Wednesday, July 8, 2009
International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees prepares to meet in Athens
The International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR) is an assembly where migrants and refugees speak for themselves through their grassroots organizations supported by a broad spectrum of migrants rights advocates, progressive workers' groups and social movements.
The First IAMR held in Manila, Philippines last October 2008, embodied the autonomous voice of the migrants and refugees through their own gathering. It challenged the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) process and its agenda of promoting migration for development through remittances. The IAMR in Manila presented the true picture of modern slavery in labor migration and debunked the notion of development by exporting human labor.
THE GLOBAL FORUM ON MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT (GFMD)
The 3rd Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) will be held in Athens, Greece on November 4-5, 2009. The first was held in Brussels in July 2007 and the second in Manila in October 2008. The GFMD is a multilateral and state-led initiative under the aegis of the United Nations (UN). It purports to facilitate dialogue among sending and receiving countries, but in reality, the rich countries dictate the agenda and main thrusts in the GFMD. They impose their own self-serving concept of development and define the modalities in “managing” the flow of cross-border migration.
Two things make the GFMD in Athens particularly significant. It will take place in the midst of the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression. It will also take place in Europe where migrant workers particularly the millions of undocumented face an uncertain future in an increasingly unfriendly environment with the imminent implementation in 2010 of the EU Return Directive.
THE SECOND IAMR IN ATHENS, GREECE
The Second IAMR will be held in Athens, Greece on November 1-4, 2009, in conjunction with the government-led GFMD and the Civil Society Organizations (CSO) meeting. The Second IAMR will focus on urgent migrant and refugee issues, particularly the situation and protection of the rights of undocumented migrant workers and refugees.
The Second IAMR in Athens, Greece will be a four-day gathering that will include plenary discussions, workshops, street mobilizations, bazaar, cultural solidarity, networking and most especially sharing of experiences and action plans among migrants, refugees and advocates.
THEME OF THE SECOND IAMR
Uphold and Advance the Rights of Migrants and Refugees Against Exploitation, War and Discriminatory Laws, Amidst the Global Economic Crisis! Oppose 'Fortress Europe' and the EU Return Directive!
OBJECTIVES OF THE SECOND IAMR
1) Bring to the fore the urgent issues and challenges facing migrants and refugees all over the world and take the progressive positions on such issues especially in the face of the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression;
2) Challenge the EU claim of being an open and humanist society in the face of a growing list of draconian laws and measures being taken against migrants and refugees such as the EU Return Directive.
3) Expand and strengthen the International Migrants Alliance (IMA) as a militant and progressive alliance of organizations of migrants and refugees, and advocates of migrants rights;
4) Develop a broad international advocacy network that will continuously engage states and official multilateral bodies regarding issues and concerns affecting migrants and refugees;
5) Adopt a program of action/campaigns around general and specific issues on migrants rights and welfare.
TOPICS FOR THE WORKSHOPS
1) The Impact of the Global Economic and Financial Crisis on Migrants
2) The Situation of Women Migrant Workers
3) The Precarisation (Marginalization/Exclusion) of Labor, especially Migrant Labor, and the Relations with Unions and the Social Movements
4) The Violation of the Rights to Asylum and the Plight of Refugees
5) The Urgent Issues of the Undocumented, Their Criminalization and 'Fortress Europe'
6) Fighting Racism, Discrimination, Xenophobia and Fascism
7) The Continued Attacks and State Repression on Migrants and Refugees under the so-called War on Terror
8) Political Empowerment and Participation for Successive Generations of Migrants and Confronting Policies and Problems in Integration
19) Engaging the United Nations and other International Bodies within the Framework of Upholding and Advancing the Rights and Welfare of Migrants and Refugees
10) Drawing Lessons and Celebrating Successful Campaigns on Migrant and Refugee Rights and Welfare, and People's Resistance
11) Developing An Education Campaign/Program to Increase our Capabilities and Skills to Arouse, Organize and Mobilize Migrants, Refugees and Advocates
CONVENORS OF THE SECOND IAMR:
The Second IAMR is being convened by the following: the International Migrants' Alliance (IMA)-Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM), IBON International, Class March (Greece), ATIK (Germany), Migrante Europe (The Netherlands)
DEFEND AND ADVANCE THE DEMOCRATIC AND BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES!
MIGRANTS SAY NO TO GFMD!
STOP POVERTY AND UNEMPLOYMENT! FIGHT FOR GENUINE SELF-DEVELOPMENT!
END FORCED MIGRATION! CREATE JOBS AT HOME!
MIGRANTS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS! NO TO THE OPPRESSIVE EU RETURN DIRECTIVE!
NO TO NEOLIBERAL GLOBALIZATION! YES TO PEOPLE'S INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!
BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE, NOT THE BANKS AND BIG CORPORATIONS!
MIGRANTS, ADVOCATES AND ALL WORKING PEOPLES UNITE AGAINST REPRESSION AND OPPRESSION!
IAMR Athens, Greece Contact Details:
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Postbox: 15687, 1001 ND Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Grace Punongbayan, head of secretariat
See also: International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees unites migrant workers in Manila