Thursday, January 7, 2016
Migrant Workers Conference Declaration 2015
released for International Migrants Day
18 December, 2015
We the Migrant Workers, employed in many countries around the world, gathered together from different parts of the Philippines (and whilst still abroad)
To unite as one voice:
1. We want our voices to be heard directly, not through others.
The best way to understand our situation is to let us speak for ourselves.
Hear our voice.
For the longest time we were silenced and excluded and other people spoke and decided what is best for us.
We must speak for ourselves, after all we are the real experts in migration:
We live day by day as one.
2. They call us 'Heroes' but we do not feel that we are treated that way.
They call us 'runaways' when we only want our freedom, to be treated as decent human beings.
We want to be recognised as someone who contributes to our own development,
our family, societies and the world.
3. Like other human beings we laugh, we cry, we dance
and deserve to feel safe, be respected and have our dignity.
We are not only victims, We are workers, risk takers, courageous people, survivors, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, fighters, singers...
Our identity is diverse and rich.
We are not 'illegal' nor 'irregular', we are who we are.
The story of a migrant worker is deep like the sea. Not simple.
Like anyone else we have dreams, we want to live comfortably, study and work.
4. We are viewed as someone who sends remittances, balikbayan boxes,
someone who earns for our family, pays to send our children to school,
Someone who sends perfumes, wine, appliances...
Why not also view us as human beings who want to be listened to and need love, affection, understanding and support when our life is hard.
5. The only way we can change our predicament and problems is by
uniting, marching together, speaking up and taking a stand.
We have the power to make changes .
We have the numbers - 12 million!!
6. We stand in solidarity with all Migrants,
who are experiencing the same things that we are experiencing in the workplace and community.
Let us not allow our nationalities, our colour, sex or religion to divide us.
We are important ,We must represent ourselves, on our own terms.
7. We are claiming our space.
We must raise the status of migrant workers.
Let us decide on our priorities and speak for ourselves on our issues.
We remain hopeful and must never give up!
We will continue to unite and let our presence be felt in all corners of the world.
Our lives, Our issues, Our future, Our right- Stand up, Speak out!
Kanlungan Centre Foundation, Inc.
77 K-10 Street, East Kamias, Quezon City