Migrant Forum in Asia

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Inputs from the Civil Society Parallel Event to the Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative

Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA), together with the Global Coalition on Migration (GCM) and the MADE Network, organized and facilitated a parallel program to the official regional meeting of the Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) Initiative*. The parallel program of the civil society network was held on 21-22 March 2015 at the Crowne Regency in Makati City, Philippines, while the MICIC gathering organized by the IOM, the Philippine and US governments and other core group members took place on 23-24 March 2015 in Dusit Thani, also in Makati City.

In the civil society process, participants reviewed the analysis of global civil society on stranded migrants, migrants caught in crisis situations, and the perpetual crises that migrants face daily. This analysis has evolved and taken shape over many years of work with migrant communities and engaging in national, regional, and international government processes.

The MICIC Initiative seeks to address the protection needs of migrants in acute onset emergencies in destination countries. Governments and agencies involved in the MICIC Initiative have indicated that there is no specific protection framework to address the particular needs of migrants caught in countries experiencing crisis. This analysis falls short, as it fails to account for existing human rights frameworks that, if properly adopted and implement by States, would reduce migrants’ risks, decrease their vulnerability, and empower them as actors in emergency response strategies. As emergencies such as conflict and natural disasters are becoming the norm rather than the exception, it is crucial that governments move beyond humanitarian assistance and ground guiding principles for emergency responses in existing human rights frameworks.


Position Paper: Migration and the Sustainable Development Goals

The SDGs mark an important moment for a deeper realization of what human rights are about. Many of the draft goals are aligned with human rights obligations and key elements of the human rights-based approach to development, including attention to root causes, gender equality, non-discrimination, and accountability, among others. However, civil society remains concerned that the OWG proposal looks to the private sector to finance development, affirming a neoliberal model that commodifies people and nature. The SDGs may, in the end, reinforce an economic model by which very often migration becomes a necessity rather than a choice. It is imperative that the SDGs include explicit human rights language to ensure that they live up to their potential of being truly transformative and human rights-centred.

Read the position paper in full here.


Resource: Policy briefs on the role of missions and shelters

Migrant Forum in Asia issued new policy briefs which are useful for advancing migrants rights advocacy:

The role of missions in protecting and promoting the rights of migrant workers

There is an evident gap between the perceptions of embassy officials and migrant communities with respect to the role of the foreign mission. Migrant communities and migrants rights advocates have long held that foreign missions must strengthen their presence, responses, and advocacy on behalf of their nationals, particularly when human rights violations occur.

Providing shelter for distressed migrant workers: A rights-based approach.

The shelter exists because of the real and stark human cost of labour migration and restrictive immigration systems for low-income international Asian migrant workers. Protection of migrant workers must ultimately begin with prevention of human and labour rights violations of all migrant workers, regardless of immigration status; so that the demand for shelters would be significantly diminished. Given the failure to protect migrant workers, rights-based shelters can provide migrant workers who have been exploited and abused with vital support and assistance. Ensuring justice for the victims of rights violations remains essential for credible protection.

Check out MFA's complete set of policy briefs here


Step It Up: Dignity. Rights. Development! 25 Years of Convention on Migrant Workers

On 2-3 November 2014, in a gathering of civil society organizations, trade unions and human rights advocates in Dubai, a discussion was initiated to step up the campaign for the ratification of the 1990 UN Migrant Workers Convention. The 25th Anniversary of the Convention in 2015 presents a unique opportunity to scale up the campaign and call on UN Member States to ratify the Convention and for the States parties to fulfill their commitments as part of their obligations to promote and protect the rights of all migrant workers and members of their families.

As a result of the meeting in Dubai, MFA together with the OHCHR Secretary of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, International Labour Organization, South Asian Regional Trade Union Council, Diplomacy Training Program, Arab Network for Migrants Rights, Solidarity Center, and Migrant Rights International, are pleased to launch a year-long campaign in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Convention.

Titled “Step It Up: Dignity, Rights, Development”, the global campaign seeks to reinvigorate efforts for ratification. The campaign encourages all stakeholders – States parties, trade unions, employers’ organizations, civil society organizations, migrant workers and members of their families to take part in this yearlong global initiative, beginning today, 18 December 2014 to 18 December 2015.

The Step It Up campaign through the online platform strives to weave together these interrelated issues and clearly demonstrates that migration is not an isolated matter but is tied to various dimensions of peoples’ struggles for equality, dignity, decent work and human rights.

To know more about the campaign, please visit http://cmw25.org/. Activities relating to the promotion of the human rights of migrant workers and members of their families as well as engagements with States to ratify the CMW will find space in this online platform.

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Step It Up: Dignity, Rights, Development
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Domestic Work Global Campaign