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PSI Statement: December 18 - International Migrants Day

18 December, 2013
Public Services International joins the international community in commemorating the millions of migrant workers and their families all over the world and re-affirming our commitment to uphold their dignity and human rights.

“International migration today is primarily about the search for decent work,” says Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary of Public Services International. “Workers are forced to leave their country of birth in search for jobs and to escape from poverty. Many have lost their lives crossing borders or have fallen prey to unscrupulous recruiters. Many of them end up in precarious working and living conditions and are deprived of access to essential public services, such as health, education and social services. The issue of migration, which today is primarily about labour migration, must be a priority for trade unions. Migrant workers are not commodities. They cannot be used as subjects of trade agreements, nor be valued only for their remittances. Migrant workers must be protected by international human rights norms and labour standards. Workers’ rights are central to fair economic policies. As trade unions, we must continue in our efforts to defend access to quality public services for all, organise migrant workers and fight racism and xenophobia,” asserts Pavanelli.

In celebrating International Migrants’ Rights Day, we in the international trade union movement, together with our partner civil society organizations, communities and migrants’ rights advocates, strongly call on States to ratify the core international instruments on migrants’ rights, which include:

Furthermore, we recognise that recruitment conditions are critical in ensuring the right of migrant workers to join unions, enjoy equal treatment and non-discrimination.

PSI invites all affiliates to participate in a survey the results of which will be used to build a global coalition to reform recruitment. The survey is an initiative of PSI affiliate, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), along with several trade unions, labour rights advocates and community groups.

For more information, see:


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