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Emigrants will travel free in their countries

06 November 2009 / 14:11:52  GRReporter
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The outcomes of the Global Forum on the topics of migration and integration are now becoming visible. It might be a coincidence, but today was announced a long awaited news. Up to now in Greece the emigrants who were waiting for their residence papers and working permits to be ready were receiving a certificate issued by the relevant institution. However this certificate did not give them the right to travel outside the borders of Greece at any time, rather they could only travel during summer holidays, for Easter and New Year’s holidays. Of course the emigrants of different religion than Christianity have different holydays, when they would like to go home and to be with their families. They could not do that. Now all of these people – around 150 000 persons, will be able to travel to their own country without the need of receiving the so called “amnesty” by the country.

“Immigrants are afraid to go home, because they might not be able to come back to the country, where they are working…. Let us see how much money is spent on migration control and how much is spent on development and migration?” noted Dilip Rata from the World Bank during the official closing ceremony of the Days of the civil society part of the Global Forum for migration and development.

The Forum, which was held in Athens this year, ends today. In the past two days the representatives of the governments of the countries members of UNO discussed the proposals made by the representatives of the civil society, whose meeting was held in Monday and Tuesday. 

On Tuesday the representatives of the world-wide NGOs presented their most important conclusions and recommendations towards the governments in regards to the migration and development. Critical to regulating the migration is the transparency of the existing studies and data – to have access to statistical data by various relevant institutions as well as simple exchange of these data between the countries.

It is also necessary to be made a scientific survey of the phenomena in order to define its scale. Special attention should be paid to the protection of the rights of emigrating children, because up to the present moment the data that we have is insufficient. On the other side, new concept for the integration of the emigrants that are coming back to their countries should be developed. 

The recommendations that were made to the governments include: to start a dialog on a national level, and to work closer with the members of the civil society on regional level, as this is supposed to drive better results. The governments should also consult organizations representing the civil society before enforcing their decisions. Another recommendation to the governments is related to their agenda, which should also include reinforcing of the civil rights of emigrants. 

Apart form the recommendations to the government, an idea was given for the creation of a virtual forum for sharing the best practices in the manner they were executed in order to avoid their promiscuous enforcement. Regarding the working rights of the emigrants, everybody agreed that they should be treated with equal standards for protection of workers in regards to their civil rights, working and social securities.

Critical to the achievement of the aims of the policies for protection of human rights is being well informed – the emigrants should know their rights and obligations, to be given legal advices. The question about they ways to build the trust between the private sector and the civil society and between the private and state industry was also discussed. One of the decisions made was to start regular meetings between the government, the private sector and the civil society.

On the plenary session was cleared once again the mission of the forum, which was organized by the “Onassis” foundation this year. The goal is to influence the governments, while at the same time the present at the forum representatives will get the chance to learn from each other and focus on emigration, development and human rights. In order to have results from these meetings the recommendations towards the governments should be more specific and to give specific examples and every member of the forum should take responsibility for the spreading of these results.

After a short break, when the last plenary session was over, the delegates were invited to the discontinuing where the “Onassis” foundation gave the “Estia” award for contribution in the aims for reducing the level of poverty to the NGO “Doctors around the world”. Present at the ceremony were vice minister of the internal affairs Theodora Tzakri, the president of the Institute for emigration policy Alexandros Zavos and the TV journalist Anna Panayotarea. At the end the organizational committee of the Global Forum for migration and integration passed on the torch to the Mexico representative, which will be the next year’s host.

The reports with the results from the meeting of the representatives of the civil society would not be bounding to the governments; however they give guidelines, in which they could plan their policies for a better future of the emigrants and the societies where they live. The governmental representatives have divided in accordance with their application for participation on the three round-tables the questions about:

- How to be put into work the bounding of the emigration with the development for reaching the Millennium development goals

- Integration, reintegration and circulation for development

- Political and institutional coherence and partnership

This evening on the plenary session for the discontinuing of the Global forum for migration and development in Athens will be announced the results from the discussions of the NGOs.

Marina Nikolova

Tags: Emigration Immigration UN Emigration in Greece
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