Proposal for the World Charter for Migrants
by Charte Mondiale des Migrants
popularity : 20%
We, migrant women and men,
In our endeavour to build another world in accordance with the Porto Alegre Charter
Whereas the United Nations Charter encourages the universal and adept respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all human beings without discrimination on the basis of race, sex, language or religion,
Whereas the Universal Declaration of Humans Right states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that each person can benefit from all rights and freedoms stated in the aforementioned Declaration, with no discrimination whatsoever based on race, color, sex, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion of national or social origin, affluence, birth or any other situation; and that it proclaims moreover that each person is entitled to the recognition of his or her legal persona in all places and that all are equal before the law and can claim equal protection by the law without any discrimination, and that all are entitled to equal protection against any discriminatory practices in violation of the aforementioned Declaration and against any endorsement of such discrimination,
Whereas migrants are increasingly discriminated against in the world despite being courageous and admirable people who promote comprehension, tolerance and friendship between peoples, heading the fight against poverty in the world through the transfer of funds and knowledge,
Whereas the closing of borders does not stop the influx of migration but pushes migrants towards illegal work and allows the development of human trafficking and exploitative dealings; that this world politics of restraining migration promotes inequalities and serves the interests of neo liberals by providing submissive, inexpensive and undeclared therefore defenseless labour that can be made redundant at will, thus lowering all world social standards of labour,
Whereas migration is increasingly feminized and migrant women suffer double discrimination both as women and as migrants,
Reaffirming the goals and principles of the United Nations Charter and in particular article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Every person has the right to circulate freely and to choose her residence inside a state. Every person has the right to leave any country, including his or her own, and to return to that country,”
Acknowledging that the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms depicted in international mechanisms should be guaranteed equally to people who are not nationals of the country in which they live,
We formulate the present Charter:
This Charter makes us free citizens conscious of our responsibilities to build a just, democratic, mutually supportive, peaceful, secular world that is respectful of human beings and the environment. We invite all citizens and nation States to endorse the present Charter and to take all necessary political, legal, social and economic measures facilitating the application of the rights and duties stated herein.
For the purposes of this Charter, the term "migrant" applies to any person who has left his or her territory or country of origin, whether at will or not, and may or may not be a national of the State in which he or she resides
We pledge to obey the laws and to respect the culture of the people of the State in which we reside as long as they are compatible with the United Nations Charter of Human Rights. We do this in a spirit of peace, solidarity, freedom and justice.
We ask that all nation States enact laws and national regulations to apply and enforce the respect of gender equality
We ask that all nation States enact laws and regulations to apply and enforce the freedom of circulation and settling down of any person, even if foreign, in their territory. These laws and regulations must be compatible with the international legal obligations of the State in question, in particular those pertaining to human rights issues
We must be guaranteed the following:
a) The right to life, to personal security and safety; no migrant can be arbitrarily arrested or detained; no migrant can be deprived of his or her freedom, unless it is for reasons of violation of the common laws and in accordance with legal procedures;
b) The right to be protected from forced labour, slavery, human trafficking and exploitative practices. No migrant will be subjected to torture, to reprisal or to inhuman or degrading cruel treatment of any kind, such as sexual violence, prostitution, excision or forced marriage and, in particular, will not be subjected to any medical or scientific experiment without free personal consent.
c) The right to obtain identity papers and residency documents within a reasonable period of time
d) The right to nationality and to a change of nationality. The right to be able to contact within the State of residence, whenever needed, the consulate or diplomatic mission of the State of which he or she is a national;
e) The right to voting and eligibility in the place of residence
f) The right to protection against any arbitrary or illegal interference in private and family life in our residence or our correspondence;
g) The right to protection against racism and sexism
h) The right to equal status before the courts of justice, and other legal bodies and judiciary authorities; the right to have the free services of a legal interpreter and a lawyer when needed, in the event of legal proceedings or in the event of an action of any other nature when the law demands it; no one can be judged twice for the same deed.
i) The right to freely choose our sexuality and our spouse, to marry, and to live as a family, without any time, money or place constraint;
j) The right to freedom of thought, opinion, conscience and religion; the right to express our opinions, it being subject to necessary restrictions drawn for the protection and safety of the basic freedoms and rights of others;
k) The right to freedom of expression, to peaceful gatherings and associations
l) The right to preserve our mother tongue and our culture, while having the right and the duty to learn the language and laws of the host country and to take part in local aspects of social, economic, political and cultural life;
m) The right to leave the country of residence or of origin and to return to it;
n) The right to transfer personal profits, economies or other monetary assets abroad, while respecting the applicable national regulations regarding financial operations.
o) The right to property ownership, as individuals or as a community, subject to national laws. No migrant can be arbitrarily deprived of his or her legally acquired properties
A migrant in the territory of a nation State cannot be expelled, or made to undergo double penalisation. Individual or collective deportation of foreigners on the grounds of race, color, religion, culture, ancestry or national or ethnic origin is banned.
We request the following:
a) The right to safe and decent working conditions, with legal employment contracts, fair and equitable wages with equal remuneration for work of equal value without discrimination of any kind; be it understood, in particular, that women must be guaranteed working conditions not lower than those reserved to men and to nationals and be given equal wages for work of equal value;
b) The right to non-discriminate recruitment practices and equal access to all categories of employment
c) The right to protection against unemployment and arbitrary discharge.
d) The right to membership in trade unions and other organizations or associations of choice and participation in their activities.
e) The right to a healthy and balanced diet, water and energy supply and a healthy environment
f) The right to health protection, to the prevention of public health, to medical care, to social security cover, to social services, to protection in the event of handicap or of disability
g) The right to free education, training, rest and leisure for all, with obligatory schooling for children under 16
h) The right to hygienic and decent housing and protection against expulsion from an otherwise vacant place
i) The right to a worthy retirement irrespective of the place of residence at the time of retirement
We, migrant women and men together with all the men and women of the world, must affirm that we can overcome injustices and conserve the world for us and our children, that a lasting peace cannot be established without justice that is respectful of human rights and dignity, that the exercise of power can be legitimate only when it is put at the service of all and controlled by all peoples. We must once more reaffirm the founding principle of the international community: our world belongs to every person and no government or institution can claim control without the democratic will of all citizens.
Project presented for FSM Migrations June 2006 by the Marseilles Preparation Group
The text we propose is the result of a collective effort that every participant can discuss, amend and supplement at the FSMM 2006 and during one year thereafter. The purpose is to give to all migrant men and women from all continents an opportunity for self expression.
This initiative is proposed by a collective of organizations ensuing from migration and in support of migrant men and women in the Marseilles region. It was launched during a meeting on April 26, 2006 with struggling undocumented Sans-Papiers persons.
We can discuss and decide the methodology of finalizing the wording of the Charter at the FSMM. It can then be presented at the following FSMM and be widely diffused as a means accessible to all citizens of the world.