TODAY -

Migrants trapped in quagmire
Neglected by their own country, mistreated by the host country

Shobha Shukla *

Asia Pacific People's Forum on Sustainable Development held in Bangkok, Thailand
Asia Pacific People's Forum on Sustainable Development held in Bangkok, Thailand



This pretty well sums up the pathetic situation in which many migrants find themselves today. And while immigration refers to people who legally relocate to another country, the word migration can also be used in the context of birds and animals. In the case of human beings, migration is not a choice for most migrants. It is a condition forced upon them by their country of origin, as a result of weak economic conditions, poor social structures, conflict situations, and even environmental disasters.

“One major issue is that the migrants’ home country treats them as export commodities. But we are talking about people and not about products. Yet the only difference seems to be that unlike commodities, migrants can be exported over and over again”, said Aaron Ceradoy, of the Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants, in an exclusive interview given to CNS (Citizen News Service) on the side lines of the Asia Pacific People's Forum on Sustainable Development held in Bangkok, Thailand, on the theme of ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies in Asia and the Pacific’.

People's Forum is being jointly organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), Asia Pacific Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanism (AP-RCEM), UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).

The second challenge that Aaron highlighted is the problems faced by the migrants in the host country, especially by those who are semi or unskilled workers. Most of them are employed in the service sector as domestic help, caregivers, plumbers, construction workers etc. These sectors are plagued with low wages, job insecurity and, at times, vulnerability to violence.

Yet these and other abuses largely go unnoticed and unreported, as the migrants keep them to themselves for fear of losing their jobs. Countries have policies to safeguard their businesses but do not address the problem of workers who form the backbone of those businesses.

Also as migrants go to another country to work temporarily, they have very bleak chances of permanent residence, or to become part of that society. All this makes them even more vulnerable to endure violations of labour rights, social exclusion, discrimination and violence just to keep their jobs going. The systems in place do not encourage treatment of migrants with dignity.

The status of migration is very immigration based and not labour based or human rights based. Their rights are dictated by their immigration status, and not by the fact that they are part of the labour force and covered by international human rights conventions. Countries always cite the issue of security, in order to further constrict immigration rules and thus further restrict the rights of the migrant workers. And this when the economies of many countries thrive on migrant labour, says Aaron.

Instead of solving the systemic issues that force people to not have a choice, but to go to other countries to work, the current development model is promoting the concept of migration for development. While there is a a formal recognition of the drivers of migration, countries are propagating the false belief that migration is actually positive and resolves the drivers of migration.

But how can that be? When migration results because of underdevelopment then how can it be a driver of development, wonders Aaron. Citing the example of his own country, Aaron says that Philippines has been exporting people since the 70’s, but that has not improved the living conditions for the common people. No country can say that their development came through exporting their people.

Then again, countries and international bodies are also celebrating the migrants as being resilient. In this way they are trying to justify the large scale privatisation of public services that is underway in the region, which is resulting in still more migration. But what is being lauded as resilience is actually forced endurance which comes at huge costs.

Aaron concedes that at the international level there are human rights agreements and conventions to safeguard the interests of migrant workers. The UN Convention for protection of the rights of migrant workers and the ILO Convention on Domestic Work, which includes foreign workers, are positive developments.

These agreements have come about through the intensive and extensive work done on the ground by some sections of migrant workers who, with help from their support groups, have managed to successfully push for policy changes that are beneficial to them. But the actual implementation of these global agreements is poor at the ground level. And in countries where there is no organised section of migrants, the conditions are much worse.

In the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, adopted in September 2016, the UN General Assembly decided to develop a Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. This global compact for migration is the first, intergovernmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, and is expected to be adopted later this year (in 2018) with a view to protect the safety, dignity and human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, regardless of their migratory status, and strengthen global governance of migration for safe, orderly and regular migration.

However, Aaron has his reservations about it. “While the global compact is long on migrants’ issues, it is short on the facilities/solutions that would really resolve those issues. Moreover, it does not give concrete steps on how to make countries accountable to policies and practices that are in contravention to the Global Compact. So it might end up like just another document that is nicely worded but does not create any worthwhile impact on the ground”, Aaron said.




* Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service) wrote this article for e-pao.net
Shobha Shukla is the Managing Editor of CNS (Citizen News Service). Follow her on Twitter @Shobha1Shukla and be welcome to visit www.citizen-news.org
This article was webcasted on March 29 , 2018.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Pari Imom (Film Scenes) #1 :: eRang
  • Chunglenyanba, Awa Leima :: eMing
  • Manipur State Constitution Act, 1947 #1
  • 7th anniversary of PCRM
  • Funding TB response is smart investment
  • The Broken Stone:: Poem
  • 15 Ceremonial Horses handed to Myanmar
  • Needs for realizing the truth
  • Time to put education on track
  • Bor khoiramba @Hiyangthang #1 : Gallery
  • Kuki Black Day: desperation to Nagas #2
  • Finance knowledge to make better decision
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Bunglawn Remembers Dr Kalam's Visit
  • No baab tree :: Poem
  • Official website of Sangai Photo Festival
  • Beauty care with natural ingredients
  • Deportation of Rohingya against intl law
  • Noting efforts to put MU on track
  • MU: Teachers/students released : Gallery
  • Death Anniv - Bhagyachandra #3 : Gallery
  • Ithai Barrage Impact on Environment
  • Rural development as career option
  • Put the kibosh on ochlocracy
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in women
  • India International Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Marketing Assistant @ PiCiDi, Canchipur
  • 'Ram Madhav is wrongly briefed' : NPF
  • Uniforms for school teacher: What purpose?
  • Marangwon at @Mt Khorung #3 : Gallery
  • Police Day Marathon #1: Gallery
  • I call it life :: Poem
  • International day for Disaster reduction
  • Contested territorial demands in Manipur
  • WhatsApp & mobile usage study results
  • Physics Programme in Nowgong College
  • Rejoinder to NDPP [15 October]
  • Stop bluffing Nagas
  • The state of the states
  • Gearing up for Oct 31 rally
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #4
  • MU: Student/police clash -10 Oct #2: Gallery
  • X-Jam -Extreme Sports & Music festival
  • Urban Local Govt in Mizoram :: Book
  • 3 perspectives in context of present Manipur
  • Figures in the Shadows :: Poem
  • To UNC, Zomi Council, Hmar Inpui on ST
  • HC acted in good faith for MU
  • Jarnail Singh @ MU : Gallery
  • Heikru Hidongba #3 : Gallery
  • The undeniable subtlety of Atingkok
  • Kuki Black Day: desperation to Nagas #1
  • Let me shower moonlight :: Poem
  • On allegations issued by NPF : NDPP
  • Challenges to the digital dreams
  • Eyes now on K Yugindro
  • Lamyanba Irabot- March Past #3: Gallery
  • Death Anniv - Bhagyachandra #2 : Gallery
  • Meetei Tribe wont grab land of Hill Tribes
  • Making a tangible difference
  • Contradicted journey of IPC Section 377
  • Free open defecation & open pee
  • Act East & Importance of Myanmar & NE
  • Vacancies at Multimind Software
  • Waiting for "Sorry"
  • Out Yugindro in Jarnail Singh
  • Mera Chaorel Houba #1 : Gallery
  • AMAND Pune: Cultural evening : Gallery
  • Management Convergence at Mizoram Univ
  • Observation of World Mental Health Day
  • Cry of a Dying River - 49 :: Poem
  • Buddhism is free from compulsion...
  • 7th AGM / Cultural evening of AMAND, Pune
  • Forsaken farmers - food for thought
  • Second police raid at MU
  • NESO opposes Indo-Nepal Treaty in NE
  • British Council, NEC sign MoU
  • MU: Student/police clash -10 Oct #1: Gallery
  • Death Anniv - Bhagyachandra #1 : Gallery
  • Anglo-Kuki War 1917-1919
  • University :: Poem
  • Remembering class boycott 2009-2010
  • Hair stylist as career option #2
  • Training of Trainers on Gender Justice
  • Manipur University fresh violence by police
  • MU Crisis- admissions and omissions
  • Issues besetting State before LS polls
  • Langban Heitha Leithaba #2 : Gallery
  • Sizo Festival @Saikot : Gallery
  • Opening of Moreh-Tamu Border Gate
  • Forest Cover of Nagaland :: Book Review
  • Ingocha Chingtham: Cycling from Mumbai ..
  • Blood Transfusion service- future in Manipur
  • IT Enabled Employment Generating Course
  • NDPP condemns statement of NPF
  • Beyond the reality
  • Need for MUTA to approach Court
  • Kang Tournament @Kongba #2: Gallery
  • Elangbam Sonamani : Sahityaratna 2017
  • Celebrating the rights of wildlife- Are we
  • The sky's gone wonderful :: Poem
  • Communal Harmony and Integration
  • Opportunity for India in Indo-Pacific Region
  • To be a good man
  • Education : Why no private players here ?
  • Tarpon Sonba : Gallery
  • mtM :: Seireng
  • MN Singh promoted as IG of CBI felicitated
  • Loktak from different perspectives #2
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • The Journey of Happiness :: Poem
  • A personal discourse of Manipuri people
  • Improper use of loud speakers in Manipur
  • Art Exhibition @Art College #3: Gallery
  • Sudip Kongbrailatpam -recording engineer
  • Dismantled 9th times & safer in 10th times
  • Remembering Irawat: Are we following ..
  • State Level Archery Championship 2018
  • Stop religious encroachment at Kangla
  • Navratri (festival) make up
  • khongjang changsinnaba sem sarey : ST
  • MU crisis: Emerging questions
  • Lining up five days blockade
  • Dhol Chollom @Sangai Fest: Gallery
  • A Road Trip to Myanmar #2
  • Maroi napakpi in Manipuri dishes
  • National Integration Tour Team
  • Cry of a Dying River - 48 :: Poem
  • Ending antimicobial resistance to #endTB
  • Condoles death of Pu Kaikhokam Kipgen
  • Rejoinder to NDPP (5th Oct) : NPF
  • Responsibility required - not restriction
  • After Thuingaleng Muivah who ?
  • Paddy dry up due to deficit rainfall
  • Lamyanba Irabot- March Past #2: Gallery
  • Binalakshmi Nepram : RAW in WAR Award
  • Agribusiness & Carbon Management : Book
  • Is Gandhi (ian) relevant today ?
  • Guidelines for Hostels for Children
  • ATM based frauds : Router compromise
  • 'Rio's announcement as just mockery'
  • Training Program on Mushroom Cultivation
  • 'Chadong' - the victim of development
  • Poles apart : Pandey and Singh
  • Manipuri Diaspora in Myanmar #2
  • Why has Egg become Danger for Manipur?
  • Speech by Atif Anik on Irabot Day 2018
  • Wounded tree :: Poem
  • Hair stylist as career option
  • Synopsis of Sizo Festival 2018
  • Traffic regulation still a Flop show
  • In the evening of his life : Th Muivah
  • Langban Heitha Leithaba : Gallery
  • World Bamboo Day #2: Gallery
  • Where have all the lights gone ?
  • Mahatma and non-violence
  • Detention of students/professors of MU
  • Gandhi Jayenti at Itanagar
  • IBSD cleans Imphal City
  • MU: Abide by wisdom of Sr citizens
  • Power of humility
  • Ghost of Pandey : Four teachers suspended
  • Lamyanba Irabot- March Past #1: Gallery
  • October Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Looking at Loktak from perspectives #1
  • Morning - a Haiku :: Poem
  • R&V Art House curates 'Land of Polo'
  • Show for football fans at NEUFC Fan Park
  • Indigenous People: Stand against Fascist
  • Clarification on Tamei Residential School
  • Organic Farming Tour to Sikkim
  • System error- or is this real democracy
  • Autonomy for Naga- Stakeholders on board
  • Th. Muivah hospitalized
  • Lamyanba Irabot- Floral Tribute #1: Gallery
  • Choidev Chongba @Kang Fest : Gallery
  • A Road Trip to Myanmar #1
  • The day after Sahnit-Ni
  • Cry of a Dying River - 47 :: Poem
  • Observation of World Alzheimer's Day
  • Benefits of almond oil for the hair
  • NEUFC Fan to host musical performances
  • ..but Irabot may still shed tears in heaven
  • Heikru Hidongba #2 : Gallery
  • Lamyanba Hijam Irabot :: Read all about
  • Tingmila Doungel : Manipuri Boxer
  • Tarpon: Annual offerings to dead by living
  • Manipur: Past & Present (Vol.2) :: Book
  • Genesis of Naga-Kuki clash in early nineties
  • 9th Children's Cultural Meet 2018
  • Parakram Diwas : 2nd Anniversary
  • International Visitors Leadership Program
  • He calls state Govt as unrecognized..
  • Tough stand of Govt noted
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #3
  • MU: General Srtike [27 Sep] #2 :: Gallery
  • Tribute to Oja Nandiram with 'In Memoriam'
  • The resurgence of Hijam Irabot
  • Love for post of MU vice-chancellor
  • Condemns arrests of MU student/teachers
  • Spot Enquiry by MCPCR Team
  • Seriousness with sincerity matters
  • 48 hours bandh on, then what ?
  • MU: General Srtike [27 Sep] #1 :: Gallery
  • Hijam Irabot - Our 'Icon of Revolution'
  • Food preparation among Zeliangrong
  • Is it the final countdown to #endTB?
  • Let's give time a chance :: Poem
  • If Buddhism Is Not A Religion Or Philosophy
  • Using false identity to mislead
  • In response to CM's appeal
  • CM's call against bandh
  • MU: Hunger Strike[25 Sep] :: Gallery
  • Irabot's letter to Assembly :: 18 Oct 1948
  • Ringui Village, Ukhrul :: Gallery: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #4: Gallery
  • Tuilha Kol waterfall #2: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Kuki Black Day @CCpur : Gallery
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #2 : Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Jangou Rah : eRang Classic
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS