Migrant Int’l calls for end to the GFMD, to modern-day slavery
On the occasion of the 2013 High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development, Migrante International (MI) brought to the United Nations (UN) its appeal to put an end to the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and to decisively bury the notion that migration, as it is recognized and practised by the world today, shall not and will never lead to any genuine development.
MI chairperson Garry Martinez was in Long Island City in New York Oct 1 – Oct 5 to attend the 4th International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR), a gathering of grassroots migrant organizations from around the world that exposes the GFMD’s line of “managing migration” as a “tool for development”. The IAMR has been held in opposition to past gatherings of the GFMD, which was formed by the United Nations High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development in 2006.
Since 2008, the IAMR has consistently criticized the UN HLD and its affiliated bodies as undemocratic and promoting a neoliberal framework of development that institutionalizes the systematic forced labor and trafficking of foreign workers seeking to lift themselves out of deep poverty in their home countries.
IAMR4 was attended by migrants from Asia, Africa and Latin America – domestic workers, caregivers, construction workers, seafarers, victims of human trafficking, refugees – who shared their stories, discussed issues affecting them and proposed solutions.
Workshops were held on issues as Guest Worker Programs and Labour Export Policies of Countries, Forced Migration and its Impact on Women and Children, Militarization of Borders, Challenges in the Struggles of Domestic Workers and Caregivers, Undocumented Youth, Global Integration of Nursing and Caregiving, etc.
The International Migrants’ Alliance spearheaded a march from Times Square to the UN headquarters where a protest action was held, the first ever in front of the UN headquarters since 911.
At the helm of the contingent of migrants from Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia, the Philippines, Hongkong, Palestine, Europe, Canada, the US and other countries were Migrante International chairperson Garry Martinez, International Migrants’ Alliance chairperson Eni Lestari from Indonesia, Connie Regalado of Migrante International, and Migrante Canada chairperson Tess Agustin