World Social Forum on Migrations 2016: A regional affair?


FSMM logogENG_MaxYou might not have noticed it, but the World Social Forum on Migrations gathered this month in São Paulo, Brazil, for its 7th meeting. According to the organizers, “3,600 militants and activists from 57 countries from all continents” came together at the University Zumbi from 7 to 10 July 2016. Still, from the outside this seemed to me a mostly regional meeting with limited attempts to connect to migrant communities globally. The declaration agreed upon by the participants has now been released and you can find it here: Continue reading

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#GFMD 2016 Civil Society Days online application has started – new selection process


GFMD Bangladesh logoThe application process for the Civil Society Days (CSD) of the upcoming Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) has started and is open until 22 July. The CSDs will take place in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from 8- 9 December, followed by a Common Space with the government representatives on 10 December. The proposed theme for the CSDs is “Time for Action: Doing rights-based governance of migration and development; in our communities and across borders”, while the overall theme of the 2016 GFMD is “Migration that works for Sustainable Development for All: Towards a Transformative Migration Agenda”. There has been a change regarding the selection of civil society delegates with the goal to “to decentralize and rationalize the process”: Continue reading

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Today is International #DomesticWorkersDay – 5 years after the convention


domestic workers day 2015On June 16 2011, the ILO adopted Convention 189 on decent work for domestic workers and its accompanying Recommendation 201. Since then, after a slow start progress has been made: 22 countries have ratified the convention, more than 30 have extended legislative protections to domestic workers. Still according to the ILO 90% of the estimated 67 million domestic workers do not enjoy effective social protections. Around 17 percent of domestic workers are migrants and migrants’ rights organizations are particularly active in advocacy and celebrations on International Domestic Workers Day: Continue reading

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Will the International Organization for #Migration ( #IOM ) move closer (in)to the United Nations system?


Banki 1On September 19, the United Nations (UN) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) might sign a new relationship agreement. There are several scenarios regarding the content of this agreement, ranging from the IOM becoming a “UN-related organization” such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) or the World Trade Organization (WTO) up to full inclusion into the UN system as a specialized agency such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Obviously, the International Labour Organization (ILO) is already an UN agency with a long-established profile on the labor-related aspects of migration, and the future mandate of and relationship between the two organizations would be, let’s say, interesting to observe. The driving force behind this development seems to be Continue reading

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Looking beyond ‘the refugee crisis’, can migrants be the new agents of democracy?


Stefan Rother, Freiburg University

This article is part of the Democracy Futures series, a joint global initiative with the Sydney Democracy Network. The project aims to stimulate fresh thinking about the many challenges facing democracies in the 21st century.


Over the last few decades, the focus on migration has widened beyond a narrow preoccupation with integration – a positive development. However, while issues of migration and development, migration and securitisation, migration and climate change, and migration and gender are all relevant, something is conspicuously absent from the debate – the relationship between migration and the spread of democracy. Continue reading

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Migrants on #InternationalWomensDay : Stop gender-based violence –and its xenophobic instrumentalisation #IWD2016


InternationalWomensDay-portraitToday is International Women’ Day and in the light of the current political situation, the rights of migrant and refugee women receive particular attention. Several migrant organisations have issued statements today, addressing issues such as labor exploitation, subhuman wages and violence against women as well as calls for equal rights and empowerment. Some statements also distance themselves from what I would call the “false friends of women’s rights” that have been particularly vocal after the “Cologne attacks”, but actually use the “protection of our women” as a justification for Xenophobia and Islamophobia. Here is a collection of statements:

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Global #migration and #refugee governance outlook 2016


GFMD Bangladesh“2016 has well become THE migrant year”, stated Peter Sutherland, UN Secretary Generals’ Special Representative for International Migration, in a recent webinar. Obviously, migration has been brought to the top of the international agenda for some time now, but this year will see a number of high-level events addressing the issue. This post will provide an overview – without neglecting the agency of migrants and their organizations themselves and their upcoming events. Continue reading

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