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MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY FROM THE ILPS CHAIRPERSON
TO THE INTERNATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF MIGRANTS, REFUGEES AND ADVOCATES


By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle
October 28, 2008

On behalf of the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS), I wish to convey warmest militant greetings of solidarity to all the delegations now convened in this International Assembly of Migrants, Refugees and Advocates. I congratulate all the organizers, including the International Alliance of Migrants, Migrante International, Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants, IBON Foundation and BAYAN for the successful preparation of this assembly, especially through a campaign since August.

We in the ILPS are deeply pleased and inspired that you are challenging the intergovernment-directed Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and that you have put forward the thematic call: End poverty, ensure jobs at home, stop forced migration! Uphold and protect the rights of migrants and refugees. We are gratified that the assembly's program of activities is designed to let the migrants speak for themselves.

We are confident that your assembly will fulfil such aims as to deepen and sharpen among the migrants and the people in general the critical awareness of the pro-imperialist and anti-migrant GMFD framework and agenda, lay bare the exploitative foundation and consequences of so-called neoliberal globalization on the lives of migrants, refugees and their families, build the process of attaining consensus on the platform of migrants in opposition to the GFMD and on the basis of consensus strengthen unity and solidarity of migrants, refugees and advocates.

The phenomenon of large scale migration, displacement of people and refugees is the result of exploitation and oppression by foreign monopoly capitalism and local reaction. Migrants are driven to leave their families and friends to seek jobs abroad because of poverty, lack of employment and persistent underdevelopment. People are displaced because foreign corporations and their local collaborators covet and grab the land and other natural resources and use violence to achieve their vile objective. Political refugees leave their homeland because of intolerable persecution and the suppression of the people's resistance.

To the sending governments, the migrant workers are no more than an object of further exploitation. They are a source of exorbitant fees with no real services given in return. They are a source of foreign exchange which is used not for development and job creation but for the aggravation of underdevelopment and poverty. The sending governments and the receiving governments collaborate in depriving the migrant workers of their rights and pressing down their wages. The GFMD is perversely hyping migration as a tool of development even as it is a product of underdevelopment and a cause of further underdevelopment.

Now, the policy of "neoliberal globalization", which has aggravated underdevelopment and poverty in nearly three decades, is unravelling due to the crisis of overproduction in the real economy and to the extreme abuses of financial speculation and derivative-making by monopoly finance capital. The migrant workers face the consequences of the worsening global economic and financial crisis, which is expected to run for at least two years and up to ten years.

The receiving countries are in the throes of economic stagnation and rising unemployment. Currents of chauvinism, racism, religious bigotry and fascism are growing. From year to year, the economic and political conditions are bound to become more adverse to the migrant workers. And yet these conditions will become far worse in their impoverished and underdeveloped homelands.

We are confident and hopeful that in the assembly you can discuss and arrive at the ways and means by which you can meet the challenges posed by the worsening economic and political crisis. There are problems to solve regarding the employment and rights of the migrant workers and refugees while they remain in the receiving countries. The migrant workers and refugees can have their respective national organizations abroad. These become components of the International Alliance of Migrants. They need to develop solidarity with the internationalist organizations and institutions of the host countries.

There are also the problems to solve regarding the migrant workers who return to their homelands. There ought to be organizations and institutions that facilitate their integration in the movement and struggle of the people for national freedom, democracy, social justice, development and just peace. The problems of one's country can be solved only by the people themselves through collective struggle. ###

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