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.

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.

 

 

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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

 

Call for Support

SUPPORT our Call for a Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on
Violations with Impunity of the Human Rights of Migrant and Refugee Peoples in London
Click here for Sign-On

 

HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT THE PPT
A BRIEF GUIDE

There are several ways that your organisation can help. You can either join us a Co-Convenor, or you can help us in small but important ways by becoming a supporting organisation.

What does the Co-Convenors Working Group do?

There are already 17 co-convenor organisations on the working group. They are helping to prepare the London hearing through raising funds, preparing leaflets, organising the preparatory work (translation, interpretation, and logistics) and attending regular meetings and participating in sub-committees.

What does a supporting organisation do?

By adding your name as a supporting organisation, you register your public support for the aims of the Tribunal. That’s enough and you don’t have to do more unless you want to.

Here are some other things you could do as a supporting organisation.

  • Circulate the call to all your members and encourage them to sign up as supporting members
  • Follow us on Face book and Twitter (@PPT_UK_Hearing)
  • Make a donation. We need £35,000 to cover the costs of the Tribunal.
  • Invite a member of the Co-convenors working group to your workplace to explain the PPT
  • Encourage your organisation to submit evidence for the Tribunal by the deadline of October 5th. (Details of how to format and submit your evidence can be found on our website)
  • Organise a safe space for a hearing at your workplace/community centre. We particularly welcome first-hand testimony for migrants and refugees themselves, though we recognise that can be difficult. At the hearing, we will be listening to evidence about the treatment of migrants and refugees in: hotel and catering industry; health and social care; care and domestic work; rural and agrarian work; construction; seafares and oil-rig workers. But we will also have a strand on Self-Employment and Destitution as well as work in detention.

Above all, join us on the 3rd and 4th November. This is a public opinion tribunal and the process belongs to you!

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

In solidarity for the rights of migrants and refugees!

We look forward to hearing from you.

Don Flynn, Dorothy Guerrero:Global Justice Now, Margaret Healy, Rita Chadha:Migrants Rights Network, Liz Fikete:Institute of Race Relations.
(PPT Steering Group – London Hearing, Co-convenors)

 

The hearing in London will taken place in late October. It will convene before a panel of international judges. The panel will consider and indictment which sets out charges against UK authorities for violating the rights of migrants and refugees. The co-convenors will shortly be sending out a call for evidence relating to the charges set out in the indictment. The purpose of this request is to ask whether your organisation could register its support for the London hearing by agreeing to join our list of sponsoring organisations.

As co-convenors  we would be pleased to respond to any query you might have about the project. We could also provide you will a representative of the steering group to meet with you or speak at any meeting of your organisation about the plans for the London hearing. More information will follow soon…

Introduction

The Permanent Peoples Tribunal on the Violations of the Human Rights of Migrant and Refugee Peoples launched in Barcelona on July 7-8, 2017 was co-convened by more than 30 migrant and refugee organisations and endorsed by 100 movements, networks and organisations.

The preparation process included two preparatory meetings, the setting up of a PPT Working Group (Barcelona based migrant and other organisations; the Transnational Migrant Platform-Europe and other movements involved in the struggles of migrant and refugee peoples) in regular coordination with the PPT Secretariat. This will also provide the coordination for the further PPT Hearings & Sessions – as well as drawing from the organisations in the areas where the Hearings are held.

This PPT Session is being organised within the framework of the indictment developed for the launch in Barcelona – which is based on an analysis of the current economic and political conjuncture globally as well as in Europe and drawn from the testimonies and lived experiences of migrant and refugee peoples. Four key pillars make up the framework of this PPT:

  1. Root Causes of Forced Displacement & Conditions of conflict and war leading to outmigration and refugee
  2. Hazardous Journeys and closing down of legal routes
  3. Border regimes of exclusion/walls/immigrations policy
  4. Fortress Europe – experience of precarious migrant status and exploitative conditions of work within Europe

Gender, Youth and Racism are identified as cross cutting issues across these pillars. (See below a brief summary of this framework)

Goal and Objectives of PPT on Migrant and Refugee Peoples

The PPT is a process that is being built from below, with the people most involved and most directly affected. The process is being initiated as a journey where many can participate from the borders of Europe and from the countries of origin, transit and destination. That is why it is important to socialise the whole process among migrant and refugee organisations and communities; and the networks and platforms that support the work of denouncing the violations of human and peoples’ rights taking place along the multiple borders and the daily struggles of migrant and refugees. Therefore, the mobilisation of the migrant and refugee peoples in the conceptualisation, development and implementation of the PPT is crucial.

The overall goal is to strengthen the role of Migrant and Refugee peoples as key protagonists and social actors in the articulation of the conjuncture, the naming of the violations of their human rights and in proposing alternatives.

The PPT also aims to facilitate migrant and refugee movements to develop new alliances with other social movements and with the research, academe and other related sectors.

Specific objectives of the PPT process include:

  • Receive and document rigorously the testimonies of the communities of migrants and refugees including their proposals to advance a rights-based approach and an alternative framework.
  • Listen and make visible the cases of violations of the rights of migrants and refugees.
  • Analyse jointly the root causes (including trade and investment agreements, global extractivism as well as the global production and labour chain) of the forced displacement of migrants and refugees.
  • Determine the responsibilities of governments, including the European Union and other official European bodies.
  • Focus the role of transnational corporations in the global labour chain, as well as in the border regimes, and in detention and in deportation

PPT Process – Hearings and Sessions

The process of the PPT is foreseen over 2 years – a series of Hearings – each with its specific focus – from mid 2017-2019. The first series of Hearings (Italy, France ) will be brought to a Barcelona Session of the PPT in June 2018; a further series of Hearings to be held from mid 2018-mid 2019 (London, Marrakesh) with a concluding Session of the PPT with a Judgement by end of 2019.

As of now the confirmed schedules for PPT Hearings are:

  • Palermo, Italy: December 18-19, 2017 main focus on Mediteranean and the new disappeared; the Italian law regime.
  • Paris, France: January 4-5 – main focus on the conditions of migrant and refugees within the exclusionary policy of the Border regime, and the restrictive policies (working and living conditions) within the Fortress Europe.
  • London, UK: PPT Hearing (mid March/tbc) – main focus on conditions of migrant labour in UK & Fortress Europe – migrant domestic workers, hotel and catering workers, health care workers, rural workers
  • June 29-30 and July 1st a PPT Session in Barcelona – including the outcome of Hearings in Palermo, Paris and London. This Session will focus on crosscutting Gender and Youth dimensions of the current Migration & Refugee policies.

Brief Summary Framework of the PPT on the Violations with Impunity of the Human Rights of Migrant and Refugee Peoples

The PPT indictment developed for the Barcelona Launch on July 7-8 identified four main Pillars and stages in the migration journey – which are also characterized as “sites with rights” and “sites without rights”. Furthermore, the agendas of Gender and Youth and Racism  are recognized as integral and cross-cutting in all stages of the migration journey:

  1. Root Causes and Forced Displacements and out-migration
    The forced displacement crisis is neither spontaneous nor circumstantial. It is linked to several structural causes that underpin the prevailing social and economic model; therefore, these causes (land grabs, loss of livelihoods, unemployment, continuing wars, irreversible destruction of the environment, climate change – generating hunger, impoverishment) need to be addressed at their core, otherwise the human tragedies that cause forced displacement will not be identified. Currently, the mechanisms used by capital to grab capital gains and maintain its profit rates escalate, extending to exploitation, expulsion by dispossession and necropolitics.
  1. Hazardous & Dangerous journeys of transit and closure of legal routes leading to mass deaths.
    The “non-law” spaces that are built on European borders allow, people badly wounded in barriers not to be assisted, and human beings in the desert to be abandoned. All this justified by the primacy of the territorial borders and sovereignty of Europe. These are areas where Europe can implement policies that are separate and far removed from human rights. They are “non-law” contexts where legal primacy is exercised by immigration control and where bilateral relations have more weight than international human rights conventions. The impact that these policies have on the violation of the rights of the people who move has increased in the last decade, and has had a significant impact on the right to life.
  1. Border regimes that are militarized and criminalized – and operate on exclusionary policy
    The creation of non-law spaces by externalising and militarising borders create no-rights zones. The construction of non-law spaces has been accompanied by the victimisation, criminalisation and reification of people on the move, which has formed part of the process of stripping them of their status as people. That is why neither they nor their families have recognised rights and the European states are thus exempt from responsibility for the violence that they exert against the victims and the survivors of the border war. Externalisation of borders being outsourced by the EU to Libya and other North Africa countries is creating mass detention centers with intolerable conditions which include torture and Mass deaths on the seas has been ‘normalised’.
  1. Fortress Europe – living and working conditions that are exclusionary and intensifying levels of racism, xenophobia and islamophobia eroding the possibility of integration.
    The consequences of the global financial crisis and the pursuit of neoliberal austerity measures has led to a profound economic and political crisis in Europe. The EU is currently restructuring its economic and political system. Unemployment has reached record levels, especially in “peripheral” countries (Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic States). There is an imbalance between the former Eastern European countries and those of Western Europe in terms of economic and social conditions. Explicit authoritarian and racist political parties are on the rise in several countries and their representatives hold seats in national parliaments and governments. This toxic mix of political and economic conditions has fuelled more overt racism, xenophobia and islamophobia It results in focusing the blame on migrants and refugees with some sections of European citizens seeing them as the cause of unemployment, insecurity and the pressure on public services, including schools, housing and health services.  Solidarity activities such as rescue at see or helping migrants and refugees to cross borders has been criminalised.

Moreover, migrant workers in several sectors (domestic work in the private household, care work, hotel and other service work, building work and agriculture work etc) are experiencing the daily conditions of combined precarious or undocumented migration status and precarious and extremely exploitative labour conditions.


Convenors

The Convenors of this PPT Session are:

  1. Transnational Migrant Platform Europe (TMP-E)
  2. Platform of Filipino Migrant organisations in Europe (Commission for Filipino Migrant Workers (CFMW), Geneva Forum for Filipino Concerns, Centro Filipino-Barcelona, Kasapi-Hellas)
  3. MDCD (Morrocan Platform in Europe) ( Euro-Mediterraan Centrum Migratie & Ontwikkeling (EMCEMO),  Al Maghreb, CODENAF, IDD, Khamsa, Migration et Developpement, Na’oura)
  4. Social Development Cooperative-Ghana, Africa Roots Movement, Kromantse Foundation
  5. RESPECT Network Europe
  6. ECVC – Coordinadora Europea de Vía Campesina
  7. Associació Catalana per la integració d’homosexuals, bisexuals i transexuals inmigrants (ACATHI)
  8. Carovane Migranti
  9. Comitato Verità e Giustizia per i Nuovi Desaparecidos
  10. Entrepueblos/Entrepobles/Entrepobos
  11. Espacio del Inmigrante
  12. Fotomovimiento
  13. Institut de Drets Humans de Catalunya
  14. IRIDIA
  15. Jo Sí, Sanitat Universal
  16. Mujeres Pa’lante
  17. NOVACT
  18. Observatorio de Multinacionales en América Latina (OMAL)
  19. Pasucat
  20. Sindicato Popular de vendedores ambulantes
  21. Stop Mare Mortum
  22. SOS Rosarno
  23. SUDS
  24. Tanquem els CIEs Barcelona
  25. Transnational Institute (TNI)
  26. Tras la Manta
  27. Unitat contra el feixisme i el racisme (UCFR)

The Call is endorsed by the following organisations:

  1. World March of Women (WMW)
  2. Debt Observatory in Globalisation (ODG), Catalonia
  3. Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh
  4. Leonekin, Euskal Herria
  5. Ongi Etorri Errefuxiatuak, Euskal Herria
  6. Asociación Pro Fundación Escuela Con Alma, España
  7. Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation (BAFLF), Bangladesh
  8. National Women Farmers and Workers Association (NWFA), Bangladesh
  9. Plataforma Benvinguts Refugiats Menorca, Estado Español
  10. Fundacion Nueva Cultura del Agua, Pais Vasco
  11. Migrant Rights Centre Ireland, Ireland
  12. REMESO, Linköping University, Sweden
  13. Welfare Association for the Rights of Bangladeshi Emigrants, Bangladesh
  14. Africaye.org, Estado Español
  15. Alianza por la Solidaridad, Estado Español
  16. Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l’amitié entre les peuples (MRAP), France
  17. Asociacion por ti Mujer, Valencia, Estado Español
  18. Tombuctu Teatro, Estado Español
  19. Online community “I’m interested in Migration”, Belgium
  20. JPIC DEIC, Madrid, Estado Español
  21. Milano senza frontiere, Italia
  22. Collectif des comjmunautés subsahariennes au Maroc, Maroc
  23. Alternative Espaces Citoyens/Association, Niger/Niamey/Afrique de l’Ouest
  24. Associazione Transglobal, Italia
  25. RefugiARTE, Estado Español
  26. Cuidando, Barcelona, Estado Español
  27. Vigência!, Brazil
  28. Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo (PIDHDD Regional), Ecuador
  29. Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo S.J.” (CSMM), Ecuador
  30. H.I.J.O.S. Barcelona, Estado Español
  31. Pachakuti, Asturies-Estado, Estado Español
  32. Fundación europa de los Ciudadanos, Estado Español
  33. Ongd AFRICANDO, Estado Español
  34. SOMAC (Solidarios Mayores Activos), Estado Español
  35. ATTAC España, Estado Español
  36. Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragem (MAB/Brazil), Brazil
  37. Syndicat Autonome Valdotain des Travailleurs,Vakkée d’Aosre, Italy
  38. Marea Blanca and Dempeus per la salut pública, Catalonia, Estado Español
  39. Fundació Guné, Estado Español
  40. Coordinadora de ONGD de Asturias, Estado Español
  41. LAB Sindikatua, Euskal Herria
  42. FSLI/S.I.P.A. MUNTENIA, România/Arges
  43. Corporate Europe Observatory, Europe
  44. Asociación Comunidades Cristianas Fe y Justicia, Pais Vasco, Estado Español
  45. Independiente, Menorca
  46. Action from Ireland (Afri), Ireland
  47. ENAR Ireland European Network Against Racism, Ireland
  48. ATTAC Ireland, Ireland
  49. Podem Catalunya, Estado Español
  50. Assemblea 15M Sarrià-St. Gervasi, Barcelona, Estado Español
  51. FDCL – Center for Research and Documentation Chile-Latin America, Germany
  52. Ecologistas en Acción, Estado Español
  53. Progetto Diritti, Italy
  54. Women’s Link Worldwide, España/Europa & Colombia/Latin América
  55. Institute of Race Relations (IRR), UK 
  56. Associazione Meticcia,Italia
  57. SOS Racisme Catalunya, Estado Español
  58. CADTM International, International
  59. France Amérique Latine (FAL), France
  60. Social Develipment Cooperative RCA, République Centrafricaine
  61. European Network of Migrant Women (ENOMW), Europe
  62. Association pour le Développement et la Sensibilisation des Guinéens Migrants au Maroc (ADESGUIM), Rabat, Maroc
  63. Cooperacció, Catalunya, Estado Español
  64. Melissa- Network of Migran Women in Greece, Athens, Greece
  65. PutasIndignadas, Barcelona, Estado Español
  66. Iniciativa Per Catalunya Verds, Catalunya
  67. Progetto Melting Pot Europa, Padova, Italia
  68. Global Justice Now, London, UK
  69. Stop Wapenhandel, Netherlands
  70. Comite 21 maart, Netherlands
  71. Réseau Sortir du Colonialisme, France
  72. Federació d’Associacions Veins i Veines de Barcelona (FAVB), Barcelona 
  73. Rete femminista “No muri, No recinti”, Italy
  74. Ca-minando Fronteras, Frontera España/Marruecos/Argelia/Mali/Níger/Libia
  75. Coordinadora d’ONG Solidàries de les comarques gironines i l’Alt Maresme, Estado Español
  76. South Texas Human Rights Centre, USA
  77. Ciudadana, Estado Español
  78. Plataforma Girona Acull, Catalunya
  79. Grup d’Empordaneses i Empordanesos per la Solidaritat (GEES), Catalunya
  80. Ecoitituto Del Piemonte, Italia
  81. Collectif contre les rafles et les expulsions et pour la régularisation (CRER), Belgique
  82. Cooperativa Sociale Atypica, Italia
  83. Progetto Continenti – Mezzago, Italia
  84. Agenzia Habeshia, Italia
  85. Rete Radie Resh, Italia
  86. LAFEDE, Catalunya
  87. Syndicat Des Locataire, Belgique
  88. Ca La Dona, Catalunya
  89. Dones x Dones, Catalunya
  90. Solidaires, France
  91. Centro Azione Giuridica Legambiente Sicilia, Siracusa Palermo Agrigento
  92. Asociat, Sicilia, Italia
  93. 3monkeyproductions, USA
  94. Centro Studi Sereno Regis, Torino, Italia
  95. FIAN International
  96. ARCI, Italia
  97. Espiral, Estado Español
  98. Casa Nostra, Casa Vostra, Catalunya
  99. Filipino Community in Norway, Norway
  100. Ugnayang Pilipino, Sweden
  101. Migreurop (Euro-African network), France (headquarter)
  102. El Lloc de la Dona-Hermanas Oblatas Barcelona, Estado Español
  103. Paz con Dignidad, Estado Español
  104. Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, Palestine
  105. Centro Azione Giuridica Legambiente Sicilia, Italia – Sicilia – Siracusa
  106. LVC Migrant Collective, Bangladesh
  107. ATTAC MAROC, Marruecos
  108. Fundació Ficat, Spain
  109. Realizadora, España
  110. Collectif de soutien de l’EHESS aux sans papiers et aux migrant-es, France (Paris)
  111. Collectif Réfugiés du Vaucluse, France (Provence)
  112. Association des Travailleurs Maghrébins de France (ATMF), France
  113. Comité pour le Respect des Libertés et des Droits de l’Homme en Tunisie – CRLDHT, France/Tunisie
  114. Association Kolone, France
  115. FASTI (Fédération des Associations de Solidarité avec Tou-te-s les Immigré-e-s), France
  116. Association ”Les Amis du Chant de l’Eau”, France
  117. Red Migración, Género y Desarrollo, Barcelona, España

International Call for the Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PPT) PPT Session On the Violations with Impunity of the Human Rights of Migrant and Refugee Peoples

To endorse please see below

Migrants and refugees over decades have contributed enormously to the economic and political development of Europe as well as to their countries of origin. Some have undertaken hunger strikes for basic rights such as family reunion and led struggles against detention and deportation. Many today affirm their human rights in struggles such as undocumented migrants and their undocumented children, those working as domestic workers and the care sector, as agricultural workers on Europe’s farms, in the informal sector, as construction workers building our homes and offices, as workers in service industries such as hotel and catering and tourism, sexual work or as seafarers on Europe’s ships and as workers on Europe’s oil rigs.

It is also evident, but not sufficiently acknowledged, that many of Europe’s policies – in a colonial strategy – promote extractivism on a grand scale (agriculture, mining, fisheries and oil). Likewise, the free trade and investment agreements imposed for the benefit and profit of transnational corporations result in mass dispossession of land and sources of livelihood and the expulsion of thousands of people in our countries of origin. In addition, it is equally important to acknowledge the impact of the capitalist system of production and consumption that generates climate change as well as the ongoing wars impacting the most vulnerable of our peoples.

In Europe, those of us who are migrants and refugees from all the regions of the Global South and from Central and Eastern Europe (some of us have lived and worked here for forty years and others arrived more recently) have lived through the various stages of the building of Fortress Europe. We have seen Europe’s policy of exclusion being constructed year after year – a policy that has resulted in a sweeping rollback of people’s human rights; the encampment, forcible detention and deportation; and criminalisation at the militarised southern and eastern borders of Europe. The most visible act is the disappeared persons and the death of thousands of children, brothers and sisters during their journey to reach the borders of southern and eastern Europe: an intolerable crime against humanity. The increasing trend towards the criminalisation of migrants and refugees – particularly those in an irregular situation – means that they are more likely to face discrimination, exclusion, exploitation and violation of their rights during all stages of the migration process. Frequently there is little contextualisation of the realities that force people to leave their home country to avoid death. The constant stereotyping and simplification of these realities leads to the intensification of intolerance, racism, xenophobia, islamophobia, lgtbphobia against migrant and refugee peoples which is sometimes manifested in extreme violence towards people in transit as well as in countries of arrival.

We register our protest in this space where human rights are denied or severely violated. We also register our protest against the ongoing crime against humanity when thousands die in the Mediterranean Sea and throughout the many journays towards Europe . However, alongside our protest, we reclaim the shared and common human treasure of the Peoples’ Rights that have been forged with so much struggle in recent decades by our own peoples in our countries of origin, by ourselves as migrants and refugees and by European citizens.

The Transnational Migrant Platform Europe (TMP-E), Centro Filipino, ACATHI, Transnational Institute (TNI) began last December a process of preparation to convoke the Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PPT) with the aim to give clear visibility to the migrant and refugee peoples from all backgrounds as subjects of fundamental human rights; to identify and judge the chain of co-responsibility in the violation of those rights experienced throughout the whole migratory journey and to urgently identify and promote appropriate mechanisms for access to justice.

In this context, the Tribunal will:

  • Receive and document rigorously the testimonies of the communities of migrants and refugees including their proposals to advance a rights-based approach and an alternative framework.
  • Listen and make visible the cases of violations of the rights of migrants and refugees.
  • Analyse jointly the root causes (including trade and investment agreements, global extractivism as well as the global production chain) of the forced displacement of migrants and refugees.
  • Determine the responsibilities of governments, including the European Union and other official European bodies.
  • Focus the role of transnational corporations in the global labour chain, as well as in the border regimes, and in detention and in deportation.

This is a process that we seek to build from below, with the people most involved and most directly affected. That is why we also undertake this process together with other migrant and refugee organisations and communities; and the networks and platforms that support the work of denouncing the violations of human and peoples’ rights that take place along the multiple borders and the daily struggles of migrant and refugees. The PPT Session will be launched in Barcelona on 7th and 8th July, 2017 and will hold its first Hearing in December 2017, with plans to hold a second Hearing in 2018. We are initiating this as a journey where many can participate from all sectors not only from Spain, but from the borders of Europe and countries of origin, transit and destination.

Co-convenors:

  • Transnational Migrant Platform Europe (TMP-E)
  • Platform of Filipino Migrant organisations in Europe (Commission for Filipino Migrant Workers (CFMW), Geneva Forum for Filipino Concerns, Centro Filipino-Barcelona, Kasapi-Hellas)
  • MDCD (Morrocan Platform in Europe) ( Euro-Mediterraan Centrum Migratie & Ontwikkeling (EMCEMO),  Al Maghreb, CODENAF, IDD, Khamsa, Migration et Developpement, Na’oura)
  • Social Development Cooperative-Ghana, Africa Roots Movement, Kromantse Foundation
  • RESPECT Network Europe
  • ECVC – Coordinadora Europea de Vía Campesina
  • Associació Catalana per la integració d’homosexuals, bisexuals i transexuals inmigrants (ACATHI)
  • Carovane Migranti
  • Comitato Verità e Giustizia per i Nuovi Desaparecidos
  • Entrepueblos/Entrepobles/Entrepobos
  • Espacio del Inmigrante
  • Fotomovimiento
  • Institut de Drets Humans de Catalunya
  • IRIDIA
  • Jo sí, sanitat universal
  • Mujeres Pa’lante
  • NOVACT
  • Observatorio de Multinacionales en América Latina (OMAL)
  • Pasucat
  • Sindicato Popular de vendedores ambulantes
  • Stop Mare Mortum
  • SOS Rosarno
  • SUDS
  • Tanquem els CIEs Barcelona
  • Transnational Institute (TNI)
  • Tras la Manta
  • Unitat contra el feixisme i el racisme (UCFR)

Background Note on the Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PPT)

The Permanent Peoples Tribunal was established in 1979, taking the Declaration of Algiers on the Rights of Peoples as a main reference, and it has since held 40 Sessions whose results and judgements are are available here. The PPT is an Opinion Tribunal – which acts independently of States and responds to the requests of communities and peoples whose human rights have been violated. 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 PPT has its Secretariat at the Lelio & Lisli Basso Issoco Foundation in Rome. For more information please look at the website of the Website PPT

Link to PPT first Hearing on Transnational Corporations in Southern Africa – Aug 2016

Link to the Judgement of the PPT on European Corporations in Latin America (46 Cases and 3 Hearings in 2006-2008-2010)