Global Unions, including BWI and PSI, have consistently called for a comprehensive rights-based approach to human mobility and enhanced cooperation at the global level towards the protection of migrants and their families. However, given the current political climate, the GCM can also be used by some States to continue abusive temporary or circular migration practices, rationalize criminalization of migrants and deportation regimes and further backtrack on their obligations and commitments to uphold human rights of migrants.
Part of the program was an overview on the GCM by Ms. Alexis Nadine Bautista (MFA) and a Panel Discussion on updates, perspectives and initiatives on the inter-governmental negotiations for the GCM and the latest draft document. Panellists were Atty. Laser Blitz Sumagaysay (DFA), Ms. Ellene Sana (CMA), Ms. Annie Enriquez Geron (PSI) and Mr. Dan Laserna (FFW-BWI) moderated by Ms. Jillian Roque (PSLINK).
The global labor movement is engaging in inter-governmental policy dialogues to ensure that the GCM adheres to human and labor rights standards and promotes sustainable development and decent work for all in countries of origin, transit and destination.
There are now 244 million migrants around the world, two thirds of whom are workers. Increasing irregular and temporary migration, rising xenophobia and discrimination of migrants, escalating numbers of displaced people, and growing human and labor rights violations during recent years highlight the urgent need for a global commitment for fair migration policies, programs and practices. In an unprecendented move, the UN members states adopted on September 2016 the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants committing governments to undertake negotiations towards the adoption of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in 2018.
The Philippines being one of the major countries of origin should take a lead role in the GCM negotiations in order to protect the dignity and rights of Filipinos overseas. Trade unions as stakeholders can play a key role in lobbying the Philippine Government to take a strong position in the on going process and ensure that the outcome document reflects the voice and interests of Filipino migrant workers. A number of civil society organizations have also been engaging in the GCM engaging the GCM process and it would be strategic for the trade unions to link up with them, build alliances and develop joint strategies in advocating for a rights-based GCM.