Migration Dynamics: At the Crossroads of Experiences and Perspectives

The thematic forum on Migrations, to be held in Marrakech during the World Forum on Human Rights in November 2014, will focus on different aspects of migration in their lived realities, their complexities and their prospective dimensions; it is not intended to be exhaustive nor embrace all of these questions in their totality, but it intends to be a space of testimonies, confrontation of points of view, and fruitful discussions.

This thematic space will have on its agenda four approaches that will allow us to apprehend the complexities of the phenomenon and that when brought to a crossroad will permit the exchange and emphasis of what the abundance of their respective experiences have in common. The ambition is to embed thinking and critical analysis of social, political and cultural dynamics at work in migration policies and their impact on the respect for fundamental rights, migration and discriminations, migrants’ organizations, highlighting centrally the issue of women in migration, whose status and unexplored perspectives require particular attention and necessary paradigm shifts.

Careful reflection on migration policies and their impact on the respect of fundamental rights is a timely topic. Indeed, the construction of real and symbolic border walls, and the use of imprisonment as a means of managing migration flows generate direct and indirect consequences on the human rights of migrants and asylum seekers. This results in a rise in xenophobia and multiplication of discrimination that feed on these policies of exclusion and promote the rise of extreme political movements using racism and fear of the other as their main electoral argument. The consequences are sometimes humanly dramatic: more and more deaths in uncertain crossings, multiplication of foreigners’ imprisonment camps, detention of children and families, trafficking victims of and vulnerable people. The delegation, increasingly common in some countries, in the management of these infra-law sites to the private sector becomes widespread, with subsequent issues of liability that still do not have an answer in terms of international law.

Faced with the issue of immigration, integration and discrimination, the situation requires conducting an assessment that provides significant insight into the situation in the North and South of the hemisphere and produces relevant analysis grids and accessible paths of action for most people. New spatial, economic, social, legal and political facts require this examination of and focus on the evolution of the migration process. Public policies that will be examined in this forum, as well as their subsequent best practices are not unique to the North and South of Europe and the United States but also question the practices observed in the Middle East, Australia, Mexico and countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. It will also address various issues related to the defense of immigrants by pointing out the problems at their source and measuring the complexity of the issues, including globalization, spatial reconfiguration, but also games and different challenges to different stakeholders and the uncomfortable position of contact countries in general and the Maghreb in particular.

Concerning the debate on women in migration, it will be possible to crash platitudes. Indeed, we too often tend to focus on lonely domestic workers, trafficking circuits or unscrupulous recruiters when it comes to migrant women. We will see that the theme of women in migration now includes much broader issues. In many countries of residence, women have become key agents of change: they are at once the motor of integration processes and that of the preservation of cultures of origin. Whether In the North or South, women assert themselves and thus play a leadership role in the areas of cultural and political, economic, social life. They emancipate themselves, through access to education, and take their fate head-on-body. Migrant women who used to do little work, get involved now in all sectors of the labor market: from the agricultural worker to the high level engineer. This is certainly significant progress, but it does not display many situations where migrant women are still in worrying insecurities. These are the social and political relations in diverse societies where these migrant women live that will be primarily highlighted in order to discuss them with clarity and determination to put into perspective.

Through the participation of the Network of Associations and Communities of African Migrants in the debate, it will finally be possible to concretely review the basic principles of human rights in order to establish a dialectic with the new migration policy of the Kingdom in the field of integration, including the rights of migrants as stipulated by the Law without Discrimination.

These four main themes which constitute the bulk of the forum on migration will be articulated and combined both in content and in the organization of the space and the time available for the public to have the clearest possible view of the stakes so that everyone can participate and contribute their own thoughts and proposals.