Brussels, December 18, 2010
Call to the EU and the European Parliament for the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Migrants and call for Maghreb states that have ratified the Convention to respect and implement it.
On December 18, 2010, during the day commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the UN Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, the Social Forum of Migrants was held in Brussels.
Besides its symbolic dimension of mobilization around migrants' rights, the Forum is part of the thematic activities of the Maghreb Social Forum (FSMagh) in preparation for the World Social Forum in Dakar 2011.
The forum saw an important participation of Maghreb social movements, trade unions, migrants’ rights defenders and organizations defending human rights. At European level, in addition to associations from Belgium and Holland, the meeting was marked by a strong presence of associations from France, despite transport difficulties due to climatic conditions.
The forum, centered on “migrants and their rights,” was an opportunity to focus on the approaches and conclusions of organizations from both shores of the Mediterranean in three fundamental areas:
• The situation of migrants and asylum seekers in the Maghreb region, be they settled or in transit. Participants shed light on the legislation in force and practices of Maghreb authorities in light of international standards in this matter and the recommendations of international organizations for the rights of migrants.
• The issue of outsourcing in the European Union and its adverse consequences on the rights of migrants.
• The impact of associative work on supporting and assisting migrants on both sides of the Mediterranean. Decisions have been taken and recommendations have been made to strengthen the bridges and partnerships for community citizenship-based action, and the convergence of struggles and efforts of social movements in the region.
• A highlight was the live testimony via videoconference of migrants in the Maghreb and especially the minute of silence that we had together, in the two sides of the Mediterranean, in memory of all victims of the migration policies put in place. At both the plenary and workshops, the United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families was strongly present in all discussions.
• The participants call on all European States to ratify this Convention, given that so far, no State of the EU did so. The Forum Secretariat will question the institutions of the European Union and the European Parliament in Brussels on this issue.
They also call on Maghreb states that have ratified the Convention to respect and implement it, especially regarding the recognition of the rights of sub-Saharan migrants..
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