EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, BRUSSELS
Date: Tuesday 9thApril from
Time: 9.00-13.00. 
Room at European Parliament:  ASP 1G2

Between July 2017 and December 2018, in response to the demand of almost 500 migrant and refugee organizations, the TPP held five Hearings: Barcelona(July 2017), Palermo(December 2017), Paris(January 2018), Barcelona(July 2018) and London(November 2018). Each of the Hearings heard the testimonies of women, men and young people who have presented their experiences of systematic violations of their fundamental human rights arising from migration, development, asylum and border policies being implemented by the European Union. The PPT Hearings also heard the reports of several expert witnesses on the issues.

The PPT will nominate a panel of judges who will present the Statement addressed to the European Union authorities as well as advocating proposals to the candidates going forward in the European Parliament Election (May 2019).

This Hearing is being hosted by the GUE/NGL Group and is open to the participation of all Groups in the EP. It is envisaged as an opportunity for a broad exchange between Parliamentarians, migrant and refugee networks, social movements and civil society organisations. It takes place in a context marked by the crimes at the borders of Europe and in the thousands of dead and disappeared throughout the Mediterranean and Aegean seas, and intensifying criminalisation of solidarity – but also in an engagement of transnational solidarity where alternatives are being forged by migrants, refugees and citizens.

Immediately following the EP Hearing, participants are invited to join in an Action at Station Schuman which will engage with the Public and the media – scheduled from 13.30-14.30.

This serves as a Save-the-Date and an Invitation to register in the form below this text your participation in the Forum. Registration (which will also serve as a Pass for the EP)

The Programme for the April 9thEP Hearing will be forwarded within the following weeks.

On behalf of the Co-Convenors,

Jille Belisario (CFMW & Transnational Migrant Platform-Europe)
Jara Henar (PPT Working Group Barcelona)

For further information:

Contact English – Jille Belisario < belisa0612@hotmail.com>
Contact Spanish – Jara Henar <jhenar@aporsolidaridad.org>
Contact French –

See also additional information on the 45thSession and the PPT available at:
http://transnationalmigrantplatform.net/migrantppt/
http://permanentpeoplestribunal.org/45-session-on-the-violation-of-human-rights-of-migrants-and-refugee-people-2017-2018/?lang=en

Statement on the London Hearing “HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT” ON TRIAL

Statement of the General Secretariat PERMANENT PEOPLES' TRIBUNAL on the London Hearing - "HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT" ON TRIAL - FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2018

PERMANENT PEOPLES’ TRIBUNAL Founder: LELIO BASSO (ITALY) President: PHILIPPE TEXIER (FRANCE) Vicepresidents: LUIZA ERUNDINA DE SOUSA (BRAZIL) JAVIER GIRALDO MORENO (COLOMBIA) HELEN JARVIS (AUSTRALIA) NELLO ROSSI (ITALY) Secretary General: GIANNI TOGNONI (ITALY) SESSION ON THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS WITH IMPUNITY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEE PEOPLES (2017-2019) HEARING ON: HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT ON TRIAL: THE LIVING AND WORKING CONDITIONS OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES London, 3 – 4 November 2018 Statement of the PPT General Secretariat General Secretariat: VIA DELLA DOGANA VECCHIA 5 - 00186 ROME - TEL:0039 066877774 E-mail:ppt@permanentpeoplestribunal.org www.permanentpeoplestribunal.orG

The public hearings of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on “The Hostile environment” held in London on 3rd and 4th November 2018 form part of a process of investigation which has lasted more than two years and has produced texts and judgments for the opening session in Barcelona (7th- 8th July 2017) and from Palermo (18th- 20th December 2017), Paris (4th – 5th January 2018) and Barcelona (29 June- 1 July 2018).
The earlier proceedings and the resulting judgments have provided an indispensable background and framework for the panel of judges at the London session, along with detailed factual and juridical support and integration of the evidence submitted to it. The main overall findings, presented orally at the conclusion of the hearings, are set out in the points which follow. The full text of the judgment, with detailed factual evidence and formal attribution of responsibility, will be made available shortly.
  1. The direct testimonies of the witnesses, together with the written and oral presentations of the experts, provide robust and comprehensive documentation of the dramatic and systematic violations of the fundamental rights to life and dignity of migrants and refugees, both as individuals and as a group, indicated in the Indictment as the target and victims of a spectrum of repressive legislation and policies enacted by the UK government over the last several years.
  2. The evidence and documentation clearly establish that the violations of fundamental individual and collective rights presented to the PPT are the deliberate, planned and systematic expression of repressive policies which, translated into legal provisions and norms, affect the full spectrum of the concrete rights which must be recognised in all human beings: rights to life, to dignity, to health, to work, to education.
  3. In all the critical domains of their existence, migrants and refugees appear to be the victims of an ever deeper and more pervasive political, juridical and cultural transformation of a society which accepts and promotes the reversal of the values of democracy, of binding obligations for Governments and of basic principles of international law as affirmed and enforced in the corresponding international instruments. Economic and security-driven legal measures are given priority and prevail over the inviolable legitimacy of the individual and collective rights belonging to human beings, which are denied.
  4.  The contemporary migration and asylum regime demonstrates a deliberate historical amnesia, ignoring the destructive consequences of British colonialism and the ways in which this continues to underpin the massive inequalities of contemporary global political economy. These inequalities are a key factor in impelling human mobility.
  5.  A policy which has defined itself as promoting a “hostile environment” corresponds to the non-recognition of migrants and refugees as people and members of society despite the disparate nature of their origins and of the causes of their migrations, displacements and expulsions. The transformation of persons exercising their fundamental right to migrate into ‘others’, aliens, potential or real enemies, invaders and aggressors, both in attitudes and in concrete behaviours such as labour contracts, reproduces categories of colonialism and slavery.
  6. A further reason for concern, and a confirmation of the direct responsibility of UK institutions, emerges from the documentation of the administrative and bureaucratic rigidity in the application of unjustifiable and opaque rules designed for the repressive control of people, the direct product of global models of development which pretend to bear no responsibility for the violations to the dignity of life, specifically of the most fragile individuals and groups.
  7. The London session has focused on the situation of migrants and refugees in the real life of a democratic society that can be considered as a model. The testimonies presented – factually so well documented, with a lucidity which could not exclude a deep emotional participation – are highly consistent in terms of severity and for their characteristics of systematicity and continuity with the findings of the previous sessions devoted to other aspects and steps of the migration process in the EU. The responsibility of the several institutions referred to in the testimonies and illustrated in the expert reports, have appeared to the panel of judges well proven, having regard to official norms and political documents. As mentioned above, the juridical (criminal and civil) definition of responsibility for the violations, with a careful assessment of the causal determinants and actors, will be the subject of the full report. But it is clear that the basic crime of denial of the rights to life, to dignity, and to the rule of law, can be considered ascertained beyond any reasonable doubt. Further, it is clear from the evidence heard in previous sessions, in different scenarios and modalities, and confirmed in some ad hoc reports in this session, that the UK situation is not unique, but rather is an expression of the broader processes and institutional responsibilities vested not only in the countries and the central institutions of the EU but also in the diffuse geographical and political scenarios where economic and environmental poverty, armed conflict and wars oblige human beings to become peoples without rights facing legal and racist violence, and the further violence of systematic impunity.
  8. This summary account of the public hearings and experience of the London session of the PPT would not be complete without underlining other even more impressive evidence in opposition to violations and impunity. The evidence the PPT has heard demonstrates the creativity and resistance of individuals and communities who, in a hostile environment, affirm and document that solidarity is not a crime but a resource, constantly renewed and shared as a perspective of “another future” – striving for new transnational strategies of action and solidarity among migrants and refugees themselves and with citizens. Beyond any repressive process of “identification”, migrants and refugees affirm their identity as human subjects and, through their common experience and their solidarity, their identity as a people. The PPT can be only one of the processes in support of their peaceful struggles for life and dignity.
Rome, 22 November 2018

Members of Jury hearing in London

Bridget Anderson - Professor of Migration, Mobilities and Citizenship at Bristol University. She formerly held the post of Professor of Migration and Citizenship and Research Director at COMPAS in Oxford. She has a DPhil in Sociology and previous training in Philosophy and Modern Languages. She has explored the tension between labour market flexibilities and citizenship rights, and pioneered an understanding of the functions of immigration in key labour market sectors. She is the author of Us and Them? The Dangerous Politics of Immigration Controls (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Doing the Dirty Work? The Global Politics of Domestic Labour (Zed Books, 2000). She coedited Who Needs Migrant Workers? Labour Shortages, Immigration and Public Policy with Martin Ruhs (Oxford University Press, 2010 and 2012), The Social, Political and Historical Contours of Deportation with Matthew Gibney and Emanuela Paoletti (Springer, 2013), and Migration and Care Labour: Theory, Policy and Politics with Isabel Shutes (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Bridget Anderson has worked closely with migrants’ organisations, trades unions and legal practitioners at local, national and international level.

 

Wah-Piow Tan - A Balliol educated human rights solicitor in London representing Chinese migrants in the UK since 180s. A former political prisoner and exile from Singapore, Wah-Piow is well known since his youth as a student leader, activist, writer and public speaker advocating democratic reforms in Singapore. Most recently, in August 2018, he enjoyed unprecedented extensive media coverage following his 80 minutes discussion with the new Malaysian Prime Minister on the subject of expanding the democratic space in Southeast Asia. In 1980, Wah-Piow attended the Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT) hearing on The Philippines in Antwerp as an observer.

Maureen Byrne is a Councillor. She is a retired full time Equality Officer in Unite the Union. She has been on the Employment Tribunal panel for 30 years. Currently she is Employment Law adviser for the Stansted Airport Branch. Maureen is chairperson for the Bury St Edmund’s Women’s Aid Refuge and Local Association for Mental and Physical Handicapped Charity, a group supporting young people with special needs. She is the Town Council Chairperson of the Personnel Committee.

Dr Eddie Bruce Jones AB (Harvard); MA (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin); JD (Columbia); LLM in Public International Law (KCL is currently  acting dean and  Lecturer in Law at Birkbeck College, University of London  where he teaches and researches in the areas of human rights, comparative discrimination law, racism, sexuality and migration. He is an academic fellow of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, a member of the New York state bar and a trustee of the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group. He serves with a collective of lawyers on the Independent Commission on the Death of Oury Jalloh in Germany (on police brutality and due process) and is the Sexuality and Gender Identity Resource Co-ordinator for the Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Network based in Oxford

Leah Bassel - is a member of Haringey Welcome, a campaign group working for fairness, dignity and respect for migrants and refugees in the London borough of Haringey.  Leah researches the political sociology of migration, intersectionality and citizenship as Professor of Sociology at the University of Roehampton. Her books include Refugee Women: Beyond Gender versus Culture (Routledge, 2012), The Politics of Listening: Possibilities and Challenges for Democratic Life (Palgrave, 2017), and Minority Women and Austerity: Survival and Resistance in France and Britain co-authored with Akwugo Emejulu (Policy Press 2017).  She is currently co-Principal Investigator, with Akwugo Emejulu, of the Open Society-funded project Women of Colour Resist and has also led projects funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the British Academy.  Before pursuing an academic career, Leah was an emergency outreach worker in Paris where she provided humanitarian assistance to asylum seekers and created a circus camp project for refugee youth.  She holds a DPhil from the Refugee Studies Centre/Nuffield College, University of Oxford and a BA and MA from McGill University, Canada.  

Enrico Pugliese - is Professor of sociology of work, (Emeritus) at Sapienza- University of Rome, faculty member of the Graduate school in applied sociology, University of Rome La Sapienza. He is also research associate at Irpps (Istituto di ricerche sulla popolazione e le politiche sociali), National research council, Rome. He has been Professor of Sociology of work  at  the University of Napoles  "Federico II" where he served as chairman of the department of sociology and then as dean of the faculty of sociology. He has been visiting professor in several European and American Universities. He has been also meember of the National commission of inquiry on work at the Consiglio nazionale dell’economia e del lavoro, chairman of the Commission for drafting the immigration law of the Regione Campania. He has also been member of the advisory Commission of the City Mayor of Napoli for immigration policy. His main research interests include: international migration, Italian migration in Europe, third world immigration in Italy, migration policies, labour market with special reference to precarious employment and unemployment. His recent publications on migration include: Quelli che se ne vanno (Those who leave), Il mulino 2018, and International Migrations and the Mediterranean in Andreotti, Benassi, Kazepov (eds) Western Capitalism in transition, Manchester University Press 2018.

The Permanent People’s Tribunal: Its role in the people’s indictment of the ‘hostile environment’

Don Flynn is a former director of the Migrants’ Rights Network and a past chair of the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM). 

The Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT) approach to uncovering the inconvenient truths that governments and other elites don’t want you to know about has been around since the days of the war in Vietnam.

In 1979 the tribunal took its present permanent form to provide a structure supporting the complaints of people denied the protection of human rights norms and law.  With a secretariat based in Italy, the PPT provides a means to scrutinise the actions of authorities which follows the structure of judicial inquiry. 

It was pioneered in the late 1960’s in the form of a tribunal into war crimes being committed in South East Asia, convened by the two of the foremost intellectuals of the day, Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre. Between 1974 and 1976 the tribunal was re-constituted to investigate the crimes of the military dictatorships in Latin America.

Recovering authority

Being independent of the structures of the state, the PTT is important because its judgments and decisions rest on the moral weight of the causes and arguments to which they give credibility, as well as the integrity and capability to judge of the Tribunal members. The goal of PPT Sessions is “recovering the authority of the Peoples when the States and the International Bodies failed to protect the right of the Peoples.”

The current inquiry into violations of the rights of migrants and refugees has been taken up out of concern that the new politics that emerged across the world in recent years, with the common features of authoritarian populism and rigid nationalism, is having dire consequences for people who have moved across borders in pursuit of personal safety and improved livelihoods.

The PTT has convened hearings to consider the evidence on these issues in France, Italy and Spain. In November it will be coming to Londonfor a two-day session in order to hear first-hand accounts of the ways in which the lives of migrants have been affected by the toughening of immigration law and policy.

Exploitation

In preparation for the London hearing a team of UK-based migrant and refugee rights experts has been working to draft an indictment, setting out what they believe to be the most dangerous features of the situation in this country.

The indictment centres on the greater risks of exploitation that have been created for migrants by government policies which have undermined workplace rights for decades.  The growth of hyper-casualised, zero-hour contract jobs during this time has impacted on all workers but has had a disproportionate effect on people whose access to protection and rights are often obstructed by their immigration status.

The ‘hostile environment’, the impact of which on long-established migrants from the Caribbeanhas become so well understood since the beginning of this year, has drawn hundreds of thousands more into its maw whose situations are yet to be fully scrutinised by the public.  The London hearing of the PPT will be an opportunity to do that.

Challenging secrecy

Severely shaken by the revelations of extreme hardship imposed on hapless migrant groups, the UK Home Office has tried to defend itself by claiming that the shocking revelations of people losing their rights after forty or more years residence in the UK have been ‘exceptional’ cases brought about by poor decisions on the part of officials. 

The new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has attempted to salvage the reputation of his department by promising that all will be put right after an internal review of its work has been completed.  In the meantime he has attempted to cover the whole operation under a blanket of secrecy, imposing ‘non-disclosure agreements’on aggrieved individuals as a condition for receiving compensation for the damages they have suffered.  

London hearing

The London hearing of the PTT will provide a opportunity to challenge this attempt at covering up the harm done to migrant and refugee communities. It is expecting to hear evidence from community-based organisations on just how systematic the business of stripping away rights for migrants has been over the years, compelling thousands to seek livelihoods in the most exploitative sectors of the labour market and denying them the right to pursue collective grievances through trade union representation.

The team convening the London hearing have made a public call for submissions of evidence from migrant community organisations, trade unions, legal representatives, faith communities, as well as from individuals who have experienced a violation of their human rights to security and a dignified occupation.

Visit the London hearing’s webpages for details on how to submit your evidence, or get in touch with the team of convenors to find out more about plans for the hearing in November. 

Don Flynn is a former director of the Migrants’ Rights Network and a past chair of the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM). He is a co-convenor of the London hearing of the PPT on violations with impunity of the rights of migrants and refugees.

Crimes against humanity at European borders: Conclusion of the Hearing of Barcelona of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal on Sites without Rights

Barcelona, July 12, 2018. – The Third Hearing of the Session of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PPT) on the violation with impunity of the human rights of migrants and refugees Peoples, took place on June 29, 30 and 1 of July in Barcelona. After examining cases of human rights violations in the axis of Gender and Sexual Diversity, Minors and Youth and the Southern Border, presented by organizations of migrants and refugees, organizations active in solidarity and research centres, the conclusions of the six judges of the Court are blunt: crimes against humanity are being committed on European borders. The responsible are both the European Union and the Member States, with the aggravating circumstance that there is a strategy of non-recognition of the facts and guarantees of impunity for the individuals and institutions responsible.

Jara Henar, Alianza por la Solidaridad

The Permanent Peoples Tribunal Hearing on Sites Without Rights  (PPT) was convened and prepared by dozens of organizations of migrants and refugees and other civil society organizations and was attended by a jury composed only of women, all experts of national and international recognition: Teresa Almeida, Bridget Anderson, Marina Forti, Patricia Orejudo, Laia Serra and Stasa Zajovic.

On June 29, the Hearing was inaugurated with the presence of the City Council of Barcelona (Jaume Asens, Deputy Mayor and M. Dolores López, Commissioner of Immigration, Interculturality and Diversity), as well as representatives of the convening organizations at the international level (Jille Belisario of the Transnational Migrant Platform-Europe and Federico Pacheco of the European Coordination of La Vía Campesina). Lamine Sarr also participated on behalf of the Popular Union of Street Vendors and the Migrant Tancada of Barcelona, ​​Gianni Tognoni, Secretary General of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal and Brid Brennan, of the Transnational Institute.

 

Jaume Asens said that “the 100 people killed today in the Mediterranean tell us of a common grave, they point out political responsibilities in a context of a Human Rights crisis.” Lamine Sarr recalled that migrants have much more difficulty crossing the borders than commercial goods. Federico Pacheco observed that “the discourse that justifies racism and colonialism is carried out by all the countries of the European Union, justifying measures that seek more effective expulsion mechanisms, while Europe violates the international law letting people die at sea“. Jille Belisario stressed that the Session “seeks to advance towards the recognition of humanity and dignity of migrants and refugees, but also to make visible their participation as subjects of full rights in the development of alternatives towards a more just society“. Brid Brennan remarked that “these PPT Hearings have developed a great meeting space between migrants and refugees who are themselves transnational political agents and who bring us the challenge of building new solidarities from within Fortress Europe“.

 

The Hearing was introduced by Juan Hernández Zubizarreta and Beatriz Plaza, who linked the essential elements of the PPT General Indictment established in 2017, with the axes of the Hearing of Barcelona (Gender and Sexual Diversity, Minors and Youth and the Southern Border). In particular, they denounced the Spanish Immigration Law and the Citizen Security Law that criminalize migrants. They also highlighted the European necropolitics, at the core of the violation with impunity of rights, and that consists of letting people die. The Secretary General of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal recalled the process of the PPT Session, noting that in the previous hearings (Palermo, December 2017 and Paris, January 2018), the documentation and legal qualification of the European policies had been made. He affirmed that the deaths caused by European necropolitics are the result of a war that the European Union and member countries have declared on migrants and refugees, and that the agreements of European governments are creating a parallel Law that violates international treaties and consolidates authentic systemic crimes.

 

In the Axis on Gender and Sexual Diversity that was introduced by Carmen Miguel Juan, the cases were prepared and presented by: Ca la Dona, Entrepobles, Mujeres migrantes diversas, ACATHI, Stop Maremortum, Yo sí sanidad universal/PASUCAT, No muri No recinti, Women’s Link, Casa Delle Donne, Non Una di Meno Genova, APDHA, KASAPI & MELISSA-Grecia, Waling-Waling Campaign for Rights of Migrant Domestic Workers-UK, Women in Exile, Centro Filipino de Barcelona, Mujeres pa’lante, Alianza contra la Pobreza Energética, Unitat Contra el Feixsme i el Racisme (UCFR). From the framework established in the introduction in which it was expressed to what extent migration and refuge legislation are “gender blind”, a series of consequences were deployed in the form of specific violations against women. The recognition of the right to international protection focused on cases in which violations occur in the public space and by a state agent, relegates to the background many of the causes that women flee from, considered as “domestic “or” cultural “. On the other hand, the link between temporary residence and the employment contract does not take into account the nature of the care work which is frequently the only work that migrant women can access. In terms of traffic violence, cases were presented about the reality that prevails in Italy, Greece, Germany, Morocco and the Spanish State. There is often a continuum of violence suffered by migrant and refugee women in their countries of origin, in the transit to European borders and once established in European countries, through their work, often invisible in homes or in agricultural fields combined with the problems they face in accessing health, housing and energy.  The case of LGBTI persons was also presented in the Axis. These are targets in the countries of origin of homicides, sexual and gender-based violence, torture and arbitrary detentions. In transit, they are victims of many kinds of rights violations and once within European borders, an adapted framework that can ensure their protection is not available.

Cas de Isla Mar (Sra. Estefanny Molina, Women’s Link)

 

The Axis of Minors and Youth was introduced by Raquel Prado, and the cases were presented by the Espacio del Inmigrante and the Centro Filipino of Barcelona. The situation of denial of the right to protection experienced by people under 18 years of age was highlighted, despite the fact that they are ensured protection by more than one hundred norms of international law, almost all of which have been signed and ratified by the EU and its member states. In particular, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Girl stands out. Migrant minors travel unaccompanied, or are separated in transit to European borders. Many disappear, victims of human trafficking, prostitution, exploitation, slavery, without States assuming their responsibilities to search for these new disappeared. It was reported that the States do not ensure access to a dignified and full life for young people who reach the age of majority, on equal terms with the rest of young people.

The South Border Axis was presented by Bru Aguiló of Fotomovimiento, and the cases were prepared by: NOVACT, Sindicato Popular de Vendedores Ambulantes, Alianza por la Solidaridad, Observatori DESC, Fotomovimiento, Collectif Des Femmes Migrantes Au Maroc   COFMIMA, Women’s Link, SOS Racisme, Centre Delàs, Tanquem els CIEs, Alianza por la Solidaridad, APDHA, Women’s Link, IRIDIA, ELIN. The presentation of the Axis was framed as a Site without Rights, in which prevail: plunder, colonization, neocolonization, imperialism and neo-imperialism, as well as a deep institutional racism. The narratives moved from the spaces without rights that appear before crossing the borders and, in passing through them, further spaces without rights are reached – that are built around migrants in our cities through institutional racism. Compelling documentation was presented on the numbers of the people who continue to arrive – showing the failure of the push-back policy. From January 1 to June 10, 2017, comparing with the same period in 2018, the arrivals were multiplied by two, reaching the figure of 9315 in 2018. The deaths and disappearances multiplied by four. In the whole of the Mediterranean Sea, more than 14,000 people died or disappeared since 2014. Through the Mediterranean routes in general, it is estimated that more than 42,000 people arrived on European territory, and that only in 2017, 10,000 were returned to Libya.

In the cases and testimonies presented, the violation of rights in Morocco, in the maritime borders and the fence was highlighted.  For example, through the case of Tarajal (that led to the death of 15 people on February 6, 2014), the case of women from Isla del Mar or other direct testimonies, a series of inhumane practices-including extra judicial killings by agents of the Spanish State were exposed. These complaints were extended to the Centres for Internment for Foreigners (CIEs), along with raids of ethnic profiling or bureaucratic obstacles to achieving regularization, contribute to keeping migrants in a position of vulnerability that facilitates their labour exploitation and silence. In addition, it was also exposed that one of the pillars of architecture that ensures impunity in the violation of the rights of migrant and refugee peoples is located in outsourcing to private actors, many of them being transnational corporations. In this regard, the business carried out by corporations active in the military and security sectors was highlighted, and the case of INDRA was specifically illustrated. In this case, the co-responsibility of the Spanish government, which owns 18.7% of the company’s shares, was evidenced. INDRA was denounced for having built the third fence on the border of Melilla, and also for the production of military equipment used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen. It was also indicated that INDRA and other counterpart military corporations, have influenced the development of the current eminently militarised policy response to the ‘migration crisis’ by the European Union and the Spanish Government to the “migration crisis” is eminently militarized.

Organizations of migrants played a central role in the Hearing. Not only in the recognition of the violations and oppressions suffered but also in terms of the resistance generated in the face of such violations. This became evident in the form of diverse narratives and self-organized actions, ranging from the demands for their rights, such as organizations of domestic workers active in the care sector (Waling-Waling, Mujeres migrantes diversas), to denunciation and the mutual support in situations that violate law (Women in Exile). In addition, it is important to highlight the importance of the economic alternatives proposed by the associations and cooperatives of the Popular Union of Street Vendors, which recently launched its “Top Manta” “clothing” anti-brand, or the MELISSA-Greece proposal, made up of women from more than 45 nationalities that provide solutions to unaccompanied minors and multiple forms of solidarity. One of the main contributions of the PPT Session is to contribute to the visibility of the social contribution that these resistances generate, interwoven with traditional social struggles. In this context the representative of Waling Waling said “our transnational campaign for our labour rights is one of our great contributions in this era to unionism in Britain.”

 

After careful listening to the living stories for two days, and gathering the main ideas of the testimonies, the Judges of the Court expressed their deep appreciation for the courage, forcefulness and commitment of the people and organizations that presented the cases. They affirmed that crimes against humanity are being committed on European borders, and that both the European Union and the Member States are responsible.

 

Patricia Orejudo observed “we have heard many life stories plagued by violence, brutality and denial of rights. What is common to all of them is that they have been produced by the forced location of these people in Non-Right Spaces. The first cause of these spaces is that the law itself discriminates and dispossesses of rights “. She also noted that “No Right” is created because of the lack of visibility of the needs and particularities of all people. After its supposed neutrality, there is an androcentric configuration that hinders the exercise of rights by women, girls, and the LGBT collectives. “The Immigration Law is androcentric, when it ignores the specificity of domestic work or care, exercised fundamentally by women and in a significant percentage, migrant women.” Therefore, flexible concepts that mitigate the inter-sectionality of discrimination are required. She also stressed that the Spaces of “No Law” are generated when laws are not applied and that spaces of impunity and denial of justice are opened. Finally, she noted that the creation of these spaces is the prelude to more areas of “No Right”, and that if this is not remedied, the denial of rights will be extended to all people.

 

Laia Serra considered the Permanent Peoples Tribunal as a tool for the recognition of violations, the visibility of systematic patterns of violence, the creation of new political and legal categories and the opportunity to denounce, symbolic reparation, as well as a space for meeting to weave alliances. She emphasized the timeliness of the Hearing in terms of going beyond the debate between the legal and the legitimate, the legality versus justice. She also noted how the border has become a concept based on segregation, which legitimizes the maintenance of privileges, a kind of “new Apartheid”, where people who have citizenship and those who do not have citizenship are faced with it. She pointed out that ” an invisibility prevails regarding  European wealth and welfare state being built on exploitation, plundering and violence towards other peoples” and continues within the framework of a Historical Debt, in which Europe has “responsibility for the extermination of Peoples and cultures, and the depredation of their resources”. She also affirmed that the basis of current migration policies is the capitalist economic mode and also spoke about social fascism, while “a discourse continues that banalizes violence, claims the legitimacy of the external threat and the need for protection.”

 

Teresa Almeida highlighted the current prevalence of social fascism, which manifests itself as a regime of culture and civilization, where the notions of justice, equity, university and solidarity lose all meaning. In this regime, social and labour relations are permeated with segregation, violence, precariousness and indifference and democracy empties itself of meaning, ceasing to recognize all people as subjects of rights. “What has been reported here has not only been indifference to the desperation and death of the people, but also the harassment and criminalization of migrants and those who support them,” she said. She also stressed that “not only is it allowed but also the agents that have the capacity to cause harm to migrants are encouraged, within the framework of the agreements signed with countries in transit such as Morocco, Libya and Turkey, and that they act as gate-keepers who prevent the entry into Europe of the most horrible forms we can imagine”. She also underlined the need to establish resistance networks that counteract the militarization and securitization of “Fortaleza Europe”, and that can take the form of establishing spaces such as the Session of the Permanent Tribunal of the Peoples, the creation of refuge-cities, among others.

 

Bridget Anderson affirmed that “migrants are not the problem, the problem is Europe“. She stressed that the current situation of these people exposes the patriarchal and anti-women nature of society that exists in Europe. “The negative aspects of Europe are closely linked to capitalism, they are not simply bad attitudes, but rather domination, expropriation and business, both economically and socially“. She pointed out the importance of the alternatives that migrants develop in the “No Right” Spaces, turning borders into spaces where politics is made. In this regard, she highlighted the importance of initiatives such as the Popular Union of Street Vendors in Barcelona and the Elin Center for the reception of migrants. She also observed that we should stop considering migrants as victims that we should help, and rather recognize them as agents from whom we have much to learn. She recalled that we should continue to demand that the European Commission introduce the free movement of people, stop outsourcing the management of borders, and ensure free and secure routes and legal channels to enter Europe. Clear demands should also be made on the role of the transnational corporations and to some of the humanitarian organisations that work closely with the police and the army to implement a policy of exclusion and expulsion. On the other hand, she affirmed that trade unions should be questioned, because they recognize only formal work, while they should support the development of new organizations of more inclusive workers. Finally, she recommended that abuses and exploitation of migrants be linked to the benefits of transnational corporations.

 

Marina Forti observed that the media have an important responsibility in spreading a narrative based on notions such as “emergency” or “migratory crisis”, frequently spreading negative stereotypes about migrants and their organizations. She recommended in that sense the importance to work on an alternative story, and the role that the press can play in that regard. She stressed that “the speeches of emergency, crisis and invasion are part of a deliberate construction of the politics of fear and hatred.” “Fundamental rights are lost in the fences and borders, they disappear in the camps in transit, and they sink in the Mediterranean”. Finally, she recalled the importance of organizations of migrants and of organized civil society in the restoration of “Law Spaces”, where solidarity is kept alive.

 

Stasa Zajovic referred to the closure of the Balkan route and the situation of complete violation of rights there. She also highlighted the importance of collecting data on the institutional narratives of the European Union that advocate that these situations occur and that, in addition, are being normalized.

 

The Secretary General of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal, Gianni Tognoni, concluded that the crimes against humanity reported to this Hearing of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal have “the aggravating effect of a strategy of not recognizing the facts and guaranteeing impunity for the individuals and institutions responsible”.

 

The next Audience of the Session of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal will take place in London in October 2018 and will focus on Labour rights. The PPT’s final hearing will take place at the beginning of 2019.

 

Gianni Tognoni (Italia)

Doctor of medicine and surgery, since 1969 he has undertaken basic, clinical, epidemiological and public health research in some of the most critical fields of medicine, such as cardiology, intensive therapy, neurology, psychiatry and oncology, publishing results in more than 600 articles in the most prestigious international journals and being responsible for leadership in various departments, currently with Mario Negri Sud Consortium. Among his activities he is a WHO consultant for the selection of essential medicines, founding member of the international society for independent information on pharmaceuticals, coordinator of projects on community epidemiology in countries in Central and Latin America, as well as some in Africa. From his collaboration with the second Russell Tribunal to scientific activities he has actively worked in the fields of human rights, right to health, and rights of peoples.  Since its establishment in 1979, he has been Secretary-general of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal.

 

Simona Fraudatario (Italia)

She has worked with the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal since 2006 as coordinator of its activities and Sessions held in Latin America and Asia, especially in Colombia, Mexico, India, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Recently, she has coordinated the second step of the Session on the violation of the human rights of migrants and refugee people, realized in Palermo in December 2017. She participated in international conferences on human rights in Latin America and Europa. She edited the second edition of François Rigaux’s volume on the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples (La Carta di Algeri, Edizioni Gruppo Abele, 2012) and was co-editor and co-author of the volume Colombia entre violencia y derecho. Implicaciones de una sentencia del Tribunal Permanente de los pueblos (Ediciones DesdeAbajo 2012). She was also co-author of Memorie di repressione resistenza e solidarietà in Brasile e in America Latina (Ediesse 2013).

 

Jurors

Bridget Anderson (UK)

Bridget Anderson is Professor of Migration and Citizenship and Research Director at COMPAS. She has a DPhil in Sociology and previous training in Philosophy and Modern Languages. She has explored the tension between labour market flexibilities and citizenship rights, and pioneered an understanding of the functions of immigration in key labour market sectors. She is the author of Us and Them? The Dangerous Politics of Immigration Controls (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Doing the Dirty Work? The Global Politics of Domestic Labour (Zed Books, 2000). She coedited Who Needs Migrant Workers? Labour Shortages, Immigration and Public Policy with Martin Ruhs (Oxford University Press, 2010 and 2012), The Social, Political and Historical Contours of Deportation with Matthew Gibney and Emanuela Paoletti (Springer, 2013), and Migration and Care Labour: Theory, Policy and Politics with Isabel Shutes (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Bridget Anderson has worked closely with migrants’ organisations, trades unions and legal practitioners at local, national and international level.

 

Laia Serra (Estado español)

Criminal lawyer, works in human rights, non-discrimination, hate crimes and gender violence. Member of the Defence Commission of the Lawyers Association of Barcelona, ​​of Women Lawyers and of the Catalan Association for the Defence of Human Rights, which is part of the Catalan Coordination for the Prevention and Complaint of Torture, and regularly collaborates with different feminist collectives. She has advised the Observatory against Homophobia since 2007 and the Association for Assistance to Sexually Assaulted Women (AADAS) since 2014. She has intervened in political advocacy campaigns such as the eradication of rubber bullets in Catalonia, the non-introduction of guns Taser in the armament of the Mossos d'Esquadra, the access to assisted reproduction of all women, and the change of health care model for transgender people. She has intervened in several court cases related to the limits on freedom of expression, the criminalization of protest and gender violence through social networks. Collaborates in the drafting of the Regulations for the Deployment of the Law against Catalan LGBTI phobia and in legal opinion articles with El Diario.es, La Directa, El Punt Avui and Pikara Magazine.

 

Stasa Zajovic (Montenegro)

Feminist activist, pacifist and member of the Montenegrin LGBT Movement, co-founder and coordinator of the organization Women in Black of Belgrade created in 1991 at the beginning of the war in Yugoslavia. In Belgrade, during the war in the former Yugoslavia, she was one of the activists who led the silent vigils of Women in Black that took place regularly every week from 1991 to 1997 as a nonviolent protest against the war; the politics of the Serbian regime; nationalism; militarism and all forms of hate, discrimination and violence. She is one of the organizers of the Women's Court, Sarajevo, in May 2015.

Patricia Orejudo (Estado español)

Professor of Private International Law University of the Complutense University of Madrid. Lawyer specialized in Human Rights. PHD in Law. She has taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses, in many other centres in Spain, Europe and Latin America. Member of the state campaign for the closure of Detention Centres for Migrants and the Sol Legal Commission. She has worked in Women's Link Worldwide, a non-profit organization that uses the power of the law to promote and defend the rights of women and girls, as a senior lawyer, and has collaborated with the Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid (CEAR). Investigate issues mainly related to migration from a gender perspective.

 

Marina Forti (Italia)

Journalist based in Rome. She worked with the daily newspaper “il manifesto” for 30 years, mostly as a Foreign Correspondent and later Foreign Editor. She traveled in Iran, South Asia and South East Asia. She started the column “TerraTerra” (“Earth to Earth”) on environmental justice and the conflicts for the natural resources. Her book La signora di Narmada (Feltrinelli 2004) was awarded the Elsa Morante Prize for Communication. Her latest book is “Il cuore di tenebra dell'India” (Bruno Mondadori 2012). She contributes regularly to Internazionale.it.

 

Teresa Almeida Cravo (Portugal)

Assistant Professor in International Relations at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Coimbra and a Researcher at the Centre for Social Studies. She is currently co-coordinator of the PhD Programme Democracy in the XXIst Century and coordinator of the Master’s degree in International Relations – Peace, Security and Development Studies, both at the University of Coimbra. She holds a PhD from the Department of Politics and International Studies of the University of Cambridge. In the last years, Teresa has been a Visiting Fellow at the University of Westminster, in the UK, at the University of Monash, in Australia, and a Predoctoral Fellow and later an Associate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Her research interests include peace and conflict, security and development, interventionism, and foreign policy, particularly within the Lusophone context.

 

Reports/Blogpost

Join us to put the Hostile Environment on trial  during the PPT Hearing in London.

This November the hostile environment will be out on trial in front of a panel of expert jurors. The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) is coming to London as one in a series of hearings on the violations of the rights of migrants and refugees. This is a peoples’ tribunal and therefore we welcome the public to join us, hear evidence and make real links with on the ground groups that are fighting for the rights of migrants and refugees. Read further about the brief history of the PPT

The Permanent People’s Tribunal: Its role in the people’s indictment of the ‘hostile environment’

The current inquiry into violations of the rights of migrants and refugees has been taken up out of concern that the new politics that emerged across the world in recent years, with the common features of authoritarian populism and rigid nationalism, is having dire consequences for people who have moved across borders in pursuit of personal safety and improved livelihoods. Read more  by Don Flynn is a former director of the Migrants’ Rights Network and a past chair of the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM).

Migrants before the Permanent People’s Tribunal in Barcelona

Bridget Anderson is Professor of Mobilities, Migration and Citizenship at the University of Bristol was serving as a juror at the hearings of the Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT) in Barcelona. The PPT is a grassroots initiative  that searches for truth and moral reparation in the service of liberation and justice and is a direct continuation of the Russell Tribunal. In the last year it has held a series of hearings on the treatment of migrants and refugees within and at the borders of the European Union. The most recent one focussed on the gender dimension. People gave angry and moving testimonies. One of the witnesses reported on the forced separation of children from their mothers by the Spanish state. We’ve heard a lot in recent weeks about the atrocity of the Trump administration’s cruel removal of children from their parents. Yet the forced separation of children from their mothers is perpetrated by European states too. Read the Article of BRIDGET ANDERSON, 27 July 2018, in Open Democracy.

 

 

Is London the world's most unethical tourist destination? 

Overworked, underpaid and undervalued, London hotel workers are speaking out.  Unite has launched a report into London's unethical hotel sector, using the stories of hotel workers, Unite members in their own words to expose the shockingly shameful work practices that have been allowed to flourish unchecked in the multi-billion hotel industry. 

Continue reading

Contact us

We would be pleased to respond to any query you might have about the project.

We hope you will be able to Sign On to this Call for Support to the London PPT Hearing –this will be highly appreciated. The link for Sign-On 

For more information please e-mail us at pptlondon@transnationalmigrantplatform.net

In solidarity for the rights of migrants and refugees!

Don Flynn and Margaret Healy