December 14, 2011
Who sees the elephant? Civic Society Days on Migration and Human Development
Who sees the elephant?
The event you should have taken part in? Civic Society Days on Migration and Human Development organized in Geneva in December this year is one of those. It has shown that we have a problem that we do not want to talk about.
What Is It All About?
This year over 180 delegates representing organizations that are dealing with migration has been invited to take part in the consultations that played a role of a side event to the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). The participants of the main event have been mostly government representatives and consultations were populated by practitioners. They ranged from academia, business, human rights organizations as well as religious associations or churches. This misleadingly wide array could have been significantly reduced because more than 500 applicants have been rejected.
You’ve got 15 minutes
Off the UN
The grey-haired man are on one side of the barricade, the group of man and women, who come from all walks of life is on the other side. The facilitation to promote the rights and the whole advocacy task relies mostly on individuals who are tremendously caring about the issue. The answer that comes from the international bodies is weak. The UN Rapporteur who comes to the activists and the only thing he can offer is saying ‘I am just writing a report, that is my task, but irregular migration is not a crime’ is not enough to fulfill the expectations.
But why was this an event that you should have taken part in? Why haven’t I written about a concert or a festival? Perhaps it is idealistic way of thinking, but the elephant will be still there, looking at us, playing with his ears and perhaps event punching our shoulders with the trunk, but as long as the migration is remaining in a shadow and rights-based policy making is a far cry, there is apparently need to engage to empower the diaspora of migrants to stand up and claim at least regularization.
Overtures of the great music pieces are well-known. Almost everyone can recognize the one that starts The Magic Flute or The Marriage of Figaro. Than, there are some pieces in the middle and it ends with a great ‘Finale’. It is similar with discussions on migration with high stake-holders. They see can easily say that the Filipinos and Filipinas are migrating, they know that there are people from North Africa trying to reach Europe or that perhaps there are some issues in Thailand. The ‘Finale’ happens when the hope for the better future drowns in the Mediterranean Sea or a huge trafficking is discovered. What is happening in between is just left apart and nobody feels responsible to tackle. The less public participation is seen in the debate over migration the less visible the problem is, and the less probable sensible labour migration policies are.