Saturday, October 24, 2009

IAMR in Greece

Migrante KSA supports this international convention and would possibly send delegates.

International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees set to convene in Athens, Greece

2nd IAMR, Athens, Greece
22 October 2009

Migrants and refugees from grassroot organizations from across the world are set to convene in Athens, Greece from Nov. 1-4, at the prestigious Athens University of Economics and Business for the Second International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR).

An assembly where migrants and refugees speak for themselves, the IAMR is supported by a broad spectrum of migrants rights advocates, progressive workers' groups and social movements. The Second IAMR will be held in Athens, Greece - in conjunction with the government-led Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and the Civil Society Organizations (CSO) meeting.

Teresa Gutierez, an officer of the International Migrants' Alliance, one of the major convenors of the Second IAMR, emphasized that as a state-led initiative, the GFMD purports to facilitate dialogue among sending and receiving countries, but in reality, the rich countries dictate the agenda and main thrusts in the GFMD.

“They impose their own self-serving concept of development and define the modalities in “managing” the flow of cross-border migration,” Gutierrez, who comes from Latin America, said.

The First IAMR held in Manila, Philippines last October 2008, embodied the autonomous voice of the migrants and refugees and challenged the GFMD process and its agenda of promoting migration for development through remittances. The 3rd GFMD will be held in Athens, Greece on November 4-5, 2009.

As in the first IAMR in Manila, the Second IAMR slated in Athens, will present the true picture of modern slavery in labor migration and debunk the notion of development by exporting human labor.

Gutierrez also said two things make the GFMD in Athens particularly significant. One, it will take place in the midst of the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression. And second, it will also take place in Europe where migrant workers particularly the millions of undocumented face an uncertain future in an increasingly unfriendly environment with the imminent implementation in 2010 of the EU Return Directive.

“We are coming to Greece representing the voices of millions of migrants and refugees the world over, and we will firmly argue for our rights and interests with the reason and wisdom inspired by the great Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle,” Gutierrez concluded.

The Second IAMR in Athens, Greece will be a four-day gathering that will include plenary discussions, workshops and fora, street mobilizations, bazaar, cultural solidarity, networking and most especially sharing of experiences and action plans among migrants, refugees and advocates.
It will conduct nine workshops on the following topics: impact of the global economic and financial crisis on migrants, situation of women migrant workers, labor rights and social movements, state repression of political asylum seekers and the war on terror, the undocumented and fortress Europe, racism, discrimination, political empowerment of second generation migrants, engaging the UN, and education/campaigns for migrants, refugees and advocates.

The Second IAMR is being convened by - the International Migrants' Alliance (IMA), Migrante International, Migrante Europe, ATIK (Confederation of Workers from Turkey in Europe), Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM), IBON International, Union of Working People (Greece) and Class March (Greece), in cooperation with progressive Greek groups.


Alex Gregorio
Media Officer
IAMR2 Secretariat

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