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  5. Message to the International Migrants Tribunal

    By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON

    Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle

    (Watch video presentation on youtube)

    We, the International League of Peoples´ Struggle (ILPS), are elated that the International Migrants Tribunal is undertaking the highly important task of trying the case filed by Migrante International, Gabriela, Asosiasi Tenaga Kerja Indonesia (ATKI-Indonesia), Caravan, Voice Refugee Forum and Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano, on behalf of all migrants workers in the world, against the Global Forum on Migration and Development and the heads of state involved.

    We express appreciation to the prominent individuals who have agreed to serve as judges, to those who act as prosecutors, to those who are witnesses and to all the delegations from organizations that are concerned with migration, especially the promotion of migrants’ rights and welfare. We are proud to be one of the co-organizers of the two-day trial, along with the International Migrants’ Alliance (IMA), the International Women’s Alliance (IWA) and the Asia-Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM). Inasmuch as this political event is being held in Manila, we have directed the ILPS- Philippine chapter to provide the utmost support and assistance within its ability.

    The migrant workers comprise a significant productive force in the world. They are the most exploited and oppressed workers in the developed countries. They receive the lowest level of wages and are deprived of the rights and standard wage and living conditions of workers in the host countries. The imperialist powers have designed the over-all neoliberal policy on migrant workers: to use them at the least cost in order to aid production and improve the quality of life in the developed host countries and to use their earnings to fund the consumption-oriented economies of their underdeveloped home countries.

    It is necessary and important for the ILPS, the entire anti-imperialist movement and the people of the world to pay close attention to the plight and just cause of the migrant workers. In this regard, we must persevere in confronting the GFMD and the heads of state that are active in it and hold them responsible for pursuing and carrying out the neoliberal economic policy on migration and for committing grievous wrongs and injustices against the millions of migrant workers and their families.

    Altogether the GFMD and the states have adopted migration policies in line with the neoliberal agenda of generating and exploiting cheap and pliant labor for export and effecting modern-day slavery. Migrant workers are the result of underdevelopment and the lack of jobs in the sending countries.

    But the hard-earned foreign exchange earnings of migrant workers are sucked up by governments that extort exorbitant fees and various private exploiters (recruiting agencies, remittance centers, banks, marketing companies, and so on) and are used for anti-industrial purposes that aggravate and deepen underdevelopment. And yet the GFMD harps on the lie that migration leads to development.

    Both the sending and receiving states connive in exploiting the migrant workers and violating their political, economic, social and cultural rights. The migrant workers are subjected to low wages, substandard working conditions, limited benefits, discrimination and insecurity. Immigration laws are biased for facilitating the criminalization of migrant workers and for inflicting on them violent and inhuman treatment.

    Women migrant workers are oppressed. They are made vulnerable to gender-based violence and other forms of abuse. There are no effective mechanisms in place to protect the migrant workers from falling victims to human traffickers and organized crime syndicates which intimidate and kill their prey.

    But on a far wider scale, especially because of the crisis of global capitalism, reactionary currents of xenophobia, racial discrimination and religious bigotry are rising in a futile attempt of the big bourgeoisie and its political and media agents to conceal the roots of the crisis. Imperialist wars of aggression and armed counterrevolutions in a number of countries have caused displacement and grave difficulties for migrant workers. And the governments and international agencies concerned have not provided timely and sufficient protection to the migrant workers.

    The trial must uphold the rights of the migrant workers, hold the culprits to account and condemn the acts and omissions in violation of such rights enshrined in the following legal instruments: 1) Universal Declaration of Human Rights; 2) International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; 3) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; 4) International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; 5) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; 6) Convention on the Rights of the Child; 7) International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; 8 ) The Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol; 9) Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; 10) European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its protocols; 11) ILO Migration for Employment Convention (Revised); and 12) ILO Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers (C189).

    We wish that the trial achieve the utmost success in exposing the wrongs and injustices done to the migrant workers, in upholding their rights and in rendering them justice. We are confident that the judges will render a judgment that shall be effective in enlightening the people about the plight of migrant workers and promoting their just cause.

    We are also confident that the prosecutors and witnesses present clearly the wrongs and injustices done to the migrant workers and provide the strong basis for a clear judgment. Thus, the trial will succeed in highlighting the resistance of the migrant workers against the violations of their rights and in inspiring the migrant workers, their direct supporters and the entire people to raise the struggle to a new and higher level for upholding, defending and advancing the rights of migrant workers.

  6. INTERNATIONAL MIGRANTS TRIBUNAL

    Quezon City, Philippines

    MIGRANTS ALL OVER THE WORLD at the suit of MIGRANTE INTERNATIONAL (MI),
    GABRIELA, ASOSIASI TENAGA KERJA INDONESIA (ATKI-INDONESIA), CARAVAN, THE
    VOICE REFUGEE FORUM and MOVIMIENTO MIGRANTE MESOAMERICANO,

    Complainants,

    -versus-

    GLOBAL FORUM ON MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT (GFMD) through and represented
    by the heads of governments and relevant agencies of the States forming
    its Steering Committee[1], and all other similar formations or other
    individuals, organizations and entities acting or cooperating under its
    authority and for or on its behalf, name and stead,

    Defendants.

    x—————————————–x

    VERDICT

    Prefatory

    In 2007, various States founded the Global Forum on Migration and
    Development (GFMD). The declared objective for its establishment was
    ?to address the migration and development interconnections in
    practical and action-oriented ways.? GFMD has since served as a key
    instrument in formulating migration policies of States.

    The policies recommended by the GFMD and largely adopted and implemented
    by States adversely affect the rights of migrants. While the GFMD
    provides for the token participation of civil society organizations,
    migrants are not involved and assert that they have no venue to challenge
    such policies. A number of international, regional and national
    organizations struggling for the rights and well-being of migrants
    initiated this International Migrants? Tribunal (IMT) to confront
    GFMD and its policies.

    This IMT put into trial the GMFD and its neoliberal globalization design
    on migration. It examined cases of alleged human rights violations by the
    sending States and highlighted the resistance of grassroots migrants
    against such machinations.

    The Tribunal received an Indictment dated 5 November 2012 from several
    Complainants in behalf of migrants all over the world and at the suit of
    migrant and mass organizations Migrante International (MI), GABRIELA,
    Asosiasi Tenaga Kerja Indonesia (ATKI-Indonesia), CARAVAN, The Voice
    Refugee Forum and Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano.

    The Indictment listed charges against Defendant GFMD ?through and
    represented by the heads of governments and relevant agencies of the
    States forming its Steering Committee, and all other similar formations
    or other individuals, organizations and entities acting or cooperating
    under its authority and for or on its behalf, name and stead.?

    The Indictment outlined how Defendant GMFD allegedly violated the various
    rights of migrants, and caused sufferings to many, even deaths.
    =========================================================================

    The Defendants were duly notified of the charges against them through the
    service of summons on 5 November 2012 both by hand and by registered mail
    with proof of service. Defendants were given ample opportunity to file
    their defense, answer or responsive pleadings, as the case may be.
    =========================================================================

    No appearance by the Defendants and/or their counsel was made during the
    Tribunal proper held on 28 to 29 November 2012 nor did they submit any
    defense, answer or responsive pleading.
    ========================================================================

    As enunciated by the Tribunal initiators and organizers International
    Migrants? Alliance (IMA), International Women?s Alliance
    (IWA), International League of Peoples? Struggle (ILPS) and the
    Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM), the prospective judges to the
    Tribunal were selected and invited on the basis of their expertise,
    competence, probity, objectivity and independence to hand down a credible
    judgment or verdict.

    Opening and Closing Summation statements were made by the Prosecution. Summary
    testimonial evidence were provided by the Complainants? witnesses
    as well as the accompanying documentary evidence submitted and taking
    into account the studied opinion of experts on the issues, each one
    supporting the allegations of the acts or omissions of the Defendants
    that violated migrants? rights. The judges were given the full
    opportunity to clarify certain points and question the witnesses and
    experts.
    ==============================================================================

    It goes without saying that the importance and strength of the findings
    and Verdict of this Tribunal rests on the sufficiency and credibility of
    the evidence as well as the moral weight of the causes and arguments
    presented by the migrants through the Complainants.
    ========================================================================

    The credibility and relevancy of the evidence and the application and
    recognition of the various international treaties and conventions on the
    rights of migrants including the United Nations Convention on the
    Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their
    Families serve as the guiding posts and bases for this Verdict.
    ========================================================================

    I. The Charges

    1. Violation of the Complainants? human rights. At the pretext of
    protecting Complainants? human rights, the Defendants prescribe
    migration policies in furtherance of their neoliberal agenda of
    commodification of labor and modern-day slavery.

    2. Criminal neglect of Complainants? economic rights and violation
    of their political, economic, social and cultural rights by the Sending
    States.

    3. Violation of the Complainants? political, economic, social and
    cultural rights by the Receiving States.

    II. Findings
    ============

    Complainants, through the Panel of People?s Prosecutors from the
    International Association of People?s Lawyers (IAPL) and the
    National Union of Peoples? Lawyers (NUPL) of the Philippines
    presented a total of nine (9) witnesses, three (3) of whom have been
    qualified as expert witnesses on the migrants? rights situation and
    the Global Forum on Migration and Development, namely: Antonio Tujan Jr,
    Irene Fernandez and Jose Jacques y Medina.

    All the nine (9) witnesses also submitted their respective sworn
    statements to the Tribunal.

    ANTONIO TUJAN JR. of the Philippines, who is, among others, director of
    IBON International and chair of two major international aid coalitions,
    Better Aid and the Reality of Aid Network, testified and gave his expert
    opinion and analysis on the following:

    1) That the Defendants? acts, programs and policies on migration,
    including the aggressive promotion of its ideology that remittances lead
    to development, does not in reality lead to development and is intended
    only to further the Defendants? neoliberal agenda of modern-day
    slavery through the commodification of labor, to the injury of the
    Complainants; and

    2) That the Defendants? acts, programs and policies such as the
    labor export policy, while paying lip service to the protection of
    migrants? human rights, actually violates the political, economic,
    social and cultural rights of migrants.

    Mr. Tujan provided elaborate explanation on how the labor-export policy
    violates the rights of the migrants. He expounded on his proposition and
    opinion as an expert witness that labor policy must not be export-based
    but rights-based.

    He pointed out that the remittances of immigrants is greater than those
    of overseas contract workers and hence, the labor-export policy cannot
    even use the remittances of the latter as a justification.

    Mr. Tujan also testified that the consequence of migration on the
    communities is the fragmentation of families and society. He also said
    that there is a lack of policies to attend to this situation.

    IRENE FERNANDEZ of Malaysia, who is, among others, director and
    co-founder of the NGO Tenaganita and an awardee of the Right Livelihood
    Award for her courageous work to stop violence against women and abuses
    of migrant and poor workers in Malaysia, also gave her expert opinion and
    analysis, among others, on the following:

    1) The fact that multibillion dollar migrant industry recognizes the
    human being solely as an overseas contract worker; recruited, made to pay
    for his placement, and exported as a commodity by their own governments;

    2) The fact that many States organize and structure the movement of
    people through labor export policies and these policies maintain
    imperialist control and uneven distribution of power and wealth in the
    world;

    3) The reality that reflects very clear violations of rights with
    impunity supported by employer sanctions policies by various governments;

    4) The fact that most people who are victims of trafficking have
    deliberately left home in order to make a living elsewhere. However, they
    end up in a situation analogous to slavery; and

    5) That in today?s international imperialist form of migration
    control, there is not only the employer, but the agent and the State that
    act in unison of an unholy trinity to enslave the voiceless migrant
    worker none of whom recognize any rights.

    Ms. Fernandez pointed out the myth that migration is a tool for
    development and that the issue of migration has been exploited as a
    security issue rather than based on a rights-based approach.

    She also mentioned the lack of mechanisms of the States to the plight of
    women victims.

    JOSE JACQUES y MEDINA of Mexico, who is, among others, the organizer of
    the Labor Action and Immigration Action Center, part of the One Stop
    Immigration and Educational Center, and former migrant Federal
    Congressman in the Legislature of Mexico, testified as an expert witness
    on various harassments and various forms of human rights violations,
    worst of which are the killings and massacres, committed against migrants
    who use the US-Mexican border in going to the US.

    He recounted the slaughter of 72 migrants in San Fernando, Tamaulipas and
    showed visual evidence of the massacre. He also testified about the
    approximately 70,000 migrants that have disappeared in Mexico for a
    period of six years from 2006 to 2012. Mr. Medina?s organization,
    the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement has hosted the caravan of mothers and
    relatives who searched for their missing migrants. He testified on the
    Mexican government?s inactions in the victims? quest for
    justice and the lack of mechanism to defend rights, to prevent, to
    investigate those violations and attend to victims in the Central
    American region and Mexico.

    LUZ MIRIAM JARAMILLO of Italy, who is, among others, a representative of
    the Comitato Immigrati in Italia and an active campaigner against laws
    and regulations that curtail rights of immigrant workers and refugees in
    Italy, testified on:

    1) The situation of undocumented migrants in Europe;

    2) The manner how Defendants have further encouraged and further
    aggravated the criminalization and violations of rights of undocumented
    migrants in Europe through the European Union (EU) Return Directive; and

    3) The fact that there is a virtual news blackout in the European media
    on the deportations in implementation of the directive.

    REX OSA, a Nigerian refugee in Germany and a member of The VOICE Refugee
    Forum, testified on his personal experiences as a refugee and on the work
    of his organization in defending refugee rights. Mr. Osa also testified
    on the ill effects to refugees of Fortress Europe; the various human
    rights violations committed by or facilitated through the FRONTEX, a
    special border control agency, that reminds us of the Nazi practice of
    restricting freedom of movement and other forms of racist discrimination
    against the Jews in the 1930s.

    He further testified that the Defendants, through their inaction and
    failure to identify and address the walls and fortresses created by its
    member-States through the imposition of anti-refugees policies, are also
    an anti-refugees organization that is complicit to the various violations
    of the refugees? human rights.

    He pointed out that he is not aware of any investigation of police
    brutality against migrants and that there is in fact no real integration
    in Germany and of the lack of an effective mechanism to defend their
    rights.

    ENI LESTARI, an Indonesian who is herself a domestic worker in Hong Kong,
    testified on the issues of domestic workers. She was, among others,
    formerly the president of the Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers
    (ATKI-HK). She testified on the problems and issues being encountered by
    domestic/contract workers that the Defendants have refused to act on.

    As related to the particular situation of the domestic contract workers,
    she also testified on how the Defendants? inaction violates
    relevant rights-based international conventions. She testified how the
    problems and issues of the domestic contract workers have intensified due
    to the Defendants? promotion of neo-liberal globalization-inspired
    labor flexibilization and the absence of the governments to attend to the
    victims of those violations.

    VIVIANA MEDINA, a migrant worker from Mexico based in Montreal, Canada
    and who, among others, formed the Mexicanos Unidos para la regularizacion
    (MUR), testified on her own personal experience which represents the
    problems and ordeals that confront women migrant workers. Her experience
    showed how the absence of regular or legal status makes migrant workers
    more vulnerable to the worst of abuses.

    She pointed out that the reasons for migration, particularly of women,
    are based on economics, reunification and violence that result in forced
    displacements and social disintegration.

    GREGORIO CAGOD of the Philippines was a seafarer until his accident in
    2001 while on board as an able seaman which required brain surgery. He is
    currently the Vice-President of the National Union of Seafarers Crewing
    Danish Ships (FILDAN) and a member of the Board of Trustees of the
    International Seafarers Action Center Philippines (ISAC).

    Mr. Cagod testified on the issue of seafarers. He described the general
    situation of seafarers with particular emphasis on the situation of the
    Filipino seafarers. He also testified on the role of the Defendants on
    the further marginalization of poverty and exploitation of seafarers
    worldwide. He pointed out that the profits of the Defendants do not
    translate to meaningful services and to the rights and welfare of
    seafarers in particular and of the people in general.

    GARRY MARTINEZ of the Philippines, who is, among others, a former migrant
    worker in South Korea and presently Chairperson of Migrante, testified to
    prove the following:

    1) That far from being a tool of development, the Defendants contributed
    to the further regression of the economies of the underdeveloped
    countries;

    2) The Defendants promote the intensification of the labor export policy
    in under-developed countries;

    3) That as evidenced by the Philippine experience, labor export policy
    did not contribute to real economic development, and resulted in abuse
    and exploitation of Filipino Overseas Workers;

    4) That, the migrant workers experience various forms of abuses and left
    to fend off for themselves without sufficient support from the
    governments of both the sending and receiving countries.

    As aforestated, the Defendants failed to make any appearance by
    themselves or by counsel in the Tribunal. Neither did they file or
    anything in reply to the Indictment.

    Upon the instruction of this Tribunal, the Clerk of Court of this
    Tribunal read a lengthy statement unofficially culled from Defendant
    GMFD?s public pronouncements.

    Thereafter, the Prosecutors argued that the non-appearance of the
    Defendants despite due and ample notice should be considered as a waiver
    of their right to be present and to present any evidence. They moved that
    the statement be treated as a mere scrap of paper and stricken off the
    record. The Prosecutors scored the Defendants for their ?lack of
    courtesy, much less courage, to come before the Tribunal and argue their
    untenable position and general and sweeping denial.?

    The Prosecutors emphatically asserted that the statement read contained
    ?absolute lies? and was ?washing its hands? with
    ?unabashed distortions of reality? and ?patently
    self-serving.? Most importantly, the Prosecution said, the
    statement is ?an insult to all the victims, migrants and families
    that the Defendants have ?bled, exploited and oppressed with
    evident premeditation and unmitigated callousness.?

    The Prosecutors then moved that the case be submitted for deliberation
    and that a Verdict be handed down on the basis of Complainants?
    evidence, which motion was granted by the Tribunal.

    This Tribunal, however, takes judicial notice of the Defendant
    GFMD?s objectives, as stated in its official website:

    1) ?To provide a venue for policy-makers and high-level policy
    practitioners to informally discuss relevant policies and practical
    challenges and opportunities of the migration-development nexus, and
    engage with other stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations,
    experts and migrant organizations to foster practical and action-oriented
    outcomes at national, bilateral and international level;

    2) ?To exchange good practices and experiences, which can be
    duplicated or adapted in other circumstances, in order to maximize the
    development benefits of migration and migration flows;

    3) ?To identify information, policy and institutional gaps
    necessary to foster synergies and greater policy coherence at national,
    regional and international levels between the migration and development
    policy areas;

    4) ?To establish partnerships and cooperation between countries,
    and between countries and other stakeholders, such as international
    organizations, diaspora, migrants, academia etc., on migration and
    development; and

    5) ?To structure the international priorities and agenda on
    migration and development.? (Last viewed on 28 November 2012.
    http://www.gfmd.org/en/process/background)

    III. Judgment
    =============

    After a careful and thorough evaluation of the evidence and weighty
    consideration of the arguments and opinions presented by the Complainants
    and their experts and witnesses, this Tribunal had come up with the
    following findings:

    The Complainants have indeed taken a significant historical step in their
    continuing efforts to chronicle and document the long-running abuses and
    unbridled violations of the human rights of migrants all over the world.
    They had come together as one before this political Tribunal in a bold
    move to utilize another alternative forum to make accountable the forces
    and institutions that perpetuate their exploitation, misery and plight.

    Complainants have established with clear, convincing and credible
    evidence that the neoliberal globalization design on migration that meets
    the needs of imperialist countries and maintains the supply of cheap and
    skilled contractual workers from developing and underdeveloped countries
    is crystallized in Defendant GMFD.

    Several years after its inception, Defendant GFMD continues to
    disseminate the notion that migration leads to development. It has been
    pushing harder for the alignment of migration policies to complement
    neo-liberal policies. The intent is to regulate the flow of cheap labor,
    keeping in mind the economic benefits from migrant labor. Whatever
    economic gains derived from migration benefit a small minority (e.g. big
    business, bureaucrats) especially in countries of origin.

    Defendant GFMD’s ostensible thrust is to promote ?migration for
    development.? In reality, Defendants are complicit in the crimes of
    commodification, criminalization of the undocumented and death on the
    borders, modern-day slavery, and criminal neglect and abuse of the rights
    and welfare of migrants.

    The Defendant GFMD thereby helps prop up and perpetuate States?
    socio-economic systems that oppress and exploit not only migrants and
    migrant families but the broad majority of toiling people.

    Complainants correctly charged the Defendants Global Forum On Migration
    And Development (GFMD), through and represented by the heads of
    governments and relevant agencies of the States forming its Steering
    Committee ? including: Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium,
    Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India,
    Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands,
    Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Senegal, South
    Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United
    Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States of America, and all
    other similar formations or other individuals, organizations and entities
    acting or cooperating under its authority and for or on its behalf, name
    and stead, of confederating, collaborating, cooperating and conspiring
    with one another from 2007 to the present in wilfully, unlawfully and
    feloniously, by acts or omission and through its themes, pronouncements
    and resolutions, with the following, and we hereby therefore find:

    On Charge 1:

    On the charge that the Defendants at the pretext of protecting
    Complainants? human rights, prescribe migration policies in
    furtherance of their neoliberal agenda of commodification of labor and
    modern-day slavery, the Tribunal hereby finds the Defendants GUILTY as
    charged.

    The testimonial and documentary evidence presented by the Complainants
    clearly shows that Defendants? recommended policy of promoting
    migration does not contribute to the development of the economic base of
    sending States while leading to dislocation of migrants? families.
    It does not promote the creation of jobs and employment in the home
    countries thereby forcing migrants to migrate for lack of employment and
    adequate opportunities in their home countries.

    The profits and remittances of overseas contract workers do not even
    redound to their benefit, much less to the benefit of the rights and
    welfare of the people.

    Moreover, acts and omissions showing that migration render and treat
    Complainants as cheap, docile and flexible workforce for the benefit of
    industries and businesses is shown by the testimonial and documentary
    evidence presented.

    Contrary to the GFMD?s claims and avowed policies of protecting
    migrants? rights and wellbeing, GFMD failed to prescribe policies
    and measures to address the problem of criminalization of irregular
    migrants thus giving rise to unjust, punitive racist measures such as the
    European Union Return Directive.

    Further, the act of the Defendants of taking full advantage of
    Complainants? vulnerability to squeeze maximum profits and benefits
    at the expense of Complainants? rights was demonstrated by the
    testimonial and documentary evidence presented.

    On Charge 2:

    On the charge that the Defendants were criminally neglectful of
    Complainants? political, economic, social and cultural rights
    through the Sending States, the Tribunal hereby finds the Defendants
    GUILTY as charged.

    a. Defendants failed, obstructed or impeded the creation of national
    industries that will generate adequate and decent job opportunities at
    home;

    b. Defendants promoted labor export policy that commodifies migrants and
    resulting in various rights violations.

    In fine, the promotion of a labor export-policy as a means to development
    is seriously flawed and the Defendants? act of encouraging states
    to adopt labor-export policies from an economic development point of view
    and in obvious disregard of Complainants? realities and the factors
    and issues surroundings migration is clearly a violation of the
    Complainants? basic economic rights

    c. Defendants imposed excessive taxes, charges and other various forms of
    exactions from the Complainants; and

    d. Defendants hugely benefited from Complainants? remittances at
    Complainants? expense and prejudice.

    On Charge 3:

    On the charge that the Defendants violated Complainants? political,
    economic, social and cultural rights through the Receiving States, the
    Tribunal hereby finds the Defendants GUILTY as charged.

    a. Defendants purposely depressed wages, limited benefits, promoted
    substandard working conditions, and maintained employment insecurity of
    Complainants;

    b. Defendants perpetrated or supported a policy called Kafala system in
    the Gulf countries which is a system for modern-day slavery as it puts
    migrant workers under the absolute control of the employer whose
    permission is also required if the migrant worker wants to leave or
    transfer employment, resulting in various kinds of abuses against
    Complainants;

    c. Defendants upheld pernicious immigration laws that rendered
    Complainants vulnerable to criminalization oftentimes leading to their
    violent arrest, detention and deportation;

    d. Defendants perpetuated oppression of women by making Complainants
    vulnerable to gender-based violence;

    e. Defendants have no comprehensive and effective mechanisms in place to
    protect Complainants from falling victims to human traffickers and
    organized crime syndicates that even leads to loss of lives of
    Complainants;

    f. Defendants neglected or did not act in the face of numerous cases and
    various forms of violations of migrants? rights which include mass
    killings and massacres as in the case of migrants using the US-Mexico
    border going to the US. From the clarificatory questions posed by this
    Tribunal to the witnesses, it was gathered that the governments concerned
    criminally failed or neglected to act in the face of these alarming
    violations of migrants? rights;

    g. Defendants tolerated or incited discrimination and xenophobia against
    Complainants to suppress solidarity of Complainants with other workers
    and peoples.

    Furthermore, the Complainants were able to make their case on the
    following specific areas of concern or issues illustrative of the
    foregoing charges:

    1. On the European Return Directive. The Defendants have further promoted
    the criminalization and violations of the rights of undocumented migrants
    in Europe through the EU Return Directive which sanctions the
    criminalization, detention and deportation of what it considers illegal
    immigrants or undocumented migrants.

    2. On the issue of Refugees. Defendants? view and policy that the
    problem vis-a-vis refugees should be seen simply within the framework of
    stepping up border controls encouraged human rights violations.

    3. On issues of Domestic Workers. Defendants are merely concerned with
    making more systematic temporary labor migration to serve their agenda of
    commodification and reduce migrant workers to modern-day slaves.

    4. On the issue of Women Migrant Workers. Defendants have exposed women
    migrant workers to violence, abuse and exploitation and imposed
    additional legal barriers for their migration.

    5. On the issue of Seafarers. Defendants have perpetuated the condition
    where the vast majority of seafarers of the world are suffered to work
    the perils of the sea with lower and lower real wages, inhuman working
    conditions, unsafe ships, and longer hours.

    6. On the issue of Labor Export Policy. Defendants have endorsed labor
    export over the rights and protection of migrant workers and their
    families through a policy that has resulted in tremendous hardships to
    them.

    All these acts and omissions of Defendants are willful, unlawful,
    felonious and violate or are contrary to the provisions of and principles
    embodied in various international instruments. Among which include:

    a. 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

    b. 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

    c. 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

    d. 1990 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All
    Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families;

    e. The 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its
    1967 Protocol;

    f. 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
    against Women;

    g. 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
    Racial Discrimination;

    h. 1984 Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
    Treatment or Punishment;

    i. 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child;

    j. 1950 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and
    Fundamental Freedoms and its protocols;

    k. ILO Migration for Employment Convention (Revised); and

    l. ILO Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers (C189).

    Some of these provisions include[2]:

    Articles 4, 22, 23 and 24 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
    which provide as follows:

    Article 4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the
    slave trade shall be prohibited;

    Article 22. Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social
    security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and
    international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and
    resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights
    indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

    Article 23

    (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just
    and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

    (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for
    equal work.

    (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration
    ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity,
    and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

    (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the
    protection of his interests.

    Article 24

    Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable
    limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

    Articles 6, 7, and 11 of the 1966 International Covenant on Economic,
    Social and Cultural Rights, which provide as follows:

    Article 6

    1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right to
    work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his
    living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take
    appropriate steps to safeguard this right. xxx xxx xxx

    Article 7

    The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of
    everyone to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work which
    ensure, in particular:

    (a) Remuneration which provides all workers, as a minimum, with:

    (i) Fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value without
    distinction of any kind, in particular women being guaranteed conditions
    of work not inferior to those enjoyed by men, with equal pay for equal
    work;

    (ii) A decent living for themselves and their families in accordance with
    the provisions of the present Covenant;

    (b) Safe and healthy working conditions;

    (c) Equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted in his employment to an
    appropriate higher level, subject to no considerations other than those
    of seniority and competence;

    (d) Rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic
    holidays with pay, as well as remuneration for public holidays

    Article 11

    1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of
    everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family,
    including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous
    improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take
    appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to
    this effect the essential importance of international co-operation based
    on free consent.

    2. The States Parties to the present Covenant, recognizing the
    fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger, shall take,
    individually and through international co-operation, the measures,
    including specific programmes, which are needed:

    (a) To improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of
    food by making full use of technical and scientific knowledge, by
    disseminating knowledge of the principles of nutrition and by developing
    or reforming agrarian systems in such a way as to achieve the most
    efficient development and utilization of natural resources;

    (b) Taking into account the problems of both food-importing and
    food-exporting countries, to ensure an equitable distribution of world
    food supplies in relation to need.

    Articles 2, 11, 16, 25, 26 and 37 of the UN Convention on the Protection
    of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families:

    Article 2. States Parties condemn discrimination against women in all its
    forms, agree to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a
    policy of eliminating discrimination against women and, to this end,
    undertake: (f) To take all appropriate measures, including legislation,
    to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices
    which constitute discrimination against women.

    Article 11

    1. No migrant worker or member of his or her family shall be held in
    slavery or servitude, and;

    2. No migrant worker or member of his or her family shall be required to
    perform forced or compulsory labour.

    Article 16. 2. Migrant workers and members of their families shall be
    entitled to effective protection by the State against violence, physical
    injury, threats and intimidation, whether by public officials or by
    private individuals, groups or institutions.

    Article 25. Migrant workers shall enjoy treatment not less favourable
    than that which applies to nationals of the State of employment in
    respect of remuneration and: (a) Other conditions of work, that is to
    say, overtime, hours of work, weekly rest, holidays with pay, safety,
    health, termination of the employment relationship and any other
    conditions of work which, according to national law and practice, are
    covered by these terms.

    Article 26. States Parties recognize the right of migrant workers and
    members of their families: (a) To take part in meetings and activities of
    trade unions and of any other associations established in accordance with
    law, with a view to protecting their economic, social, cultural and other
    interests, subject only to the rules of the organization concerned; (b)
    To join freely any trade union and any such association as aforesaid,
    subject only to the rules of the organization concerned; (c) To seek the
    aid and assistance of any trade union and of any such association as
    aforesaid.

    Article 37. Before their departure, or at the latest at the time of their
    admission to the State of employment, migrant workers and members of
    their families shall have the right to be fully informed by the State of
    origin or the State of employment, as appropriate, of all conditions
    applicable to their admission and particularly those concerning their
    stay and the remunerated activities in which they may engage as well as
    of the requirements they must satisfy in the State of employment and the
    authority to which they must address themselves for any modification of
    those conditions.

    Article 6 of the ILO Migration for Employment Convention (Revised):

    1. Each Member for which this Convention is in force undertakes to apply,
    without discrimination in respect of nationality, race, religion or sex,
    to immigrants lawfully within its territory, treatment no less favourable
    than that which it applies to its own nationals in respect of the
    following matters: (a) in so far as such matters are regulated by law or
    regulations, or are subject to the control of administrative
    authorities– (i) remuneration, including family allowances where these
    form part of remuneration, hours of work, overtime arrangements, holidays
    with pay, restrictions on home work, minimum age for employment,
    apprenticeship and training, women’s work and the work of young persons;
    (ii) membership of trade unions and enjoyment of the benefits of
    collective bargaining; (iii) accommodation.

    Article 6 and 9, ILO Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers
    (C189):

    Article 6. Each Member shall take measures to ensure that domestic
    workers, like workers generally, enjoy fair terms of employment as well
    as decent working conditions and, if they reside in the household, decent
    living conditions that respect their privacy.

    Article 9.Each Member shall take measures to ensure that domestic
    workers: (a) are free to reach agreement with their employer or potential
    employer on whether to reside in the household; (b) who reside in the
    household are not obliged to remain in the household or with household
    members during periods of daily and weekly rest or annual leave; and (c)
    are entitled to keep in their possession their travel and identity
    documents.

    Articles 32 and 33 and UN Convention on the Status of Refugees (1951) and
    its 1967 Protocol.

    Article 32. It states that the states shall not expel a refugee lawfully
    in their territory, save on grounds of national security or public order,
    and any such expulsion of a refugee shall be in pursuance of a decision
    reached in accordance with due process. The refugee shall be allowed to
    submit evidence to clear himself, and the contracting States shall allow
    a refugee a reasonable period within which to seek legal readmission into
    another country.

    Article 33. No Contracting State Shall expel or return
    (?refouler?) a refugee in any manner, whatsoever to the
    frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on
    account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular
    social group, or political opinion.

    Additionally, the acts and omissions of the Philippine government, acting
    or cooperating under Defendant GFMD?s authority and for or on its
    behalf, name and stead, has violated and contravened the 1998
    Comprehensive Agreement of Respect for Human Rights and International
    Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) between the Government of the Republic of the
    Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines
    (NDFP), which has recognized the application, among others, of the 1990
    International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant
    Workers and Members of Their Families.

    IV. Recommendations
    ===================

    Defendants must provide redress and justice for the Complainants that
    continue to struggle for the most basic of their human rights and against
    institutional exploitation and oppression.

    In view of the GUILTY VERDICT, this Tribunal recommends the following:

    1. The abolition of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GMFD)
    and the abrogation of its policies.

    2. The adoption by sending States of genuine national economic
    development policies that will curb forced migration. States are enjoined
    to adopt policies that will develop local economy, promote employment
    opportunities for its people and discourage migration;

    3. The adoption and implementation by the States of national policies
    that are in line with international instruments such as the UN Convention
    on the Protection of the Rights of Migrants and Their Families. Existing
    policies that do not accord with such international instruments should be
    rescinded;

    4. Defendants should investigate, prosecute, institute effective
    mechanisms, compensate and indemnify the migrant victims and their
    families for the damage they have sustained as a result of the
    violations, crimes, and offenses herein charged;

    5. Defendants should give restitution to the migrants of the material,
    personal, and moral damages that resulted from the implementation of the
    immoral, unjust, and inhumane policies of Defendant GFMD like EU Return
    Directive;

    6. Scrap globalization policy of receiving and sending States as it was
    proven detrimental to rights of the peoples of the world to life,
    dignity, liberty, livelihood, and self determination, among others;

    7. Scrap the labor export policy and institute a rights-based policy
    approach on migration.

    V. Conclusion

    This Verdict, adopted unanimously, is without prejudice to the issuance
    of an extended opinion by the Tribunal in due time.

    From the evidence presented before this Honorable Tribunal, there is no
    other conclusion but that the Defendants have confederated, collaborated,
    cooperated and conspired with one another in wilfully, unlawfully and
    feloniously, committing and perpetuating the acts and omissions as
    specified in the charges against them in the Indictment.

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, we find the Defendants have been
    complicit by either (a) pursuing or promoting measures violating the
    rights of migrants; or (b) remaining practically or absolutely silent to
    stop or stem such violations and thereby perpetuating them; (c) or
    systematically and habitually failing to act to alleviate the plight of
    migrants, and are therefore, GUILTY of all the charges.

    The Clerk of this Tribunal is hereby instructed to forthwith serve this
    Verdict on all the Defendants and to publish and circulate it widely to
    pertinent national and international bodies and the general public.

    SO ORDERED.

    Quezon City, Philippines, 29 November 2012.

    Hon. Osamu Niikura

    (Japan)

    Hon. Soritua Nababan Hon. Ana Lorena Delgadillo Pérez

    (Indonesia) (Mexico)

    Hon. Monique Wilson Hon. Roland Tolentino

    (Philippines) (Philippines)

    ————————————————————————

    [1] Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador,
    Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan,
    Kenya, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines,
    Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden,
    Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United
    Kingdom, and the United States of America.

    [2] The other specific provisions shall be cited in a separate paper that
    will form part and parcel of this Indictment.

    —– End Forwarded Message —–

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