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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Activists downplay ASEM migration initiative


MANDALUYONG CITY—Inter-Regional cooperation through the Asia-Europe Meeting is now a decade old, but a regional advocacy network for migrant workers thinks nothing much will come out of ASEM regarding international migration.
Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) regional coordinator William Gois told ASEM member-countries' ministries of labor that ASEM has yet to understand international migration issues fully beyond controlling borders and curtailing illegal immigration.
Migrants' rights are not yet integrated, Gois said at an forum mid-May sponsored by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Philippines (the strategic partner of the OFW Journalism Consortium).Gois' comment comes at a time when labor ministers of ASEM member-countries will meet for the first time this September in Berlin, Germany to discuss varied employment issues and the social dimensions of globalization.
The meeting also comes at a time when United States government officials are at odds on what to do with the continuing flow of productive non-Americans--mostly Asians--“making it” in the highly-capitalized society.After Berlin, ASEM heads of state will meet for the Sixth ASEM Summit on September 10-11 in Helsinki, Finland to tackle varied socio-economic issues, including the management of migratory flows between Asia and Europe.Migration discussions have been there for some time, says Gois, but he has yet to see “a genuine interdependence between migration, growth, and development through ASEM.”

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