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International Migrants Alliance's Statement
Date: 18/12/2009 - 00:48
Intensify the struggle against commodification and modern-day slavery of migrants On the occasion of the International Migrants Day, grassroots migrant workers and advocates under the militant banner of the International Migrants Alliance (IMA) mark the intensification of the migrants struggle for rights and welfare and against imperialist design on migration that worsens commodification and modern-day slavery.
In the face of the current world economic crisis, migration and migrant workers are further exploited by imperialism to cover up the impending collapse of the global economy it dominates.
Imperialists push for neoliberal globalization policies in the already agricultural, backward and pre-industrial economies of migrant-sending countries. These are implemented by governments dominated by local ruling elites such as the compradors and landlords who are the main classes who benefit from the system.
This kind of economic and political setup perennially produces an army of unemployed and underemployed. People are forced to seek jobs abroad to eke out a living for their families who are hard-pressed to cope with rising prices of goods and increasingly inaccessible social services.
Migrant workers form a major bulk of cheap labour that transnational and multinational companies exploit for their superprofits. In the increasingly constricting job market for unskilled and semi-skilled workers where majority of the migrants are found, capitalists are ensured of a supply of cheaper and cheaper labourers as sending countries fiercely compete with each other for a market for their exported workers.
However, in times of crisis as what is being experienced now, migrant workers become dispensable. Lays off and attacks to labour rights of migrants are now on the rise. Border restrictions such as the EU Return Directive are also implemented that impact millions of workers especially the undocumented migrants.
Labour exporting countries are more aggressive now in sending off their workers to work in ?3D jobs? (dirty, dangerous, difficult). Migrant workers are even sent in war-torn areas like Iraq where US companies are now reaping the gains of the US? ?war on terror?.
The inhuman industry of labour export is increasingly systematized by sending countries in order to get the maximum economic and political gains. Designs that will make sending of dollar remittances smooth and government exaction of fees are implemented while programs for services and assistance especially to migrants in distress are made limited or totally scrapped.
Deregulation of labour export is also targeted as the way to expand labour migration and in fact is slowly being realized by major sending countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines. This deregulation, in turn, results to a mad dash for easy profit by recruitment agencies through various modus operandi that are abetted by government policies. These recruitment agencies are usually owned by ruling comprador class.
Politically, labour export serves as measure by sending governments to curb the heightening discontent of their people due to widespread poverty. Migration has become even for the local ruling elites to perpetuate the social structure that is oppressive and exploitative to the majority.
Imperialist design on migration is most evident in the much-vaunted Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). The GFMD that has been pushed and is being supported by countries of the OECD touts migration as a contributing factor to development. Under the cloak of slogans such as ?making migration work for the benefit of all? or ?maximizing the positive aspect of migration?, the GFMD is being used to cover the basic social ills and imbalances that result to forced migration. Thus, the IMA has hounded the GFMD with protests by the grassroots in its series of meetings and will continue to do so in the Fourth GFMD slated to be held in Mexico next year.
To resist attacks on our rights and struggle against imperialism is now even more imperative for migrant workers. Intensification of national struggles is called for while also continuously strengthening and broadening solidarity against common enemies.
This is the task that the International Migrants Alliance will pursue until migrant workers can finally live in a society that is free, just, democratic and peaceful.
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