Asia-Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for the General Assembly High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development 2013
Bangkok, 29-31 May 2013
Agenda Item 4
We wish to thank the Member States and Secretariat of ESCAP, IOM, and members of the Asia-Pacific RCM Thematic Working Group on International Migration, including Human Trafficking, for giving civil society an opportunity to share our thoughts today. Thank you,Mr. Chair.
This statement is made on behalf of civil society organisations, trade unions and migrant workers, and its recommendations are reflective of the themes elaborated in the civil society 7-point, 5-year Agenda endorsed by the Civil Society Steering Committee for the UNHLD.
We welcome the opportunity to address this meeting, and hope to continue to be able to actively partner with you on critical issues of global migration governance and concrete action in the work towards and at the UN High Level Dialogue on International Migration & Development in New York in October. We appreciate the presence and willingness of the States that are here to engage in this process.
Considering that migrant workers support themselves, their families and communities; that countries of origin, transit and destination receive significant social and economic benefits from migrant workers; it is unacceptable that the international governance of migration rests outside the protection of the human rights framework.
Governments should actively prioritize ending all forms of discrimination against migrants, regardless of legal status or factors including nationality, gender, age, sexual orientation or gender identity, health and pregnancy status, or occupation.
The UN High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development and the post-2015 development agenda must focus on promoting decent work, including a living wage, for migrant and local workers alike. This is the only way to create shared prosperity, reduce inequalities, and dampen xenophobia. The decent work agenda must underpin all migration policies and programmes. Governments should respect the rights and the effective practice of freedom of association, which should also include worker organising and collective bargaining.
Governments must recognize that women are rights bearers and active agents in claiming their rights and contribute to just and fair development. It is imperative that an intersectional perspective on gender that establishes protections that recognize and take into account the numerous, specific risks that migrant women face and provide redress, including compensation be developed.
Governments of origin, transit and destination countries should recognize, respect and affirm migrants’ right to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, irrespective of migrant status. This should include health services for sexually transmitted infections, HIV, reproductive cancers, contraception, maternal health and safe abortion services. Governments must lift any discriminatory policies based on health status, including HIV status, pregnancy, and communicable diseases.
Governments should also prioritize occupational safety and health of migrants, and ensure safe working conditions and regular inspections of work places, including the elimination of industrial accidents and usage of hazardous or toxic materials.
We propose the establishment and strengthening of migrant-friendly, gender-sensitive and rights-based policies and mechanisms at origin, transit and destination countriesand in the international governance of migration, to ensure the following:
Thank you,Mr. Chair.
* This statement is endorsed by the following organisation
AMAL - Pakistan
Arunodhaya Migrant Initiative (India)
ASEAN Services Employees Trade Union Council (ASETUC)
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)
Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APA)
Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN)
Asia-Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM)
Asian Migrants Coordinating Body (AMCB)
Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW)
Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI)
Coalition of Asia-Pacific Regional Networks on HIV/AIDS (7 Sisters)
Community Development Services (CDS), Sri Lanka
Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility (CARAM Asia)
Development Action for Women Network (DAWN), Philippines
Education International (EI)
Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW)
Global Migration Policy Associates (GMPA)
IMA Research Foundation, Bangladesh
Institute for Migration and Development, Philippines
International Trade Union Confederation – Asia Pacific
International Transport Federation (ITF)
Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA), Pakistan
Mekong Migration Network (MMN)
Migrant Forum in Asia
Migrants Rights International
NIDS – Nepal
Peace Trust, India
Public Services International (PSI)
Raks Thai Foundation
St. John’s Cathedral HIV Education Centre, Hong Kong
Union Migrant Indonesia (UNIMIG)
Union Network International (UNI)
Workers Hub for Change
On 22-23 March 2012, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in cooperation with the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW), held an expert meeting on the subject of “Human Rights at International Borders: Exploring Gaps in Policy and Practice”. The aim of the expert meeting was to explore the human rights situation of migrants at international borders as well as the need for enhanced human rights guidance in this respect.
GAATW is pleased to announce “Vodoo Inverso”, submitted by Kay Chernush, as the winning entry to GAATW’s recent art contest, Rights! Art! Action!
Chernush says: “This image is part of a series of “re-imagings,” inspired by the narratives of survivors of trafficking …. The work is intended to explode the anecdotal into the universal, as in this work, which is about Courage and Hope. Transforming the particular individual experience in a larger context empowers the woman, enabling her to see herself differently….”
Judge, Jackie Pollock (MAP Thailand), says: “The image provides a strong profile of a woman but with dangers lurking in the background; however, despite the evident threats, the woman remains strong, and refuses to be consumed by these dangers.”
The Rights! Art! Action! campaign invited creative works which depict the (often overlooked) strength and resilience women demonstrate through their labour, migration and trafficking struggles.
The campaign responded to GAATW’s concerns that almost without exception, anti-human trafficking campaigns use violent and distressing images of women’s fearful, ‘helpless’ faces and exploited, crouching bodies to draw people’s attention to trafficking, highlighting women’s vulnerability rather than women’s strength and women’s rights.
GAATW was interested in exploring a different way forward, moving beyond images of women’s victimhood and vulnerability, to representations of strength and autonomy – qualities in many trafficked persons GAATW has met and worked with. GAATW sought to encourage a rights-based approach to anti-trafficking campaign material and to encourage others to do the same.
The campaign ran from November 2009 to June 2010 and received many unique and thought-provoking submission. Submissions were judged on: artistic ability; commitment to the Rights! Art! Action! principles; and, usability in campaigns material.
The Anti-Trafficking Review is an academic journal that promotes a human rights based approach to anti-trafficking. It explores trafficking in its broader context including gender analyses and intersections with labour and migrant rights. The Review offers an outlet and space for dialogue between academics, practitioners and advocates seeking to communicate new ideas and findings to those working for and with trafficked persons.
Each issue relates to an emerging or overlooked theme in the field of human trafficking. The Review presents rigorously considered, peer reviewed material in clear English. The journal is open access with a readership in 78 countries. The Review is published by GAATW. Opinions expressed in articles and reviews in the Anti-Trafficking Review are the views of the authors, and not those of the editorial team, the publisher or the Editorial Board
To download the articles, please visit: www.antitraffickingreview.org
No 7 (2016): Trafficking Representations
Contributions in this issue examine visual material and narratives through which trafficking and its victims are represented in film, TV, newspapers and public discourse. The articles investigate representations in Australia, Cambodia, Nigeria, Serbia, Denmark, UK, and USA. Ultimately, this special issue highlights the fact that stereotypical trafficking representations conveniently distract the global public from their increasing and shared day-to-day exploitability as workers because of the systematic erosion of labour rights globally. Crucially, the issue also discusses positive alternatives and how to represent trafficking differently.
No 6 (2016): Prosecuting Human Trafficking
Issue 6 of the Anti-Trafficking Review analyses human trafficking prosecutions in different regions of the world and from a range of different perspectives. With five themed articles focusing on Russia, the United States, the Balkans and Western Europe, the issue provides important insights into the practical and policy issues surrounding human trafficking prosecutions.
No 5 (2015): Forced Labour and Human Trafficking
No 4 (2015): Fifteen Years of the UN Trafficking Protocol
Trafficked persons do not always benefit from money flows aimed in their direction, or indeed may suffer as a result of anti-trafficking spending. In addition, politics behind anti-trafficking money abound, and recipient organisations wonder whether they should take ‘tied’ funds or funds with ideological, geographical or other restrictions. In recent years governments have rushed to spend money on a range of poorly designed initiatives in the hope of avoiding or moving out of a low ranking in the US government's yearly Trafficking in Persons Report.
The latest issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review includes eight peer-reviewed articles on how anti-trafficking measures play out in border zones.
Global Funding Information Sheet
Anti-trafficking funding and work has mushroomed since the 1990s. Lacking is analysis of those antitrafficking funds – where they come from, who they go to, what they are meant to do, what they actually achieve and indeed whether they are needed.
Issue 3 of the Anti-Trafficking Review (www.antitraffickingreview.org) asked for contributions on the topic of funding in anti-trafficking. In preparation for this issue, we pulled together some sources of funding data with an aim to assist contributors, particularly time-strapped practitioners.
This document has two sections: Grant-making and Spending. The first lists information on funders and how much they have spent on anti-trafficking work, as defined by them. The second section on spending lists how much money has been spent on anti-trafficking projects, though there is some overlap as some organisations have not disaggregated their direct spending on projects and their indirect spending (or funding), which has gone to another organisation to carry out the work.
Click here to download the information sheet.