A letter calling for global action towards the effective defence, protection and promotion of the rights of Migrants

Keywords : Human and trade union rights Solidarity Letters

Dear friends and comrades:

We write to you in reference to the global day of action for the rights of migrants, refugees and displaced people on December 18, 2012.

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Following the positive balance of a similar action in 2011, where more than 20 countries around the world carried out related activities, some of the organizations and networks that participated on those events have come to the conclusion that is important to again attempt the collective event we built together last year.

Besides demanding the ratification and application of the U.N. Convention for the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families, this year we believe it is important to highlight and denounce the tragedy confronted daily by people on the borders. Every day thousands die or disappear during their trip in search of a better future.

Two situations among the many that we could take on are forcing us to give priority to this situation. For once, the struggle of the relatives of young people who have disappeared from Tunisia is gaining momentum. These relatives are demanding from Tunisia, Italy and the European Union a truthful account on the circumstances under which these young people could have died or disappeared, in particular on the Mediterranean Sea, which is supposed to be the ocean with the greatest military control.

On the other hand, there is perseverance of Central American families that for many years have organized the "caravan of dignity" across the border in search of their relatives disappeared in transit from Mexico to the U.S. These are only two examples of similar struggles carried out on many other borders.

From July 11 to the 17th, a preparatory meeting took place in Monastir, Tunisia, towards the upcoming World Forum. During this meeting the ship Oloferne arrived on that port carrying out the team of Boats4People (www.boats4people.com) as part of the solidarity flotilla. Boats4People is a project of a coalition of European and African organizations whose objective is to denounce the deaths of those who attempt to reach Europe crossing the Mediterranean Ocean. On July 13 there was a workshop entitled "The Disappeared: Mobilizations Against Deaths and Disappearances on the Border". The participants included relatives and organizations from Mali, Algeria, Morocco, Senegal, Chad, Ethiopia, France, Holland, Germany, Italy and the founders of the project WatThe Med (a collaborative between Boats4People and Forensic Architecture Department of Goldsmiths College in London). Their objective was to gather data about human rights violations on the open seas. During the meeting a letter from the relatives of disappeared migrants on Central America was receive by the relatives from Tunisia.

The workshop decided to support the call to a second global day of action for the rights of migrants, refugees and displaced people under the slogan Migrate to Live! No More Deaths and Disappearances!, which has been already signed by many different organizations. The objective of this day of action is to allow multiple campaigns to join forces on December 18, 2012. This effort should be a space for unity, where we can all express ourselves with respect for diversity. The whole world must join our single strong voice demanding truth and justice about these deaths and disappearances.

During the workshop it was further proposed that on December 18 we launch an international campaign to create independent commissions to investigate these matters on the countries that are affected by it. We will also demand from the United Nations that their Commission Against Forced Disappearances become active in the countries affected by this tragedy.

We invite all the organizations and networks that last year participated on this event to continue promoting this initiative. We also invite those who didn’t participate last year to join forces with us this time.

What we are asking is that each organization in their own country, region or city develop an initiative to denounce the tragedy of death and disappearance of migrants. Each locality is free to do it from their own perspectives.

What will unite all these initiatives will be the logo of the action which you can download from www.globalmigrantsaction.org. We are seeking to create more visibility internationally and to build a international movement for the rights of migrants, refugees and displaced people.

The web site of the day of action, www.globalmigrantsaction.org will be the repository of information on all the initiatives and campaigns that are being organized and that will take place on December 18, 2012. We invite all organizations to send us their web page links and the material they produce in this direction.

A new day of action for the rights of migrants, refugees and displaced people is possible this coming December 18, 2012!

Send your info and sponsorship to: info@globalmigrantsaction.org

http://www.globalmigrantsaction.org/photos/gda_eng_2012.jpg

ITUC-Africa will be joining the rest of the world to mark this day we we plan to draw attention to the issues of migrant workers exploitation, absence of voice and representation and the lack of protection. Our activities will also focus on campaigns that will contribute to combating hate crimes and xenophobic attacks.

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