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Input van Transnational Migrant Platform

Dit was de bijdrage van TMP, die zelf niet op de bijeenkomst aanweizg konden zijn. Zie hier de rest van het verslag van de conferentie ‘Links en de Crisis’ van 13 december 2008.

4 min leestijd
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Input Transnational Migrant Platform

We just want to greet you today and wish you a lively debate and some good outcomes and points of action.

As you know, the Transnational Migrant Platform is also holding its Forum today – this was planned since September so we regret that we cannot join you.  It has become a tradition to mark the UN Migrant Convention in these days between December 10 (Human Rights Day) and December 18th (International Migrant Rights Day).

The Transnational Migrant Platform, is also responding to this convergence of crises. In fact we could say that many of us have already confronted the earlier impacts and crises of neoliberal globalisation – whether with the Asian financial crisis, the Argentinian financial crisis and the continuing onslaught on lives and livelihoods all over Africa.
Currently, the financial meltdown is the most dramatic – but together these crises signal the unraveling of the neoliberal, corporate driven globalised model of development which has dominated the world economy for the past 25 years. The impacts of this globalisation paradigm have been devastating our peoples livelihoods, environments and natural resources in the Global South (Latin America, Asia and Africa).

What does this stage of the crisis mean for us in migrant communities?

In Europe and the US, we hear mainly of the financial meltdown and the trillions of dollars being mobilized for bailout of the Banks and the corporations which have in large part caused the crisis in the first place.
In our home countries in the South, other dimensions of the crisis are being strongly felt – the food crisis and food prices. In the Philippines, the government has had to trawl the world looking for rice. From a rice sufficient and exporting country in the 70s, the Philippines is now severely dependent on rice imports. With the collapse of livelihoods, 3,000 migrants leave the country everyday.

We also expect that the crisis will be an added incentive to governments in Europe to pursue an even more aggressive zero migration policy – this will particularly effect the undocumented among us. We already feel the impact of the Return Directive (June 2008) and the Migration and Asylum Pact (October 2008) – which is a policy stripped of human rights.
We also expect harder times to find work opportunities and therefore less earnings that can be sent to support our families – our countries economies have become heavily dependent on our remittances.

We also expect increased deportations and detentions with the implementation of the Return Directive and the Migration and Asylum Pact.

We believe however that this is a favourable time moment to challenge the neoliberal paradigm…and to make sure that governments don’t rehabilitate it – which is what they set out to do during the G20 in Washington.
It is also the moment that challenges all of us to strengthen our commitment to build alternatives. For us in the TMP – this will be pursued along two lines of strategy:
Resistance to Global Europe and the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) which it is imposing on the Global South.
Resistance to Fortress Europe and the migration regime expressed in the Return Directive, the Migration & Asylum Pact and the latest Dutch migration policy the Modern Migratiebelied (October 2008)  
Our Alternative agenda will be launched today – to develop a europewide response and network of migrant movements and social movements to challenge the Global migration regime which is symbolized in the Global Forum on Migration and Development which will be held in Athens in November 2009.
In the Netherlands, we have also launched a campaign for the rights of Migrant Domestic Workers – the majority of whom are undocumented and without rights in this country – this campaign will be linked to the campaign for an ILO Convention on Domestic Work.

We migrant movements and you social movements need to find a way to respond together to this  unprecedented crisis and historical opportunity. We believe that we can find common ground.
Let’s get together on this!

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