U.S. Immigrant Rights Leaders Join Delegation to Migration Hearings and Action in Geneva



Monami Maulik, DRUM (347) 385-9113  monami@drumnyc.org

Colin Rajah, National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights; crajah@nnirr.org

Queens, NY- Community leaders from DRUM- Desis Rising Up & Moving ( a South Asian low-income immigrant and workers rights organization), VAMOS Unidos (street vendor immigrant workers center) and United Methodist Women in NY will join an international group of delegates from around the globe at the 6th annual Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and the People's Global Action (PGA) on Migration and Development in Geneva, Switzerland from November 29-December 2, 2011.  

Longtime DRUM youth leader and organizer, Ayesha Mahmooda will join the People's Global Action to represent the issues faced by South Asian, Muslim and undocumented immigrants in the U.S.  DRUM's founder and Executive Director, Monami Maulik, is one of a handful of migrant leaders from the U.S. to attend the Civil Society Days meetings of the GFMD where governments meet to decide migration policy direction.  DRUM has been a leading U.S. participant in the important international GFMD process since 2005 by testifying and organizing with global migrant rights networks to pass global and domestic migration policy that is rooted in human rights and to end the further exploitation and abuse of migrants.

DRUM will join a delegation of over 20 migrant advocates from across the U.S. as part of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and many more from across the globe as part of Migrant Rights International in Geneva for the week of activities.  Other U.S. organizations attending include the Black Alliance for Just Immigration Reform and the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities.  As Executive Director, Monami Maulik explains, "As a U.S. based migrant rights organization, we feel an urgent responsibility to advocate for just migration policies that protect human life over profits at the global level given the fact that the U.S. government is a major violator of migrants' human rights and exporter of anti-migrant policy to other countries. We will uplift the need to de-link 'National Security' from migrant policy because the U.S. example to the world in the last decade since 9/11 has been to confuse the two- leading to harsh and punitive anti-immigrant policies within the U.S. and around the globe like border militarization and deaths, detention without due process, racial profiling, and anti-Muslim initiatives across Europe and North America. " 

For more information, see:

People's Global Action:

People's Global Action 2011 
29 November – 2 December
Geneva, Switzerland

What is the PGA? 

The Peoples’ Global Action on Migration, Development and Human Rights (PGA) is an independent civil society event parallel to the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).  Over the past 5 years since the UN High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development (UNHLD) in 2006, civil society engagement around the GFMD has grown more vibrant.  Each year, hundreds and even thousands of civil society representatives and members of the general public have participated in the PGA’s parallel events while the official GFMD has taken place.  The 2010 PGA in Mexico City for instance, was attended by almost 500 delegates from around the world. 

The PGA brings together representatives from every region of the globe to share information, dialogue, strengthen analyses and develop joint positions on current and emerging issues related to migration.  The PGA also provides critical space for advocacy and lobbying government delegates and international institutions to look at migration from a human rights framework and to be accountable to international human rights and development commitments.  Furthermore, the PGA paves the way for capacity building and the establishment and broadening of international networks. 

Who organizes the PGA? 

The PGA is jointly organized by a broad coalition of local and international migrant associations, trade unions, human rights organizations, faith-based/religious groups, and other NGOs.  In 2011, the PGA’s international organizers include: 

• Migrants Rights International (MRI) including Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA), the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR), Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM), Comitato Antirazzista Durban Italia (CADI) etc.
• The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Building and Woodworkers International (BWI), and their affiliates
• The Transnational Migrant Platform, and European Working Group (EWG) 

The PGA organizers are currently reaching out to local organizations in Geneva to be partners in co-organizing the 2011 PGA.  These local organizations include: 

• African Peace Network
• Le Collectif de soutien aux sans-papiers de Genève
• Geneva Forum for Pilipino Concerns (GFPC)
• The Graduate Institute of Geneva
• others… 

What is in store for the 2011 PGA in Geneva? 

As in previous years, the PGA will be held in conjunction with the annual GFMD (29 November – 2 December) in Geneva.  The primary theme for the 2011 PGA is “Undocumented Migrants – A Call for Regularisation”.  The 2011 PGA program will highlight the ongoing struggle against racism and xenophobia in Europe and around the world against migrants, and calls for equal rights and protections of all migrants regardless of status. 

United Methodist Delegation to Attend Migrant Rights Convention in Geneva, Switzerland
November 17, 2011

A General Board of Global Ministries delegation will attend the People’s Global Action on Migration, Development and Human Rights (PGA) in Geneva, Switzerland, November 28–December 2, 2011. 

A delegation of 18 church representatives will attend the PGA as part of the mission agency’s focus on global migration and poverty. The PGA is a grass-roots event organized by Migrant Rights International that brings together migrant organizations from around the world. It is held in tandem with the intergovernmental Global Forum on Migration and Development and a related Civil Society Days. 

The General Board of Global Ministries (Global Ministries), including United Methodist Women, will bring a delegation representing Central and Southern Europe, Congo, Germany, Philippines and West Africa Central Conferences as well as representatives of the United Methodist Task Force on Immigration, staff, United Methodist missionaries, students, and a director of United Methodist Women.

The Global Ministries’ delegation to Geneva will seek to understand the migration realities faced by United Methodists and Methodists in diverse regions of the world, and, in collaboration with secular migrant organizations from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the United States, explore migrant experiences and migration policy. They will strengthen networks to promote global, regional and national policies that put migrant human rights at the center. They will consider how genuine sustainable development could create conditions in which the poor would be free to choose to stay and not be forced to migrate in search of livelihoods. Methodist delegates will consider how this global advocacy experience can strengthen their work at home with migrant sending congregations, receiving congregations and migrant congregations. 

This represents an ongoing commitment to global migration, linked to poverty. Global Migration is a model project of Global Ministries’ work on Ministry With the Poor, which links direct service and local ministries to national and global advocacy for just migration policy prioritizing human rights. 

Building on The United Methodist Church's Resolution #6028, “Global Migration: The Quest for Justice” (from The Book of Resolutions, 2008), Global Ministries understands the upsurge in migration around the world to be the result of unequal distribution of resources and opportunities globally, reflected in poverty, underdevelopment, climate change and war, which push people to move.

At the same time, wealthy nations have eagerly sought migrant workers to fill gaps in their employment needs and lower costs through exploitative jobs while taking harsh measures to limit workers’ rights, freedom of movement, and better employment opportunities. Increasingly, these migrant workers around the world find barriers including racism, harsh enforcement policies and growing criminalization of migrants.