For three days, from November 2 to 4, the 8th World Social Forum on Migration (WSFM) was held in Mexico City. The objective was to coordinate actions within the framework of the United Nations Global Compact for Migration, an initiative that would like everyone to play their role with concrete actions in favor of migrants.
In contrast to the atmosphere of euphoric celebration and the self-referential tendency of the World Social Forum (WSF), “to talk about oneself with theirs", the seriousness of the analysis, the contribution of true and tragic stories of resilience, and the struggle against the "culture of waste" beyond ideologies and partisanship could be noted in several events. The image of the caravan of migrants moving from Central America to the United States was projected on each speech and intervention.
This, on migration, is one of the thematic forums that alternate with the WSF and it was open to the participation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), popular and trade union organizations, religious and cultural groups, academic and state entities. In this case, the focus was on migration issues.
In these "open" events, the positive and negative aspects intermingle. To face a problem such as migrations, which have the power to undermine and to overthrow governments, the absence of participation, no more than a few hundred people, and the complete lack of information about the event in a large city - 25 million - like Mexico City, are negative signs difficult to interpret. Also, when they are accompanied, as it happened once again, by the almost complete absence of Africa, one of the strongholds of migration because Africa is not only a source of intercontinental emigrants, but it is also a host. Just think about Uganda and Kenya, where millions of refugees from neighboring countries are concentrated. A certain degree of disorganization (events that overlapped and others that were canceled at the last moment, rooms without adequate tools and chronic delays) was mitigated in part by the reduced participation and the reduced number of events, some dozens, partly due to the fact that the event took place in a single building and the very "Mexican" welcome compensated the lack of information.
The Forum was developed around 7 thematic points: human, labor and union rights: inclusiveness, hospitality, and mobility. Borders’ reality, walls, and barriers. Resistances, actors, movements, and actions. The crisis of capitalism and the consequences on migration. Migration, gender, and body. Mother Nature’s rights, global warming, and migration. Transnational communities and migrant population.
During the three days of the Forum, activities and workshops were held around these points such as: for a world without walls from Mexico to Palestine, borders of death, borders of solidarity, mental, physical, and social health of the migrant, sanctuary centers, globalization of the borders, and resistance of the peoples. Citizen mobilization and awareness in favor of the migrant.
Even within its limits, the WSFM was fruitful in its statements and reflections.
For example, it made an impression the space given to the Church in the person of the Deputy Secretary for migrants and refugees of the Vatican Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, Father Michael Czerny, rapporteur to the Forum a message of Pope Francis, global authority whose words in favor of the rights of migrants are repeated strong and clear: "The positive transformation of our societies begins with the rejection of all the injustices that today are justified in the 'culture of waste', a pandemic disease 'of the contemporary world. " The first step towards social justice is to give voice to the “voiceless”, and among them there are migrants, refugees and forcibly displaced people, who are ignored, exploited, raped and mistreated in the guilty silence of many. "It was a recognition of the contribution of the Church, not only for a proper reading of the phenomenon, but also for the commitment of service to migrants that, as has been emphasized repeatedly, they are people, they are the central subjects of the phenomenon and should be heard in their motivations and hopes, in their expectations and in their availability. Giving the migrant a voice as a subject would expose certain international hypocrisies.
For example, the arms industry that makes money funding not only the wars that cause migration, but also by selling the instruments of border control against the migratory flows they have caused. Israel's model of border control to keep Palestinians at bay thus becomes the model on which many nations take their inspiration.
From 2006 to 2016 the global arms exports to the Middle East increased by 61% to reach 82 billion euros for border control programs, and between 2004 and 2020 the EU is spending around 4,500 million euros. In fact, the European industry for border security is dominated by the large armament industries Aibus, Finmeccanica, Thales and Safran.
The multinationals: with their mining activities, land grabbing, misappropriation of raw materials without even paying taxes and duties, cause migration and displacement. A typical case occurs in Mesoamerica. With the 2014 agreement between Presidents Peña and Obama, international companies, funded by the United States, settled in the so-called special economic zones, that provoked the exodus of Mexicans and "welcomed" Honduran, Guatemalan and Salvadoran immigrants for being a cheap labor force, becoming the southern border of the United States.
Trump threatens to suspend funding because this southern border is not working. It is the same model of Europe (and Italy) that would like to move its borders to the south so that they correspond with Libya and the countries of North Africa. An example of this is the agreement between the European Union and Turkey.
Migrations have always existed. This caravan, however, gets together a group of poor people of different ages, women and children who, according to some estimates, range between 7,000 and 10,000 units. It is an exodus that involves nations of Central America (Honduras, San Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala), with the intention of reaching the United States, a symbol of capitalism. It is no longer a temporary event, these migrations occurred for decades, but structural, magnified by the crisis of capitalism itself and carries an announcement: stop these migratory flows is a myth that is only useful for the populists in turn for their illusory electoral promises , to transform the migrant into a commodity of political negotiation turning it into a victim of organized crime, of the trafficking of people and groups that exploit them for ideological, political and even economic purposes.
Many civil society organizations work at different levels for the rights of migrants. In many cases, the ability to coordinate, establish networks and combine efforts to effectively advocate with national governments and international institutions is lacking. In addition, there is undoubtedly a set of regulations that protect the political refugee, somewhat less to the massive exiles due to war, but there is no legal regulation at local and international level for economic migrations and for those caused by climate change. The Global Compact for Migration that the UN proposes for discussion and approval at the imminent international meeting in Marrakech (Morocco) on December 10 and 11, self-described in the introduction, an " intergovernmental negotiated agreement prepared under the umbrella of the UN that covers all dimensions of international migration in a global and global manner. " In the WSFM the positive aspects were highlighted, but critical voices were also raised. To many it seems an effort to regulate the problem without wanting to solve its causes. We do not want to recognize the value of the affirmation of John Paul II taken up by Pope Benedict: if migration is a right and the reception of the migrant a duty, first comes the right to stay and return to where you want to live, in your own home , on your land, in your own country, and before that comes the duty to contribute to the progress in freedom of his family and his country.
In 1995, a long dossier of Le Monde Diplomatique already warned about the continuous sliding of the "power" of politics to the economy, which today is completed when the power of "politics", the democracy of the people, is passing to the finances and the finances of weapons.
In his message, the Pope speaks of a safe, orderly and regular migration, with concrete proposals indicating four actions: "to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate". Perhaps we should add the need to guarantee the first right, the right of not to migrate, in other words, "to remain, to feel safe, to progress, to be oneself". Without this basic right, forced migration will always be a violation of the dignity of the people and the Article 13 of Human Right Declaration - (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country - will never be respected.