Migrants’ verdict on the GFMD: Guilty of Migrants’ Rights Violations

Create jobs at home. No to forced labor migration. No to GFMD.

Migrants’ verdict on the GFMD: Guilty of Migrants’ Rights Violations

Statement of the International Migrants’ Alliance on the 2012 International Migrants Day

December 18, 2012


As we commemorate the 12th year of the International Migrants Day, the International Migrants’ Alliance (IMA) salutes all migrant workers, refugees, displaced peoples and their families as we all contribute to building a movement for the recognition, upholding and protection of our rights and dignity.

In many countries, migrant organizations and unions engage governments of both migrant-sending and receiving countries to challenge and call for the repeal of anti-migrant policies, to address immediate concerns and campaigns about imperiled migrants, devise alternatives and propositions to resolve forced labor migration.

The world witnessed how our refugee brothers and sisters campaigned against the racist and anti-refugee laws that the German government recently legislated; how our migrant organizations and their networks and friends successfully pressured the Taiwan government in releasing a migrant victimized by flawed State processes and policies; how we in the IMA and all our allies and friends campaigned for the securing of migrant workers affected by the strife in the Arab world, particularly those in Syria.

The International Migrants’ Tribunal on the GFMD, a major initiative that the IMA co-organized with the International Women’s Alliance, International League of People’s Struggle and the Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants, is the pinnacle of all our struggles and campaigns this year as we finally marked the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) as guilty of championing anti-migrant paradigms and policies that systemically denies rights.

Held on November 28 and 29 at the College of Law of the University of the Philippines, the International Migrants’ Tribunal on the GFMD, or the IMT, became a stalwart event that amplified the voices of many sections of migrants (i.e. women, refugees, domestic workers, seafarers, immigrants, undocumented, among others) against the GFMD and the 37 States that host, organize and manage the GFMD.

The 20-page verdict released by the panel of five judges, all luminaries and experts in their respective positions, showed in detail how the GFMD is guilty of violating migrants’ human rights. By championing the neoliberal agenda of migration as a tool for development, the GFMD virtually allows for the perpetuation of the commodification of labor and modern-day slavery.

Amidst the US$372 billion-worth of remittance in 2011, migrants, refugees and displaced peoples continue to languish in horrible conditions. Racism, discrimination and social exclusion of migrants have not been squarely addressed but rather reinforced and embedded. Most receiving governments are even guilty of fanning this anti-migrant environment by stating that migrants are stealing the people’s jobs and bleeding the social services dry.

As more than 100 million people in the world are estimated to be migrants, the situation back in their home countries has not changed at all. The continued and faithful implementation by Sending States of the neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatization and liberalization only intensify the already abject poverty, severe unemployment and underdevelopment of many economies that force people to migrate for the survival of their families and loved ones.

Such a reality presents that this billion-dollar migration industry only benefits a few but never the migrants, their families and the people of the underdeveloped countries.

The IMA intends to bring and broadcast our verdict on the GFMD to the international community as we challenge international institutions like the United Nations to adhere to and uphold human rights and the many international conventions protecting these rights and completely junk the GFMD.

Only by shunning and completely destroying the neoliberal agenda and going for a people-focused, rights-based approach and alternative can the likes of UN be able to address and resolve the root causes of forced labor migration.  Spurring economic and political development comes from the serious development of national industries and improvement of the agricultural industry that can help generate meaningful employment for all. History has proven this and this can happen.

Uphold the rights, welfare and dignity of migrants, refugees and displaced peoples!

Junk the GFMD and its neoliberal agenda

No to forced labor migration and modern-day slavery!

Long live international solidarity!

Onward with the migrant workers’ movement against imperialism!

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