PRESS RELEASE: 29 October 2008
MRCI Addresses Global Migration Forum in Philippines, Calling on Irish Government to Ensure Human Rights for Migrant Workers are at Heart of International Migration Talks
“International efforts to maximise the benefits of migration and development are meaningless, unless rights and protections at placed at the centre of immigration policy in every country”, said Sancha Magat of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland, speaking at the Global Forum on Migration and Development taking place in the Philippines.
This week, governments and NGOs from all around the world are meeting in Manila to discuss issues relating to migration and development. MRCI representatives Edel McGinley and Sancha Magat were invited to share the experience of migration to Ireland over the past decade. Acknowledging some of the positive aspects of migration, Sancha Magat also highlighted some major problems being experienced by migrant workers in Ireland. These included workplace exploitation, trafficking for forced labour and people becoming undocumented, as well as unfair immigration policies.
Speaking fromManila, Ms McGinley called on the Irish government to honour its international obligations and ensure that migrant workers’ human rights are safeguarded. “Eroding access to justice, such as plans to allow a person to be deported without a proper appeal, not explaining how immigration decisions are made and denying the right of families to be together are some examples of how the Irish Government is failing migrant workers. The Government must make sure that all legislation and policies related to immigration contain fundamental safeguards and protections. Without these, international efforts to ensure that migration benefits all will be undermined.”