The second parallel – if not: counter- event that will take place this week in New York on the occasion of the 2nd UN High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development (HLD) is the 4th International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR4). The program will feature a candlelight vigil, workshops, a testimony from “The Dream 9” (an activist group of undocumented Mexican migrants in the US)- and a flash mob! The origins of the IAMR date back to the second Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in 2008 in Manila, where protests against thegovernment of then-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo mixed with the advocacy of the newly-founded International Migrants’ Alliance (IMA)
In their own words, the IAMR “has gathered grassroots migrant organizations from around the world who seek to expose the bankruptcy of the United Nations’ line of “managing migration” as a “tool for development”. This led to a strict opposition to the GFMD which the migrant organisations involved in the IAMR consider as a forum for the promotion of neoliberal politics and the commodification of labour.
Since the GFMD was founded as a direct outcome of the first UN HLD in 2006, it is in a way only consequential that the IAMR organizes protests against this gathering as well – although, as far as I understand it, the grassroots organisations want the discussions on migration moved away from the state-led GFMD and back into the UN (but probably in a different manner – well, I will ask them about that..)
I have participated in/ at least visited the 3 previous IAMR and plan to do so here in New York as well. The full schedule of activities can be found here: http://iamr4.com/about/program/
I certainly want to observe the flash mob (more about that in an upcoming post).
As usual, the workshops cover a wide range of topics, among them ” Forced Migration and its impact on women & children“, “Labor Export Policies (LEPs) and Remittances: Debunking Development Myths and Lies” and “Stories and Struggle of Undocumented Youth and Children of Undocumented Workers“.
The IAMR has also always been an Eeent where the often neglected situation of marriage migrants gains due prominence; this year will be no different, with a workshop on “The Situation of Marriage Migrants, Their Empowerment and Role in the Growing Migrant Movement” taking place this Thursday.