WIDE Annual Conference 2010 "Migration in the context of globalisation"
This year´s Conference marks alsothe 25th anniversary of WIDE. The UN Women´s world conference in Kenya 1985 marked the start for WIDE when feminists in Europe decided it was time to join hands and work together. In the past 25 years WIDE has become a strong network with 12 national and regional platforms in Europe, bringing together over 400 organisations and working with women from the South, form all continents. WIDE is the only European network focusing on trade, development and women´s rights, employing three kind of strategies to bring about change: through networking, capacity building and advocacy. This conference will build on WIDE´s long experience, activism and expertise.
This 2010 WIDE Conference "Migration in the context of globalisation" will bring together and voice the experiences of migrant women from Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. And most importantly it will facilitate dialogue to come to common positions and actions for the coming years to take. Migration is an important process that is impacting people in Europe and worldwide.
The Conference will scrutinize critically the European policies that affect migrant women and men and their dynamic relationships within the societies they live and the ones they come from. European migration policies intersect with European labour, trade and development policies, negatively impacting on the sustainable development of societies in the Global South. How can we ensure that the rights of migrants are protected? How can we build towards alternatives of global development that is based on social justice and equality? What are the main issues in the policies we need to address and what are the best strategies? Debate about the interdependence between migration and development has grown significantly the past decade. Policymakers have become aware of contributions migrants can make to development, like remittances. The remittances migrants send to their country of origin is in total amount higher than the total amount of aid given by governments. There are many questions that need to be asked when policymakers incorporate this into development strategies. Migration is also deeply interwoven with global economic development and policies, with people needing to find jobs elsewhere; trade and labour policies that put migrants in insecure and vulnerable positions and an exploitation of migrants as cheap labour force. Migration is transnational and affects everybody.
The specific objectives of the Conference:
* To debate feminist concepts of migration and their linkage with economics, gender, trade and development.
* To secure inclusiveness by giving space to many voices, particularly of migrant women and foster dialogue, and thus strengthen WIDE´s programme on migration.
* To come to key messages linked with WIDE´s mission, with the goal of developing WIDE´s strategies to counter neoliberal macroeconomic policies and to hold the EU accountable to its women's rights/ human rights commitments in the external policy.
* To ensure geographically balanced representation in the conference thatreflectsboth, the women´s perspectives from different parts of Europe particularly highlighting Eastern Europe and women from Asia, Africa and Latin America.
* To provide an opportunity for networking among participants and their organizations.
* To promote alliances among the different women's rights agendas across the globe and encourage participants, especially migrant women, and their organisations to enhance their political action in the context of WIDE´s mission and conference outcomes in countries of destination as well as in countries of origin across the globe.
Programme of the Conference
The Conference will take place early June for two days and will be preceded by a Capacity Building Day. This day focuses on introducing the concepts and building the basic knowledge of participants on migration policies in relation to gender, trade, economics and development. This will enable particularly participants that are not familiar with migration, development, trade or gender policies to actively participate in the conference. The Capacity Building day will also facilitate networking among participants.
A broad range of topics will be address during the Conference and Capacity Building day. It will focus on the double status of many Eastern European states, being a country of which people migrate from and a destination for migrants, taking Romania as a case study. It will introduce the concepts of migrations; trends like the feminization of migration, policies and conventions around migration.EU immigration policies will be reviewed. It will highlight how migrant women contribute to the GDP of European countries and of developing countries, for instance in terms of care work they provide and remittances they send. Also the issues that migrant women are tackling will be highlighted and the political strategies they employ to address these problems. One of these issues is the social costs of migration versus economic contributions. Migrant women working in the field, like diaspora organisations, will give their perspectives. ´Europe´ will be analysed from a global perspective that will highlight inconsistencies and double standards between trade, development and migration policies. One very striking example of this is that worker´s movement within the EU is called workers mobility and when it is towards the EU it is called migration.
The programme of the two day Conferenceis divided into interactive plenary sessions and workshops. It will be highly interactive so that people attending have many opportunities to exchange and learn from each other. The sessions will set the context for the Conference and during workshops participants can discuss the issues on a deeper level.