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Civil society plans to advocate in the coming Global Forum on Migration and Development

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Solidarity for Asian People’s Advocacy (SAPA) Working Group on Migration and Labour outlined a plan of action on 4 February to engage with the coming Global Forum on Migration and Development. The group will organise a number of actions so that the forum would focus governments’ responsibilities in the human rights of migrants.
(Bangkok) Solidarity for Asian People’s Advocacy (SAPA) Working Group on Migration and Labour (WGML) has outlined a plan of action to engage with the Second Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), which will be held in Manila from 27 to 30 October this year.

In its meeting on 4 February, the working group decided to prepare a position paper on migration and labour. The paper is expected to contain the framework principles, analysis of the 1st GFMD and assert the human rights of migrants. This paper will serve as a framework or reference for the national consultations before the forum.

The GFMD aims to enhance value to the current debate on international migration and development by fostering international cooperation and promote new policy ideas in the field. The theme of the GFMD 2008 is “Protecting and Empowering Migrants for Development”. It also aims to clarify the recognition that international migration is an obvious and crucial element of the development process.

Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) and the Working Group on Migration and Labour will organise national consultations on GFMD in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka and beyond. They also will encourage other networks and organisations to organise or strengthen consultations in other countries and regions.

The working group will engage with the GFMD in the preparatory process. To lobby and advocate the governments and the forum itself, the working group will consolidate the key recommendations and highlights of the national consultations and submit them.

The working group also plans to organise parallel events, like workshops, exhibitions and rallies in coordination with other organisations and networks during the forum.

The first meeting of the GFMD took place in July 2007 in Brussels. It aims to start a new global process designed to enhance the positive impact of migration on development.

In its second meeting, GFMD will have three roundtable discussions: 1) migration, human rights, and development; 2) secure, legal migration can achieve greater development impact; and 3) policy and institutional coherence and partnerships.

The Philippine government, the host of the forum, has shown keen interest in providing space for the civil society. The Ayala Foundation, based in Manila, will organise a meeting for the civil society.