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Marking the Growth of Migrants Resistance and Movement

The International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR) Meets in New York


More than 100 grassroots organizations from 18 countries around the world gathered together for the fourth IAMR in New York City to share experiences on the conditions of migrants, immigrants and refugees, to discuss the migration and development paradigm under the current situation of global economic and political instability, and to formulate concrete solidarity and cooperative actions that address immediate concerns of migrants.   The IAMR was held alongside the UN High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development.   The full story can be found below.





Prepared by Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM)

www.apmigrants.org


The International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR) continued to be a melting pot of migrant activism and solidarity as it confronted the migration for development design right into its source – the United Nations High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development.

More than 100 grassroots organizations from 18 countries around the world gathered together for the Fourth IAMR in New York City, USA to share experiences on the conditions of migrants, immigrants and refugees; discuss the migration and development paradigm under the current situation of global economic and political instability, and formulate concrete solidarity and cooperative actions that address immediate concerns of migrants as well as the fulfillment of the strategic call for a human-rights based migration framework and a development design that promotes justice, sound and sustainable.


The IAMR4 is particularly distinct from the three previous gatherings on several important impacts.


First of all, the IAMR4 gave an opportunity for many migrants and immigrants in the United States – the top destination of immigrants and migrants from almost all global regions – to be with migrants from other countries and discover commonalities and opportunities for solidarity and cooperation.


The active participation of grassroots immigrants and migrants in the US from Latin America and Asia was inspiring for it has shown that inside the US itself, the resistance of grassroots migrants and their efforts of building and strengthening their communities and linkages with others are very much palpable and alive.

 

Participants from other global regions got to understand better the indignity that migrants in the US and those transiting to the US suffer from. It became more concrete for migrants from other countries that the promised land of milk and honey is a land of walls, wired fences, disrespect to family formation, prisons for immigrants, economic injustice, and repressive measures in the name of “national security”.

 

Secondly, the IAMR4 was important because the confrontation, the clash of positions, was with the main champion of migration for development line: the UN HLD itself.

 

The IAMR in Manila, Athens and Mexico challenged and exposed the Global Forum on Migration for Development or the GFMD that was a platform created after the first UNHLD on International Migration and Development in 2006. With the IAMR4, the strong grassroots position on the fundamental flaws of the migration for development design was brought to the governments themselves.

 

Through efforts by supporters from the Fourth Church Witnessing With Migrants and the Karibu Foundation, IAMR4 grassroots migrant leaders were able to meet with officials of governments and intergovernmental bodies including the representatives of the governments of Norway and of Sweden. Meeting with the latter was particularly significant as Sweden sets to host the GFMD in 2014.

 

Armed with the advocacy paper upheld by the CWWM4 and the policy recommendation initiated by the International Migrants’ Alliance (IMA) and endorsed by more than 100 grassroots migrant organizations around the world, the dialogues have shown the importance of heightening future efforts to urge policymakers to take the human rights-based path in dealing with migration and development problems.

 

Thirdly, the IAMR4 has put on board more grassroots migrant organizations from the US and from Latin America in the continuing struggle against the commodification of migrants and modern-day slavery.

 

Majority of the participants were new to the IAMR and because of their attendance, they were able to have an opportunity to extend their linkaging with groups and communities within the US and in other countries. For the IMA, meanwhile, it meant the opportunity to reach out to grassroots groups in the US and Latin America, introduce the IMA and its work, and encourage their partnership with and even membership to the IMA that still counts itself as the only existing global formation composed mainly of and led by grassroots migrants themselves.

 

With these achievements, the IAMR4 was a resounding success.

 

It affirmed that current migration is a forced one and perpetuated by a systematic labour export program of sending countries. It further concretized the truth that wherever they come from or wherever they may be, the commonalities of issues and problems of migrants and immigrants are evident. It upheld the commitment of the IMA and the grassroots migrants movement for a migration that is truly an exercise of human rights and a development that is genuinely serving the interests of migrants and the people.

 

With the consolidation and expansion of ranks that IAMR4 brought, grassroots migrants are ever more ready to resist the migration for development design, advance the human rights of migrants, and commit to uphold solidarity for a more dignified and humane future for migrants and their families.


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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 30.10.2013