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16. November

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International Migrants Tribunal Finds Global Migration Initiative Guilty of Advancing Modern Day Slavery

People's Tribunal Calls on World Governments to Scrap Globalization and Lobal Export Policies of the GMFD


The International Migrants’ Tribunal (IMT) on the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), a people's tribunal coordinated by Karibu partner Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM), concludes with a verdict that that contained the three charges that the GFMD was found guilty of, namely: (1) on the charge that it prescribes migration policies that advance the neoliberal agenda of commodification of labor and modern-day slavery; (2) on the charge that it, through the sending governments, is criminally neglectful of the migrants’ political, economic, social and cultural rights; and (3) on the charge that it, through receiving governments, has violated the migrants’ political, economic, social and cultural rights.   The story can be found below.




Guilty!

This is the verdict issued by the International Migrants’ Tribunal (IMT) on the Global Forum on Migration on Development (GFMD) in conclusion of its 2-day activity held on November 28-29, 2012 at the Malcolm Theater, University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines.

Prof, Osamu Niikura, head of the panel of judges for the IMT and former president of the Japanese Lawyers for International Solidarity Association (JALISA), read the 20-page verdict that contained the three charges that the GFMD was found guilty of, namely: (1) on the charge that it prescribes migration policies that advance the neoliberal agenda of commodification of labor and modern-day slavery; (2) on the charge that it, through the sending governments, is criminally neglectful of the migrants’ political, economic, social and cultural rights; and (3) on the charge that it, through receiving governments, has violated the migrants’ political, economic, social and cultural rights.

The other members of the judges’ panel who read the verdict were Atty Ana Lorena Delgadillo from Mexico, Bishop Soritua Nababan from Indonesia, Monique Wilson and Prof. Roland Tolentino from the Philippines.

The IMT

The IMT, organized by the International Migrants’ Alliance together with the International Women’s Alliance, International League of Peoples’ Struggle and the Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants, had more than 200 local and foreign participants listen to nine witnesses relaying how the GFMD has been party in the many violations being committed against migrants and
refugees.

Three expert witnesses from various organizations and institutions came
forward: Antonio Tujan, Jr from Ibon International, Jose Jacques Medina from Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, and Dr. Irene Fernandez from Tenaganita. The six other witnesses represented various sections of the migrant sector, namely: Eni Lestari representing foreign domestic workers; Rex Osa representing refugees; Vivian Medina representing women migrants; Gregario Cagod representing seafarers; Luz Miriam Jaramillo
talking about the European Union Return Directive; and Garry Martinez
talking about the labor export policy.

The whole legal process leading to the IMT was observed. As testimonies were verified and notarized, an indictment was released and sent via messenger and/or post to the 37 country governments and institutions
organizing the GFMD. The 37 countries are Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

The Verdict


In addition to the thee major charges, the IMT also found the GFMD guilty of the following:

On the European Return Directive: The GFMD promoted the criminalization and violations of the rights of undocumented migrants in Europe through the EU Return Directive which sanctions the criminalization, detention and deportation of what it considers illegal or undocumented migrants;

On the issue of Refugees: The GFMD’s view and policy that the problem vis-a-vis refugees should be seen simply within the framework of stepping up border controls encouraged human rights violations;

On issues of Domestic Workers: The GFMD is merely concerned with making more systematic temporary labor migration to serve their agenda of commodification and reduce migrant workers to modern-day slaves;

On the issue of Women Migrant Workers: The GFMD exposed women migrant workers to violence, abuse and exploitation and imposed additional legal barriers for their migration;

On the issue of Seafarers: The GFMD has perpetuated the condition where the vast majority of seafarers of the world are suffered to work the perils of the sea with lower and lower real wages, inhuman working conditions, unsafe ships, and longer hours; and

On the issue of Labor Export Policy: The GFMD has endorsed labor export
over the rights and protection of migrant workers and their families through a policy that has resulted in tremendous hardships to them.

The GFMD has also implemented policies and committed actions that run contrary or are in violation of 12 international conventions, namely: 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights; 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; 1990 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; The 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol;
1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; 1965 InternationalConvention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; 1984 Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child; 1950 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its protocols; ILO Migration for
Employment Convention (Revised); and ILO Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers (C189).

Several recommendations were also made by the Judges, namely: the abolition of the GFMD and the abrogation of its policies; the adoption by sending States of genuine national economic development policies that will curb forced labor migration; the adoption and implementation by the States
of national policies that are in line with international instruments and conventions; that an investigation and prosecution of cases of violations committed against migrants and indemnification of victims and their families; scrapping of the globalization policy and the labor export policy.

For more information about the tribunal, please check out its website:
http://internationalmigrantstribunal.wordpress.com.


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Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM) is a cause-oriented regional center committed to support the migrants’ movement through advocacy, organizing, building linkages for the advancement of migrants’ rights.


Posted by Karibu Foundation - Last updated 17.01.2013