by Nicole Oliver
New York City | The 4th International Assembly of Refugees and Migrants (IAMR4) kicked off this week in New York City. Since 2008, the IAMR has brought together grassroots migrants’ organizations from across the globe. Under the banner of the IAMR organizations stand together in opposition to the gatherings of the Global Forum for Migration and Development, which was formed by the UN High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development in 2006. Those who assemble at the IAMR meetings over the years “seek to expose the bankruptcy of the United Nations’ line of managing migration as a tool for development”.
Migrant workers and their supporters unite at the IAMR in the struggle for human rights and justice for migrants. The IAMR seeks to address the root causes of forced migration and highlight issues that migrants and refugees confront daily, such as family separation, labor exploitation and wage theft, detention and deportation, barriers to health and social services, racism and xenophobia, gender and sexuality-based violence and discrimination, and neoliberal labor export policies.
BASICS Community News Service is included among the various organizations in attendance. Other organizations composing the Canadian delegation include Anakbayan-Toronto, International Workers’ Centre (IWC-Canada), Migrante-Canada, Mouvement contre le viol et l’inceste-Montreal, and Pinay-Canada.
The activities scheduled for October 1 included a church witnessing with migrants and a candlelight vigil held outside of the Church Centre for the United Nations.
The October 2 IAMR4 activities brought together grassroots folks in Washington Square Park for an animated flash mob dance. Cultural performances and key note speeches held at St. Patrick’s Church relayed strong messages of solidarity and people power in confronting the struggles of migrants. The Tuesday evening concluded with a powerful and motivating performance from the hip hop group Rebel Diaz.
IAMR is the main gathering organized by the International Migrants Alliance, an international network of progressive and anti-imperialist migrants organizations.
The IAMR4 continues in New York City until October 5, 2013. For more details on the scheduled events visit http://iamr4.com and or https://www.facebook.com/IAMR4 .