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Fifth Global Forum on Migration and Development

11 December 2011
PSI activists joined the trade union delegation to the Fifth Global Forum on Migration and Development Civil Society Days and parallel events that took place in Geneva on 29 November to 2 December 2011. Working on the theme Taking Action on Labour Migration, Development and the Protection of Migrant Workers and their Families, PSI, together with the ITUC and the Global Union Federations, joined forces with civil society organizations in questioning governments for their lack of leadership in addressing the exodus of migrants from North Africa, the rising xenophobia, and the failure to apply the rights-based normative framework embodied in the UN and ILO Conventions to deal with migration flows.

In their joint statement, trade unions and civil society called for a stronger role for the ILO in leading the global governance of migration in order to ensure protection of migrants, including those in irregular status, preserve the well-being of children, women and families left behind, regulate the activities of recruitment agencies, examine the pitfalls of temporary and circular migration and to build alternatives to migration through investment in decent work and quality public services (see statement at www.gfmdcivilsociety.org). The Global Union delegation worked in solidarity with migrant civil society around the forum, but expressly voiced its criticism of the GFMD for being an international forum that lacks legitimacy and accountability as it continues to be run informally and outside of the UN system. At the Global Unions Forum on Migration, trade unions set out plans to prepare for the UN High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development in 2013, which will decide the future of the GFMD. The priority for the trade union movement is to bring the GFMD back into the fold of the UN, placing a prominent role for the ILO, so that decent work and rights-based labour migration policies are placed at the core of any migration debate.

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