to hear this news. Obviously it’s an unbearable loss in this sector. May his departed soul rest in peace.

Believing the spirit what he left never dies.

-Lubha
Women's Rehabilitation Center, Nepal
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
We deeply express and heartfelt condolences to the sorrowing family.
May his departed soul rest in peace.

-Yubraj and CMIR Family
Center for Migration and International Relations (CMIR), Nepal
Posted by William Gois on July 29, 2022
Very nice person. We miss him . sorry for those who miss him.
Let his soul rest in peace and receive the heavenly reward for all the intervention and help extended to all people through his service.
In prayers

-Sr. Valarmathi
National Domestic Workers Movement, India
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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