Advance Peoples Resistance against Neo-liberal Globalization
-International Migrant Conference (IMC)-
Source :  Asian Workers News
By J. Mark / AWN Staff Reporter
Migrant International, a global alliance of migrant NGOs, Mass Organizations Associations, in cooperation with Contak-Philippines, Gabriela International and the Asia-Pacific Mission for Migrant Filipinos successfully held a worldwide conference dubbed the International Migrant Conference on Labor-Export and Forced Migration Amidst Globalization (IMC). This important event took place from November 4 to 8, 2001, in Manila, Philippines.
More than 120 delegates, coming from 23 countries from Europe/Scandinavia, Middle East, North America, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, joined ranks and participated in the conference.
Migrants, immigrants, refugees and advocates banded together to bring resistance to neo-liberal globalization to a new and higher level!
We gathered to mark the historical day with the symbolic destruction of the wall of neo-liberal globalization, the very obstruction to genuine freedom and the progressive development of nations, social justice for working people and the eradication of forced migration. The conference was aimed at developing a common analysis of the root cause of migration, its direct consequences and other related issues and problems, and the role of governments and international institutions in the process of labor-export and forced migration; generating action against human rights violations committed against migrants, immigrants, refugees and displaced people; harnessing international cooperation among participating migrant, immigrant and refugee organizations; sharing strategies of resistance and programs of action to the worsening problem of labor-export and forced migrations.The above objectives laid down the basis of our unity and were a potent tool in organizing our ranks in the broadest possible number. This unity was the basis for the general direction of our struggle that will pave the way for breaking the historic injustices we are suffering from abusive employers and labor-exporting states.
The monopoly capitalists that are behind neo-liberalism works in a global scale, we too, in order to be effective, should show our organized strength globally.
IMC Conference Workshop Resolutions: The following are the resolutions that came up during a series of simultaneous workshop.
Resolution on Migration Under the Neo-liberal Agenda
We the delegates from migrant organizations, advocates and institutions, the peasant and workers sectors, coming from 23 countries, do hereby unite on the following:
That there are more than 150 million people working and residing outside their respective countries as migrants and as political refugees, which underscores the worsening trend of forced migration brought about by poverty, political conflicts and environmental degradation mostly in countries of the Third World.
That monopoly capitalism dominates the economy of poor countries, keeping them perpetually backward, agricultural and without basic industries, resulting in massive poverty, unemployment and underemployment.
That in the advanced capitalist countries, the neo-liberal policies of monopoly capitalism bring tremendous miseries on the working class, the people and migrants, who are blamed for the ills of society and are pitted against local workers.
Economic and political crisis have led to wars, affecting the lives and livelihood of migrant workers and their families.
That governments and the ruling classes of labor-exporting countries are the only ones to benefit from the remittances of migrant workers, and avert social unrest among the impoverished people.
Therefore, we resolved to:
1. Oppose the evils of neo-liberal globalization and expose its anti-migrant, anti-people and anti-national consequences.
2. Launch echo conferences to educate migrant workers and local people regarding neo-liberal globalization and its effect on migrant workers and local workers.
3. Strengthen and expand the organizations and network of migrant workers and seafarers and political refugees to effectively protect and advance their rights and welfare.
4. Promote information and educational materials on migrants rights through the internet and newsletters.
5. Expose and oppose the exploitative and oppressive character of the labor export and import schemes of both sending and receiving governments.
6. Pressure governments to ratify conventions relevant to the plight and struggle of migrant workers, immigrants and political refugees. Lobby for the enactment and implementation of laws to regulate recruitment and punish illegal recruiters and sex traffickers.
7. Link our collective efforts and initiatives to various international platforms and formations for wider and greater impact.
Link the campaign against neo-liberal globalization with the larger campaign against unjust war.
8. Launch campaigns, propaganda and education programs both on local and international levels to expose and oppose unjust wars that affect the very lives and livelihood of people and migrant workers.
Pursue discussion and actions to effectively break the cycle of exploitation wrought by neo-liberal globalization.
Resolution on the Issue of Undocumented Migrant Workers
*The problem of migration is brought about by the imposition of neo-liberal policies in imperialist countries, to Third World nations, with the help of local compradors, as manifested in the continuing systematic and massive labour export policies of sending countries, the fundamental causes of the growing numbers of undocumented migrants can be rooted out in the economic, political and cultural condition in their home as well as the need for cheap labor in the host countries.
*It is also known that undocumented migrants are vulnerable to various forms of exploitation and abuses, such as living in constant fear, and that they can be found mostly in advanced and developed countries and serve as source of cheap human labor;
*The trainee system is one form of exploitation of migrant workers; it is an exploitative system used by governments to deprive migrants of their rights and privileges as workers.
It breeds undocumented workers, due to the systems exorbitant recruitment fees; and some sending and receiving governments under neo-liberal globalization, such as the Philippines, Japan, and Korea have adopted the trainee system to prevent migrant workers from becoming permanent ones and control their stay in the host countries.
*Host countries pursue the criminalization of undocumented workers and blatantly violate their basic human rights, including children, by imposing fines, arresting, detaining and deporting them without due process;
*Respective governments of migrant workers are inutile in upholding and protecting the rights of the undocumented migrants to work legally as stipulated in the international conventions and human rights treaties.
*It is hereby resolved that we, the participants of the International Migrant Conference, held in Manila, Philippines condemn the continuing insensitivity and hold accountable both the home and the host governments in their inutility to uphold and protect the rights of undocumented workers.
*We also resolve that this conference will continue to uphold and protect the rights and well being of undocumented migrants and their rights to work through continuing education, organizing and mobilizing their ranks for empowerment and we, as participants shall assist, organize pressure to host country governments to decriminalize undocumented migrants.
Also, to push for legislative actions for the recognition of, and exert efforts to study the amnesty policies of receiving countries and to take further measures to make these policies more beneficial to undocumented workers.
*Finally, we resolve that unless neo-liberal policies, which create the problems of migration are not solved, the problem of undocumented workers will continue to exist. Thus, there is a need to strengthen the mass movement of migrant workers in sending and receiving countries, and build international migrant movement, as well as strengthening the links and solidarity actions with the local workers, church people, professionals and other sectors.
Done and approved November 6 2001, at Las Palmas Hotel in Manila, Philippines.
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