The program for the upcoming 9th People’s Global Action on Migration, Development & Human Rights (PGA) in Istanbul has been announced today. The gathering will be a one-day-event taking place on Sunday, 11 October 2015 – right day before the start of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). Unlike previous PGAs, which brought together a wide range of workshops, this seems to be rather a stock-taking and strategy meeting aimed at delegates for the GFMD Civil Society Days, although as an inclusive process it remains open to everybody interested. The goal is to „develop a common understanding, analysis and messages“ on issues such as the development agenda – in particularly the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – , recruitment reform, migrants in crisis, diaspora and the PGA and GFMD in 2106 and beyond. The 2106 GFMD will take place in Bangladesh and civil society leaders consider this meeting being potentially a major milestone for advocacy. Migrant rights organizations have built a dense network in the Asian-Pacific region and hence it should be easier to organize an event such as the PGA there, while in Turkey it was apparently hard to find partners in sufficient numbers and strength for organizing.
Nevertheless, the PGA in Istanbul will surely be a significant event. For once, there should be reports from/reflections on the recent UN deliberations that brought the SDGs, which for the first time include migration in the development planning. Besides that, the refugee – not migrant! – crises has been one of the major topics on the international agenda for months, and Turkey is a hot spot for these developments. For years it has hosted a large numbers of refugees –at recent count over 2.1 million Syrian refugees alone – and now the European Union is courting president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, hoping that he will provide more camps and intensify border controls. These measures will come at a price, not only financially but also politically, and it might be hard to reach a binding agreement before the upcoming Turkish elections on 1 November.
The PGA will close with a candlelight vigil for refugees. It will take place from 9:00am – 7:00pm at
Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar Üniversitesi Bomonti Yerleşkesi Cumhuriyet Mahallesi, Silahsor Caddesi no:89 Bomonti Istanbul
A map can be found at: https://goo.gl/Mhc5W3. [UPDATE: NEW Location]
The program can be downloaded here:
I will participate in and report from the PGA, so stay tuned!