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Fair Migration: IYCW Speech at the International Labour Conference 2014 PDF Print E-mail

“No integral development can be made without respecting workers’ rights”

 

Mr President,

Delegates of the Governments, Employers and Workers,

Colleagues of the international organisations,

 

We cannot build a world with decent work while ignoring young workers’ participation. No integral development can be made without respecting workers’ rights. Therefore, each of us in this conference should strategically bring young workers on board developing a road map towards decent work for all.

 

We need fair migration and not forced migration! The Director-General of the ILO has through his report on fair migration opened the door to debate and reflection for collective wisdom moving towards the fair migration that we dream of.  It is an essential task of the ILO members and the international organisations to bring forward the commitment to make migration fair and dignified for all.

 

I would like to bring to you some challenging practices that need our attention: the recent case of violence suffered by Erwiana and other domestic workers in Hong Kong, the young women teachers in Guatemala who are working under unjust contract, as well as precarious conditions across Europe. These have opened the world’s eyes on the need to reinforce protection of migrant workers everywhere. The world agreed, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that such kind of violence must not happen – neither now, nor in the future.

 

Therefore, we urgently need policy that guarantees full protection of migrant workers’ rights at national and international levels.

 

As far as the causes of migration are concerned, we agree with the report of the Director-General. Furthermore, we see that unemployment, job insecurity – and all forms of precariousness – are important causes of migration.

 

It is important to consider two fundamental rights on migration. The first right that should be protected is the right not to migrate. This right requires an obligation of the governments to provide decent and formal jobs for all.

 

No matter the reason someone has to migrate for his/her and family survival, both governments (sending and receiving) should agree on a strategy to guarantee protection for all without any form of discrimination, including the protection to undocumented migrant workers, before, during and after migration. We regard this as an obligation.

 

The second important right is equality before the law without discrimination on any basis (social class, gender, ethics and religion.). This right should be upheld equally covering the right to work, the right to social protection, the right to join a union and for collective bargaining, as well as the right to participate in political activities towards a better life for all.

 

The International Young Christian Workers, together with the International Catholic-Inspired Organisations on Decent Work and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, urges the ILO and its state members, employers and workers to formulate and implement better and comprehensive policies protecting migrant workers, focusing on young people, young women and their families, considering the rights we have mentioned above. As a concrete political step, we propose to the tripartite members to discuss migration issues and aspects at the next International Labour Conference.

 

We call upon the international community to strengthen its efforts to renew the commitment of the entire human family to poverty eradication through the promotion of decent work, good quality jobs and social protection for all workers in all economic units and sectors. We urge all to end any kind of acts that weaken trade unions such as intimidation, lay-offs and union busting.

 

With you, we are moving toward a Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda on fair migration for better working and living conditions for all.

 

Thank you.

 

Isak Krampona

IYCW Secretary General

 
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