“This is not just a show of the famed Filipino hospitality; This is a proof that migrant workers around the world are one in opposing the plan of business-minded governments to turn them into milking cows and modern-day slaves through the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).”

GFMD is an informal multi-stakeholder process to be held in Manila on October 28-30.

Gabriela Party-list Rep. Luz Ilagan said today as she joins overseas Filipino workers and their families in welcoming International Migrants’ Alliance (IMA) Chairperson Eni Lestari at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The Indonesian national will be one of the speakers in the International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR), a parallel conference aiming to expose the anti-migrants agenda of the 2nd GFMD. IAMR is an international conference to be attended by grassroots migrant workers from all parts of the world holds the theme “No to forced migration.  No to labor export.  Create jobs at home.  End poverty.  Defend and advance the rights of migrants and refugees!”

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Migrants, Dr Jorge Bustamante is one of the invited observers in the IAMR.

Among the planned activities are panel discussions, workshops, and other activities that shall center on themes highly-relevant to migrants, immigrants, refugees and other displaced peoples.  There shall be presentations on various themes by reputable leaders from different grassroots migrants’ groups and advocates for the rights of migrants from different countries.

A public speak-out will also be conducted to give an opportunity for grassroots migrants to express their concerns.

“Beware,” warns Ilagan “GFMD is a sham:  while it pretends to be a gathering to ensure the protection of the rights and welfare of migrant workers around the world as it promotes regular labor migration, it is actually hatching anti-migrant plans behind their backs.  How can it be the genuine voice of migrants when its attendees are all businesspeople negotiating how much they will get from OFWs’ money?


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