First ever int’l court on migrants tries exploitation of foreign workers

TODAY the Tribunal judges will announce its verdict on the charges of exploitation and human rights violations by States, both that receive and send migrant labour.

An international court, the first on the theme of migrants, was convened at the University of the Philippines College of Law to hear charges filed.

Organized by the International Migrants Alliance, International League of Peoples Struggle, International Women’s Alliance and the Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants, the Tribunal was held to try the Global Forum on Migration and Development thru its Steering Committee composed of 37 states for charges of using migration to advance neoliberal globalization policies and the violation by sending and receiving states of the economic, social, cultural and political rights of migrants.

“This is an international opinion tribunal that aims to air out the sentiments of grassroots migrants on the current trend of the so-called maximization of migration for national development instead of solving the roots causes of the forced migration of hundreds of millions of people. It also aims to highlight the worsening violations of the rights of migrants to once and for all end the pretension of States in the GFMD that they are concerned with migrants’ rights,” said Ramon Bultron of the IMA.

A panel of judges heard testimonies given by experts on migration and migrant workers from various countries who have suffered from migrants’ rights violations. The panel was composed of Osamu Niikura from Japan of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Bp. Soritua Nababan from Indonesia of the World Council of Churches, Filipina theater actress and women’s rights activists Monique Wilson, Mexican human rights lawyer Ana Lorena Delgadillo Perez, and UP College of Mass Communications Dean Roland Tolentino.

The witnesses gave testimonies on themes such as migration for development, condition of migrants, human rights violations of migrants from Latin America, on the labor export program and the violations of rights of undocumented migrants, refugees, temporary migrants especially women migrants, and seafarers.

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