Let the pictures break not only hearts, but also barriers to rights

A spectre is haunting Europe and it’s the spectre of refugees fleeing from their war-torn homes only to find death on the sea and not safety on the land.

The picture of three-year old Syrian child, Aylan Kurdi, face down and lifeless after trying to cross to Greece has been making the rounds of alternative and mainstream media. It moved people, as it must. It called for change, as it should.

For weeks, countries in Europe have been besieged with criticisms from its own people as governments either take hardline stance against or dilly-dally in taking in refugees and providing them the protection, services and haven that international and even EU agreements mandate them to give.

The capsizing of the boat carrying Aylan, and another one carrying other refugees, was the latest proof of the vulnerabilities of displaced people. A few weeks ago, two boats from Libya carrying 500 people trying to get to Europe also capsized in the Mediterranean Sea and reportedly killed 400. This year alone, the United Nations estimated that 2,400 already died trying to get past the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, who can forget the Rohingyas and Bangladeshis from Myanmar who were also stranded at sea and refused entry by countries in Southeast Asia?

Closing borders and heightened restriction in the entry of foreign nationals – be they refugees fleeing from wars and hunger or migrants displaced by economic hardships and also political strife – is a trend that is slowly creeping not only into Europe but also in other countries that are destinations of those forcibly displaced from their country of birth.

States use the phantoms of jobs scarcity and scramble for dwindling resources and services to justify clamping down on refugee and migration flows. As economic and other crises rage with so-called recovery sluggish or is reserved for corporations and the business sector, refugees and migrants are still being used as convenient scapegoats to blur, if not totally skip over, the reality that skewed economic policies are at the root of problems faced by people in countries hosting refugees and migrants.

The same neoliberal-driven economics that uphold labor expert, coupled by wars and political strife, is what also drives millions of people from their own homeland to seek a more safe and secure life.

This month, the United Nations General Assembly is set to meet and chart the path to development for the next 15 years. It cannot be emphasized enough that the displacement of people due to economic or political causes – the 232 million migrants and 19.5 million refugees – is an issue of holistic development that should respect the comprehensive rights of the people.

When the two boats from Libya capsized, Amb. Macharia Kamau of Kenya who co-chaired the post-2015 development agenda negotiations said that how the migrants crisis is being handled is not the way “to transform the world towards 2030.” It definitely is not.

The post-2015 development agenda promises to leave no one behind. If governments are sincere about this, there should be no more Aylans left behind to suffer hardships or wash up lifeless in foreign shores.

Let the tragic pictures of the death of children not only break our hearts, but also the walls of exclusion and inhumane migration and refugee policies that do not respect the fundamental rights of people already forcibly displaced by economic want and wars.

Eni Lestari
International Migrants Alliance (IMA)/ Campaign for People’s Goals for Sustainable Development (CPGSD)

BALI DECLARATION 2013 – Declaration of the People’s Global Camp (Dec 3-6, 2013, Denpasar, Bali)


Development justice now! Junk WTO!

Declaration of the Peoples’ Global Camp

We, representatives of people’s organizations, social movements and political forces come together in the People’s Global Camp (PGC) in Denpasar, Bali on December 3-6, 2013 to collectively expose, resist and call to junk the renewed neoliberal offensives of the World Trade Organization.

We bring the experiences of struggles from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor Leste, Vietnam, and the United States, to further advance the people’s rights and to affirm our collective resistance against the new round of deception and maneuverings pushed by the WTO in this 9th Ministerial Meeting.

The WTO Bali conference is the latest imperialist effort to revive the failed neoliberal paradigm. As the multiple crises continue to reverberate around the world, impacting the poorest both in developed and developing countries, imperialist powers led by the US, European Union and Australia are desperately pushing a new wave of neoliberal globalization through the so-called ‘Bali Package’ and on the set of issues identified as the post-Bali agenda. Continue reading

Declaration of the 4th International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR4)


4 October 2013 New York, NY, USA

We, migrants, refugees and advocates, from 103 organizations in 18 countries, gathered together for the Fourth International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR), declare our unity and solidarity for migrants’ and refugees’ rights, genuine development, and national and social liberation.

We affirm the people’s right to migrate freely. We affirm the peoples’ right to development and self- determination. Continue reading

IMA statement on the possible foreign intervention of Syria

Respect the rights, lives and dignity of Syrian People!

No foreign intervention in Syria!


The International Migrants’ Alliance (IMA) and Commission 16 of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle call on the international community and all peace-loving individuals to support the growing global campaign to stop any attempt of foreign military intervention of Syria.

This statement the IMA and ILPS Comm 16 release in the light of a ballooning populace of refugees and internally displaced Syrians as a result of the more than two-year Syrian civil war. Continue reading

Veredicto de los migrantes en el FMMD: Culpable de Violaciónes de los Derechos de los Migrantes

Crear puestos de trabajo en casa. No a la migración laboral forzada. No al FMMD.

Veredicto de los migrantes en el FMMD:

Culpable de Violaciónes de los Derechos de los Migrantes

Declaración de la Alianza Internacional de Migrantes para el Día Internacional del Migrante 2012

18 de Diciembre 2012

 Al conmemorar el 12 º año del Día Internacional del Migrante, la Alianza Internacional de Migrantes (IMA) saluda a todos los trabajadores migrantes, los refugiados, los desplazados y sus familia, asi como todo los  que contribuimos a construir un movimiento por el reconocimiento, el respeto y la protección de nuestros derechos y dignidad.

En muchos países, las organizaciones de migrantes y sindicatos comprometidos cuestionamos a los gobiernos, tanto de los países emisores y receptores de migrantes para pedir la derogación de las políticas anti-migrantes, para abordar los problemas inmediatos y las campañas sobre los migrantes en peligro, elaborar alternativas y propuestas para resolver la migración forzada trabajo. Continue reading