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Migrants' advocate: Workers need social action, not talks or conferences


Less talk, more action. 
 
A panelist at the 5th World Social Forum on Migration (WSFM), being conducted November 26 to 30, said migrant Filipino workers would benefit more if concerned groups would undertake more social action, instead of merely holding talks or conferences.
 
Ambet Yuson, regional representative of worker union Building and Woodworkers International, said migrants and their families need need concrete programs, not forums or conferences.
If civil society organizations and non-government organizations will organize to tackle specific issues related to migrant workers, then more action will be done instead of being stuck in the usual mode of talks and conferences, Yuson said.
 
“Let’s have the expression of social movement in action by targeting specific campaigns or specific countries or communities. Because for me, it’s about mobilization, organizing is about mobilizing,” he said. Yuson said migrant workers advocates should come up with specific programs that address workers' concerns ie. trafficking, job safety, and security.
“For us to show the global strength is by targeting particular issues or particular communities,” he said.
 
“Let’s start to move forward by mobilizing,” he added.
 
The five-day forum was an avenue for delegates to discuss various issues related to the migration phenomenon and to share their own experiences.
   
The topics included standards of protection for migrants and their families, economy and finance, food and jobs, environment, governance and citizenship.
 
A final discussion is expected tonight collating all the output from workshops and discussions done throughout the forum. The end goal is to identify concrete goals and plans of action regarding the advocacy of migrants' rights.
 
The WSFM, however, was not entirely bereft of activities besides talks and discussion. On Wednesday, delegates went to field visits in Manila, Pampanga and Batangas to get a closer look at the effects of the migrant experience on Filipinos.
 
On Friday, the last day of the summit, the participants of the summit will also conduct a march along España Boulevard and a rally at Mendiola in Manila to promote their advocacy.
 — DVM/VVP, GMA News
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