From 25-30 November 2012, the Mekong Migration Network (MMN) attended the 5th World Social Forum on Migration (WSFM) in Manila, Philippines.
The MMN delegation included network members from Cambodia, Burma Thailand, and Vietnam. MMN organised two poster sessions at the forum and also was involved in several collaborative workshops.
Last Frontiers & Migration, 27 November 2012
The first MMN poster session was entitled ‘“Last Frontiers” and Migration’ and examined the changes in social, political and economic landscapes that are shaping new trends in trade and investment in Asia, in particular in relation to two of Asia’s “last frontiers:” Burma and Cambodia. Also discussed was the impact of regional development frameworks on migration.
Ms Jackie Pollock from MMN member organisation, MAP Foundation in Thailand, provided an overview of the Greater Mekong Subregion context; Mr Mom Sokchar from network member Legal Support for Children and Women (LSCW), discussed the current situation in Cambodia; While Ms Wai Hnin Po, from network member Foundation for Education and Development (FED) in Thailand outlined recent changes in Burma.
The Q&A section of the session saw interesting discussions regarding campaigns at grassroots levels in Mekong countries; linkages between migration and other issues such as land rights and labour movements; and comments on predicted impacts on migrants of the impending ASEAN integration.
Recommendations arising from the discussions included: the importance of developing alliances at the local and national level between landless peasants, labourers (migrant and non-migrant), trade unions and NGOs; and the need for continuing to reinforce the visibility of Mekong migration in ASEAN forums.
Networks of Resistance, 29 November 2012
The second MMN poster session was co-organised with Oxfam-Quebec and was entitled ‘Networks of Resistance: Cross-Border Collaboration on Safe Migration and Prevention of Labour Exploitation in the GMS Region.’
The aim of the poster session was to share experiences of collaboration in the Greater Mekong Subregion and discuss the keys to success in being able to mobilise collective action in otherwise divided areas, including the importance of networks.
Oxfam-Quebec partners gave overviews of the cross-border collaborative work of the Cambodia and Thailand Anti-Human Trafficking (CAHT) Network. MMN provided examples of its regional collaboration and networking activities, including collaborative research and joint advocacy.
MMN network member, MAP Foundation co-organised a workshop entitled ‘Right to Health: Access Denied’ with CARAM Asia, ACHIEVE, and Raks Thai Foundation, which explored health issues for migrants including occupational health and safety, privatisation of health care and changing legislation and policies.
MAP Foundation also co-organised a workshop with the Marinduque Independent Media Centre, entitled ‘Migrants and Media’, which examined the role of the media in migration issues and advocacy.
Ms Jacqueline Pollock of MAP Foundation and MMN also presented in a workshop entitled ‘An International Movement of Migrants: It’s Possible!’ coordinated by ARCI Italy, Dec18, IMAR and other organisations. The workshop explored the importance of a global movement for migrants, including the global day of action on December 18.
The WSFM provided MMN with an opportunity to connect with migrants and advocates from around the world, including from the Philippines, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. MMN delegates attended workshops on climate change and migration, violence against women, human rights as migrant rights, as well as a parallel tribunal putting the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) ‘on trial’.
The WSFM Declaration can be found here: http://www.wsfm2012.org/home/latest-news-a-updates/121-manila-declaration-5th-wsfm
For further information about MMN’s involvement in the WSFM, or any of our workshops, please contact Ms Jessica Marsh, MMN Project Officer: Jessica@mekongmigration.org