One of the unique facets of a formerly-colonized country such as the
Since the People’s Global Action on Migration, Development and Human Rights (PGA) had intended to use the
Imagine their surprise when this very permit was revoked just days ago, less than a week before the PGA was to open! In spite of many meetings with the government and police following this revocation, the
Today, on the even of the opening ceremonies, organizers of the PGA held a press conference adjacent to the now infamous Rajah Sulayman Park. Representatives from migrant groups and trade unions expressed outrage at the cancellation of the permit and issued a statement that included...
“The revocation of our permit is most unreasonable, and we cannot but view it as an extension of the national government’s policy of continued denial of migrant workers’ rights and the citizens’ rights to freedom of expression. Moreover, we believe it also reveals the increased anxiety of the national government and the forces of neoliberal globalization in the light of the unfolding global financial crisis and its impending impact on the situation of migrants worldwide. The revocation of our permit signified another act of ‘management’, also know as ‘control’, as in ‘the management of migration’ which now dominated official global discourse on development, but without substantive consideration for migrants’ rights and of the fundamental issues that underlie the so-called pursuit of development. We believe that migration should not be viewed merely as a problem or crisis to be ‘managed’; migrant workers and other citizens are not commodities to be traded, nor objects and statistics to be ‘managed’.”
“In this moment of heightened insecurities among migrant workers and their families, especially in the face of the global financial crisis, the best policy on the part of the governments would have been to extend a hand of assurance and demonstrate genuine openness to listen to the voices of those who would most likely suffer its adverse impact. Instead, we are witness to the further suppression of the voices of the migrant workers and the curtailment of our rights and freedoms.”
The PGA is planning further responses to this clampdown and undoubtedly, this latest development will not be the last one in the increasingly regimented Global Forum on Migration & Development (GFMD).