GFMD and WSFM 2012: Calls for participation and workshop proposals

Two major global events are scheduled on the migration agenda this year: The World Social Forum on Migration (WSFM) in Manila (November 26-30) and the Global Forum on Migration and Development (in Mauritius November 19-22). The application processes have started and more details on the events have become avialable. The WSFM is a civil-society led process and pretty much everybody can apply for participation, except political party representations or military organizations. Participant registration has not opened yet and is announced to open on August 1 2012. But the application process for workshops has started already and the call reflects the sub-themes of the WSFM. These are:

Day 1: Mobility – Sub thematic area 1: Crisis Critiques and Consequences of Global Migration

Day 2: Rights – Sub thematic area 2: Migrants Rights are Human Rights

Day 3:  Global Models: Sub thematic area 3: Re-imagining migration, proposing alternatives, exploring models

There are also overall themes for the event – namely “resistance, organization, action” and the focus on next steps and recommendations for future action. Besides workshops, the program will include events like a field visit to initiate dialogue with Civil Society Organizations, Migrant Families and the Local Government of Batangas, a major sending area of migrants in the country.

The WSFM website can be found at

and the call for workshops and poster sessions at

The application process for participation in the civil society days of the GFMD has already started. The deadline for application is 15 June 2012 and participants can apply here:

With both events taken place within the same month, I wonder what the civil society turnout will be at the GFMD. Mauritius is not exactly around the corner from Manila and vise versa. Personally, after having participated in the previous 4 GFMDs, I might opt for the WSFM this year instead (unless miraculously some major funding opportunity arises… 😉

It is somewhat unfortunate that the WSFM takes place after the GFMD, so it cannot provide input to the government process.

These thoughts are by no means intended to diminish the importance of the civil society days, of course, which will be held on 19 and 20 November 2012 in Mauritius. As in previous years,  a shared session with government and civil society representatives is scheduled for the morning of the 21st of November, followed by the government meeting through the rest of 21 and 22 November.

These will be the core topics of the civil society days, once more organized by the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC):

• labour mobility and matching

• migrants/diaspora and development

• protection of the rights of migrants and their families

• the global governance of migration and development – including a major focus on prospects and preparation for the UN High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development


About Dr. Stefan Rother

Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institute at the University of Freiburg -- Freelance journalist -- You can find my CV at the links below:
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