Migrants, Unite to Uphold Our Rights and Dignity and End Forced Migration
IMA Statement on International Migrants Day
18 December 2017
End forced migration. End neoliberal globalization.
This is the call of the International Migrants Alliance (IMA) as we commemorate International Migrants Day.
In IMA’s view, the current trend of international migration is forced yet many world leaders continue to deny this reality. Instead of resolving the root causes of forced migration – such as extreme poverty, landlessness, massive unemployment, conflict and war – global discussions revolve around achieving safe, regular and orderly migration.
But their management of migration to boost economic development is problematic as it is pegged on ensuring economic interests of businesses and capitalists at the expense of migrants. The policies of neoliberal globalization that have caused economies to collapse, contractualised labor, impoverished people and have brought forth forced migration, are the same policies guiding facilitation of migration.
In this regard, global initiatives on migration will fail as capitalist interests are heralded as top priority while the plight of millions of migrants who are trafficked and sold to slavery is ignored. More concrete actions are made to realize free trade agreements while calls to ensure protection for refugees like the Rohingya continually fall on deaf ears. The private sector will be ushered in as reliable partners in resolving migration yet the migrants who should be at the forefront of this global conversation are shut out. So much for leaving no one behind.
In the same vein, the withdrawal of the US government from the global compact on migration, while it is not expected to fully address the issues of migrants, does not bode well for the millions of migrants and immigrants in the US. With the rise of right-wing extremism and white supremacy in the US coupled with recent anti-migrant pronouncements of the current administration, immigrants and migrants there will continue to live in fear while governments the world over may follow the US’ footsteps.
We have no one to rely on but ourselves and our allies. Let us continue to organize and mobilize our ranks and campaign for the realization of our aspirations – the respect and promotion of our rights, our eventual reunification with our families back home, and a society without forced migration.
The phenomenon of forced migration can be ended and it can start with us.
Eni Lestari, IMA Chairperson