Europe migrants, asylum-seekers: solidarity in fight for rights!

Press Statement
24 June 2023

Migrante-International, the biggest organization of Filipino migrants, expresses its solidarity with the campaign of Filipinos and other migrants in Europe demanding respect for human rights in that continent’s borders and removing the barriers faced by asylum-seekers within the continent.  

Migrants from the Global South travel to Europe in search of a better chance in life and of a better life. The overwhelming majority are fleeing from oppressive economic systems often led by politically oppressive regimes, mostly propped up by European and Western powers. 

International human rights standards state everyone’s right to safe and regular migration, migrants’ right to decent work and living conditions, the right to seek asylum, and the right not to be brought back to their country of origin where they face the risk of serious harm. 

We demand that European states uphold these rights. The Dutch government’s Benefit Entitlement Act of 1988 for example denies the undocumented and other migrants much-needed social benefits and has therefore subjected migrants not only to rights violations but also exploitation by employers, landlords and criminals. 

All states have a role in upholding human rights obligations, but states of advanced capitalist countries have a special role, given the disproportional wealth and power at their disposal compared to those at the hands of states from the Global South. Their implementation of exemptions from these obligations significantly weakens international respect for human rights and therefore democracy and social justice. 

We thank and salute many of the workers and peoples of Europe and other Western countries who recognize and support migrants’ rights, and who support migrants’ struggles for decent work and system change. 

At the same time, we appeal to many of the workers and people of Europe: migrants did not come to your continent to steal your jobs or social benefits, but to flee from hunger, joblessness, landlessness and oppression in their countries. Their presence highlights the need for a better socio-economic system where no one is really left behind, both in migrant-receiving and migrant-sending countries.

We call on European and Western governments, as well as their alliances and organizations, to immediately take steps to uphold the rights of migrants and asylum-seekers. Migratory flows are bound to become bigger in the coming years and decades and it is urgent that migration is addressed in ways that uphold human rights, democracy and social justice.###