Further strengthen our international solidarity,
further organize the broadest number of migrants
(Statement of the Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants on the 2016 International Migrants Day)
The Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants joins migrant workers, immigrants, marriage migrants, refugees and the diaspora together with their families all over the world in commemorating the International Migrants Day.
The International Migrants Day is important to us in the APMM because first, it recognizes the growing demand of migrants for the upholding and protection of their rights, and second, it becomes an opportunity for them to come together and speak as one on demands they want, champion causes and express strong solidarity among them and with their local counterparts.
This year, 2016, a global compact has been introduced and to be developed with various stakeholders involved, especially the migrant sector, to advance the rights and welfare of migrants and their families and hopefully, finding solutions to the problems that cause the phenomenon of forced migration.
There is an estimated 244 million migrants in the world with more than 50% of them found in the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions. The conditions they face here are no different from those who live in other parts of the world – exploitation, abuse, trafficking, discrimination and xenophobia, government neglect. They continue to be vulnerable, the first to bear the brunt when economic and/or political crisis occurs. They are seen as security concerns by host governments, sources of remittances by their home governments, and not workers and people with rights.
Under a neoliberal development paradigm where forced migration is perceived as a tool for development instead of a reflection of societal problem, where the money migrants send home far exceeds their rights in terms of importance, the situation of migrants and their families will remain the same, if not worsen.
Thus, in our commemoration of the 2016 International Migrants Day, we join the many migrant workers, immigrants, marriage migrants, refugees and their families as they continue to build and strengthen a growing global movement not only for a society where the rule of law recognizes and upholds the rights of all, migrants included, but also a development paradigm that prioritizes the rights, welfare and dignity of migrants, people and the planet over profit.
We will commit ourselves in contributing to this growing global movement of migrants, standing beside them in their struggles, and helping create opportunities and spaces for their continued empowerment.
Long live the migrants’ movement and their families!
Manager, Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants