December 18, 2013
MORE THAN EVER UNITED TO AFFIRM AND DEFEND THE RIGHTS
OF IMMIGRANTS, REFUGEES AND DISPLACED PEOPLE!
On December 18, 1990 the U.N. General Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.
The objective of this Convention, the result of nearly two decades of debate and compromise, was precisely to guarantee the protection of the rights of migrant workers and their families.
It’s been 23 years since the approval of this convention, and unfortunately the safeguards and the rights of migrants, refugees and displaced people continues to be a goal to reach.
The countries of the “North” (Europe, U.S., Canada) of the world have yet to undersign the Convention. Yet,in many of the countries where the Convention has been ratified already, it is not applied nor respected. It is therefore necessary to continue the struggle for it to be adopted by more and more countries around the world but especially to make sure that signing the convention is not a pure formality.
The violations of human rights that occur daily around the world against migrants highlight the urgency for building alternatives of struggle. These alternatives should be used to demand and achieve respect for the rights of migrants, refugees and displaced people.
These violations occur in different places and at different levels. They are “daily bread” along migration routes and in the temporary, on-transit locations that many times simply become permanent stops.
On these territories violence is brutal and deadly, as demonstrated by the retention of migrant from Sub-Sahara by the government of North Africa supported by the European Fortress. The same is true in the northern border of Mexico where horrible massacres are committed by the complicity between the mafias and the state.
On these routes migrating human beings are forgotten or are killed or simply disappear, and no government says anything about it. On the contrary they are blamed for their own victimization. Most of the times, their corpses are not even recoverable.
The rights of migrants are violated at the receiving countries where they are not considered to be human beings or workers who should be subject to the protection of the law.
They are simply seen as cheap labor to be exploited or enslaved (this is very common among domestic workers, but also for others). Thus these workers can be deprived of their freedom against any logic of law. When these abusive states don’t have more use for cheap labor, the workers can be expelled and deported to places where they risk their lives.
In almost all states, the character of migrants are simply criminalized. They are presented to the local population as criminals, such as people who steal their jobs, who are responsible for the crisis and insecurity of towns; they become scapegoats used by governments to divert attention from the real culprits of global crisis.
We, the associations and organizations of migrants and solidarity organizations want to make a strong statement this December 18, 2013, by holding our Third Global Day of Action for the Rights of Migrants, Refugees and Displaced People. We seek to stops this continuous massacre of workers in desperate search for jobs around the world and the ongoing violation of human rights. We want our message to reach international institutions, states and governments, but also civil societies around the world.
Migrations are offering us the opportunity to redesign a new world, a world in which rights are not a privilege of those who are born in certain geographical areas but something that’s applicable to all people and therefore no person should risk their lives for a better future.
We want a world where migrating or not migrating is a choice and not an obligation.
We don’t want a world in which freedom of movement is designed only for merchandise for profits, but also where people can move freely, and establish residence where they choose without being forcibly displaced.
We want a world where all human beings have the right to a dignified job and where countries respect the fact that human beings have rights not only in the places where they were born but over and beyond those borders.
We want a world where no human being, no worker is illegal.
December 18, 2013
Third Global Day of Action
for the Rights of Migrants, Refugees and Displaced People
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