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eNews_Oct to Dec08
Building Bridges with UNSRs
Migrants & Advocates Upstage the GFMD
Shame the GFMD
Concerted AIDS Day Efforts
Major Leap in ASEAN MW Protection
1st Asia Pacific Unified Force on Refugee Rights
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Oct to Dec 2008
Building Bridges with UNSRs


CARAM Asia forged links with the United Nations Special Rapporteur (UNSR) on The Human Rights of Migrants and on Contemporary Forms of Slavery including its Causes and Consequences, for long term UN interventions. The network together with Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) and the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) concluded the 2008 Joint Regional Consultation with UNSR on The Human Rights of Migrants, Dr Jorge Bustamante, and UNSR on Contemporary Forms of Slavery including its Causes and Consequences, Ms Gulnara Shaninian from 24 to 25 October 2008 in Philippines.

The 2008 Asia Pacific Joint Regional Consultation was devoted to the issue of protection for women migrant workers.
Migrants & Advocates Upstage the GFMD
CARAM Asia rallied together with migrant workers and advocates around the world to denounce labour export policies of governments through a street protest in Manila to upstage the 2nd Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD) on 29 Oct in Phillipines. Members carried banners high, chanted slogans and marched in campaign T-shirts calling for the recognition of domestic work as work together with about 2,000 other participants of the International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR).

The IAMR operated in direct protest to the official GFMD. This event is a collaborative effort of the International Migrants Alliance (IMA) and Migrante International with the support of CARAM Asia, Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants, IBON International, International League of Peoples’ Struggles, Bayan Philippines and the Asia Pacific Forum for Women Law and Development (APWLD). Grassroots migrants groups were the main drivers of IAMR, CARAM Asia together with Migrante International and APWLD co-organised a “Migrants Speak Out” session. Watch a music video about the speak out session here...

Besides that, CARAM Asia also jointly organized a workshop on "The Truth about Labor Export Policy and Remittances".

Read more about the IAMR here together with reports on the official GFMD and other parallel events...
The official 2nd Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD) events took place between 27-30 October. CARAM Asia views the GFMD as a business driven forum, mostly focused on pushing migration and remittances as a tool for development. This agenda will in turn shift the burden of development to an already marginalised migrant community.
CARAM Asia disagrees with the non-binding nature of the government meetings that do not have mechanism in place to hold governments accountable. To date few practical elements emerged from this process.  The global forum remains an informal government led initiative that lacks the decision making process that is urgently needed to address the causes of migration and conditions of migrant workers throughout the world.
Concerted global effort is required to raise the awareness on the rights of migrant workers. In view of this, there were other parallel events organised by NGOs and trade unions between 19 to 30 October to insulate alternative views on migration and development.
Read reports from the official CSO days and the parallel events
Concerted AIDS Day Efforts
CARAM Asia members celebrated the life and struggle of people living with HIV in the spirit of the 20th World AIDS Day with strong messages, street demonstrations and awareness programmes across the Asia Pacific region. The secretariat kicked started the media advocacy initiatives with a press release that was published with significant coverage. Read about the press release here
Then in Hong Kong, for a consecutive seven days, CARAM Asia member, St. John's Cathedral HIV Education Centre bring together exhibitions, radio programmes and prayers. The centre synchronise public awareness programmes with prayers for the well being of positive people.

In Indonesia, CARAM Asia member, Solidaritas Perempuan demonstrated in front of a national monument (Monas) Jakarta together with other 16 other NGOs working on migration, HIV, women and children issues in Java. One of their calls is on “No Mandatory health testing on migrant workers”. In their effort to push for the removal of mandatory HIV testing on migrant workers, they also sent out press release to the media to stir public awareness.
Major Leap in ASEAN MW Protection
The Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers (TF-AMW), a civil society task force appointed by the former ASEAN Sec Gen, of which CARAM Asia is a member, held its regional consultation on 24 and 25 November in Bangkok, Thailand. Among the most notable development in ASEAN is the commitment to form an ASEAN Committee on Migrant Worker, a governmental committee tasked to realise the contents of the ASEAN declaration on Migrant workers. So far seven countries have already identified focal points for this committee. The committee is expected to have its first meeting before the 14th ASEAN summit.
First Asia Pacific Unified Force on Refugee Rights
The first Asia Pacific Consultation on Refugee Rights (APCRR) unified more than 100 participants from over 70 organisations including NGOs, refugees groups, health based organisations and researchers. The coalition consisted of engagement from over 13 countries in the Asia Pacific area and was organised by Forum Asia from 19 to 21 October 2008 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  CARAM Asia attended this meeting as an observer with a mind to including the platform of refugee rights within its organisation’s contingency.