Uphold and Protect the Peoples Collective Rights and Dignity of the Rohingya

IMA Statement on the Rohingya Exodus
18 September 2017

The Rohingya deserve the full recognition, respect and protection of their rights, dignity and life as people by all nations and governments, especially Bangladesh and Myanmar.

This is the statement of the International Migrants Alliance (IMA) as we extend our strongest solidarity to the Rohingya who are now suffering the worst tragedy at the hands of the Myanmar military government.

Right now, more than 400,000 people, many of whom are women, children and elderly, have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh to escape what can be called a state-instigated ethnic cleansing campaign. Rohingya people are Muslim while Myanmar is predominantly Buddhist.

Since August 25, the Myanmar military has cracked down on the Rohingya community in Rakhine State, using violent measures such as the scorched-earth campaign (burning down entire villages), rape, indiscriminate firing and strafing, and ultimately, massacre. This was supposedly a state response to alleged attacks by a group called Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army on 30 police posts in the area.

While condemnation from the international community has poured in, the Myanmar government apparently sees no reason to stop terrorizing the Rohingya people. There were also reports of Burmese military allegedly planning to bomb passage areas the Rohingya were using to escape the attacks.

The Rohingya remain a stateless people, virtual victims to what seems to be an onerous tennis match of accountabilities between the Myanmar and Bangladesh governments. Myanmar refuses citizenship to Rohingya reasoning that the latter actually come from East Bengal, and therefor should be responsibility of Bangladesh. Bangladesh, on the other hand, denies political and civil rights to Rohingya stating they are Burmese.

The IMA joins the international community in calling for a humanitarian campaign to provide immediate support, housing and all possible services to the Rohingya, both those who are already in Bangladesh and many more who are still in Myanmar.

Moreover, we urge both the Bangladesh and Myanmar governments to uphold human rights above all and ultimately stop the attacks on the Rohingya people.

We demand both governments:

1) To provide the respect, recognition and protection that the Rohingya rightfully and ultimately deserve;
2) To recognize the Rohingya as people and be accord them their much deserved citizenship;
3) To uphold, promote and respect their collective rights, which include their rights to live as a community, ethnicity and culture, among others; and
4) To provide the Rohingya to opportunity and the environment to live in peace, with dignity and without fear of discrimination, violence or ostracism.

We likewise call on governments to uphold and respect Rohingya asylum seekers, especially those in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

We hope that the United Nations wield political will and enjoin both states to derive through peaceful means concrete actions and mechanism to achieve these demands.

The Rohingya deserve a life of just peace, solidarity and acceptance. End the horrors of fascism, racism and violence that befall them and their children.

No one deserves to be stateless. No one deserves to experience violence.

Life, dignity and justice for the Rohingya!

Reference:
Eni Lestari, IMA chairperson

Post-DACA, Our Struggle Can Only Grow Stronger

Unite and Strengthen the Immigrant Movement Against Fascism, Defend DACA!

07 September 2017

The International Migrants Alliance (IMA-USA) shares the outrage of millions at this week’s decision of the Trump-Pence Regime to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA Program for undocumented youth and students.  Once again, the fascistic character of this administration rears its ugly head to eliminate even this temporary form of relief for the 800,000+ undocumented recipients who were given only temporary authorization to work, go to school, or join the military, instead of having to live in fear of potential deportation.

In 2012 it was the grassroots mobilization of thousands of undocumented youth and students that mobilized in the streets and won the DACA policy from the Obama administration.  Instead of hiding in the shadows, they refused to be treated like criminals, and these young “Dreamers” stood up as “undocumented and unafraid” leaders of the movement to end the criminalization of migrants.   Even just 2 years (renewable until Trump ends the program’s applications in a month’s time) was a significant form of relief for these youth and students, who, for a brief moment, could live without the anxiety, fear, or threat of detention and deportation.

As the name implies, the DACA Program impacted only those students who arrived as children, often as their parents were fleeing economic dislocation or political repression in their families’ homelands.  The most progressive leaders of the Dreamers, however, refused to be pitted as “good” immigrants versus the rest of the “bad” immigrants in the U.S.  There are more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., and the Trump administration has promised to deport all of them regardless of the reasons or conditions that brought them here.

While DACA tried to track these youth into schools, often low-paying jobs or even the military, there was always the fear that registering for the program would surface the close to 1 million youth and their families who would avail of the program.  Supporters of the program thought that subsequent presidents would be foolish to rescind the program and remove even this temporary relief for immigrants who registered to study, work, or fight for the U.S., but Trump was that fool and exposed that in the end, he will intensify and expand the discrimination and attacks against the forced migrants and refugees in this country.

The number of forced migrants, refugees, and displaced people in the world has increased to close to 300 million – a humanitarian crisis not seen since the devastation of WWII.  At the recent Solidarity and Fightback conference and mobilization in Toronto, Canada, IMA joined hundreds of people from dozens of countries to expose how US led wars of aggression, militarization and fascism were impacting migrants and refugees and how grassroots resistance was fighting back against this massive dislocation of people. Wars of US imperialism and between the world’s superpowers, global climate change and famine in large parts of Africa, and especially economic devastation and political persecution are forcing workers, families and communities to be separated and uprooted.

The failed neoliberal economic policies of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization, numerous free trade agreements,  and the intervention and proxy wars of the world’s imperialist powers created this current crisis, and the US and other host countries are hypocritically and true to their fascist character cracking down on forced migrants and refugees as scapegoats for their own internal economic and political crises.  Dreamers and DACA recipients are the latest targets of a regime in decline, with Trump cynically repealing Obama’s piecemeal immigration reform program, feeding and emboldening his base of white supremacists, xenophobes, and the racist police and prison state.

This move will not resolve the economic and political crisis in the United States that is only intensifying.  As the US and other imperialist powers continue their wars for economic, political and military dominance in the world to alleviate their own internal problems, the number of forced migrants and refugees will only increase. Dreamers, undocumented immigrants, Muslim refugees, and the many other working class targets of the Trump administration must join together to resist his attacks on all of our communities.  They can also join the migrants and refugees from around the world who are forming a people’s campaign for a truly grassroots led Global Compact on Migrants and a Global Compact on Refugees as the United Nations only now begins to recognize the economic significance and profitability of the forcibly displaced peoples around the world in maintaining the global capitalist system.

Only peoples in struggle can turn the tide of a Trump attack on DACA and the 11 million+ undocumented immigrants in the U.S.  We stand with the Dreamers, Muslim immigrants, and all working class and people of color communities in the U.S. building resistance to the Trump-Pence regime. IMA-USA will continue to fight alongside Dreamers and other migrant youth, workers, and families to build the grassroots voices of migrants and refugees in struggle against imperialism, fascism, and all forms of reaction.

Defend DACA! Resist Trump’s Fascism and Attacks on Im/migrants!

End the Criminalization and Illegalization of Im/migrants!

Genuine Immigration Reform Now! Legalization for All!

End forced migration! No to US and other imperialist wars!

 

Reference:

Antonio Arizaga, International Migrants Alliance (IMA), Vice Chairperson

Terry Valen, IMA International Coordinating Body U.S. Representative

Contact Info: 4152030696, ima.usa2011@gmail.com

IMA Pursues Engagement for Global Compact That Truly Serves the Interest of Migrants

On the first informal interactive multi-stakeholder hearing for the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, affiliates of the International Migrants Alliance (IMA) shall be present to register the voice of grassroots migrants towards a global compact that is based on the human rights of migrants, oriented towards a development framework that shall end – not perpetuate – forced migration, and operationalized with the active participation of grassroots migrants to realize concrete changes in the condition of migrants and policies on migration.

Sringatin, chairperson of the Indonesian Migrant Workers Union in Hong Kong (IMWU-HK) and spokesperson of the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body (AMCB-IMA-HK) shall speak as a panelist on the contribution of migrants. Meanwhile, Wardarina of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) shall be part of the panel on the drivers of migration.

The Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM), associate member of the IMA, shall also be present to observe in the thematic session as well as in the hearing. APMM is a member of the GC< Stakeholder Steering Committee.

The hearing shall be held at the United Nations (UN) in New York City on July 26. It will follow the Thematic Session on the contributions of migrants and diasporas in sustainable development on July 24 and 25. These are all parts of the preparatory process that is expected to contribute to the crafting of the Global Compact on Migration.
IMA and its members and partners are also gearing to take part in regional processes related to the Global Compact. An Asia Consultation is set to be held in September this year.

In September 2016, the UN Summit on Migrants and Refugees came out with the New York Declaration wherein the agreement to work for a Global Compact on Migration – as well as the Global Compact on Refugees – was expressed.

It should be recalled that IMA Chairperson Eni Lestari spoke before leaders of UN Member States in the opening plenary of the said Summit. In her speech, Lestari urged UN Members States “to commit – to justice, to a development that does not tear families apart and to a future that relies on the strength of its people, not to the continued export and exploitation of our labour.”

Since after the UN Summit, the IMA and its members have continued to intensify the human rights campaigns and advocacies of migrants in the international, regional and even more in the national level. Such campaigns and advocacies have highlighted the need for governments of the world to implement urgent actions that will address the exploitation, modern-day slavery and commodification of migrants.

Furthermore, governments must rethink the labor export-oriented and remittance-driven neoliberal prescription and work towards a system that addresses inequalities, genuinely sustainable, inclusive of the grassroots and truly based on equality, human rights and justice.

Reference: Eni Lestari, IMA chairperson

IMA-USA Statement for May Day 2017

Migrant Workers and Refugees Rise Up!

Build solidarity with workers and oppressed and exploited peoples of the world!

The International Migrants Alliance-USA Chapter (IMA-USA) stands with all the workers of the world on May 1st, International Workers’ Day.

Ironically, it was in the United States where International Workers’ Day was initiated. Workers in Chicago started a general strike on May 1, 1886 to demand an 8-hour work day. A few days later, some workers were killed by state forces, prompting the bombing at the Haymarket Square, also known as the Haymarket Massacre. Around the world, International Workers’ Day has been commemorated on May 1, except for North America — the United States and Canada.

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Statement of the International Migrants Alliance on the International Labor Day

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Migrant and Local Workers Unite:
Fight back against Imperialist Offensives

The International Migrants Alliance (IMA) stands in solidarity with workers of the world in celebrating the International Labor Day. The International Labor Day is highly significant for it commemorates the unity of workers around the world as they fight for decent jobs, living income, human rights and justice. This year, as imperialism intensifies its attacks on migrant and local workers and peoples, all the more we need to strengthen our solidarity and fight back. Continue reading

Statement of the International Migrants Alliance in commemoration of International Women’s Day 2017

Arouse, Organize and Mobilize Women Migrants, Immigrants and Refugees To Resist Attacks to our rights, and Against Oppression and Exploitation of Women

Statement of the International Migrants Alliance in commemoration of International Women’s Day 2017

The International Migrants Alliance (IMA) joins and salutes all the struggling women of the world in marking this year’s International Women’s Day with marches, protests, strikes and all forms of actions to resist worsening attacks on rights, oppression and exploitation of women. Continue reading

IMA Statement on 2016 Migrants Day

Strengthen the grassroots movement of migrants:
Fight back against neoliberal globalization, forced displacement and violations of our rights!

18 December 2016

On the occasion of the International Migrants Day, the International Migrants Alliance (IMA) gives our salute to all migrants and displaced people who continue to work on the ground to defend the rights and promote the wellbeing of the sector.

We give our highest regard to grassroots migrants who – despite odds and obstacles – continue to build their organized strength, empower their communities, expose their real conditions, and confront policies and powers that exploit, oppress and marginalize foreign workers.

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