This is the second of a series of blog pieces written by Ambet Yuson, General Secretary of BWI. This piece focuses on rights for migrant workers.
Migration is a critical issue for BWI, not only because of
The BWI priority on migration has been and remains the full respect for human rights, especially workers’ and trade union rights. That position is a
BWI insists that migrant workers should have the same rights as other workers. They should be covered by the same
Even when, on paper, rights of migrant workers are protected, in practice, the situation is often much different. Migrant workers are nearly always, in fact, vulnerable. If they are, for example, on
In the Gulf States and some other countries, workforces in construction are entirely populated by migrant workers. And in these countries, migrant workers face enormous challenges and are prone to exploitation and discrimination. However, there has been considerable progress in Qatar, where BWI has concentrated its efforts related to the 2020 World Cup.
We are hopeful that legislation and practices will be in full conformity with ILO
In BWI, we are doing everything that we can to influence the UN, ILO, the IOM, and others to build a system of global governance of migration that will guarantee rights and help to develop orderly relationships and processes.
This week, from 10-11 December in Marrakesh, Morocco, the UN Member States will adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). The BWI along with other Global Unions have been actively engaged in the negotiations of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) which will be adopted 10-11 December in Marrakesh, Morocco.
Although the GCM is a non-binding document it is a historic document. For the first time, Member States have agreed to a multilateral framework of cooperation for the global governance of migration.
The BWI along with other Global Unions followed the entire process very closely, advocating for a Global Compact that promotes decent work, and guarantees ILO fundamental principles and rights at work to all migrant workers, regardless of migration status.
We are also working on the ground with migrant workers as well as with member
When migrant and non-migrant workers are on
The changing political climate makes the lives of migrant workers and trade unions more problematic. That means that action against xenophobia, hatred, and bigotry requires
The growth of the Extreme Right in Europe, in the United States, in Brazil, and elsewhere is built on a foundation of disinformation and fear. Much of their focus is on migration. Surveys show that
This generation and exploitation of fear by authoritarian forces
As we have seen in a number of countries including the United States, Hungary, and Austria, fanning the flames of hatred by those holding political office, creates dangerous, irrational crops of hatred to be harvested in elections. Baseless, deceptive attacks on migrants rapidly opened the doors to the revival of other dark forces of history, including White Supremacy and anti-Semitism. Fortunately, these vile strategies do not always succeed in
The trade union movement, due to its diverse membership, its values, its traditions of solidarity and democracy, and its deep roots in the community, can contribute to restoring reason to the public debate on migration. That discussion needs to be based on
Speech and the written word should be used to facilitate communication rather than block it. Words can, after all, do not have to be weapons. They can also be instruments of understanding and peace.