Thursday late afternoon, the International Migrants’ Alliance (IMA) organized a counter-GFMD protest in front of “The Chair” at the Palais des Nations. Migrants living in Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy opposed the GFMD agenda and called for the repeal of the EU Return Directive. Before the protest, a delegation visited
the Philippine mission in Geneva where they discussed the situation of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
Due to logistical and visa issues, this years meeting was significantly smaller than the International Assemblies of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR) held during previous GFMDs. Still, over two days some events were organized, among them a “Consultation Meeting for the Rights of the Undocumented and Against their Criminalization and Critique of the GFMD” on Wednesday.
In a statement issued for the protest, the IMA accused the GFMD of a “distorted view of development which is actually anti-people, anti-migrant and anti-human rights” and of talking about “how to make more money for governments and big business from our blood, sweat and tears”.
They also challenged European governments to stop unjust detention and deportation of migrants and refugees and expressed their committment “to build a new social order for ourselves together with the 99% exploited and oppressed peoples in the world”.