[ 19. Jun 2006 ]

Migrations, fundamental rights and freedom of movement

EuroAfrican Nongovernmental Conference, June 30 - July 1, 2006, Rabat - Morocco


As actors of civil societies in SubSaharan Africa, North Africa and Europe, as activists fighting for migrants' rights and for solidarity with the exiles, as indignant witnesses of the massacre increasingly taking place off the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts, we refuse to see humanity split between those who may freely move around the globe and those who may not. We also refuse a world where borders are more and more militarized, dividing continents and transforming every group of countries into a besieged fortress.

We know that the origin of the socalled migration « issue » between Africa and Europe first lies in Europe : Europe is not being invaded by the demographically insignificant African migratory flow. The fact is that European interests, protectionism and phobias, while imposing trade agreements, transform Europe into a besieged fortress through the successive closure of all borders. Europe points to foreigners as a threat and fosters an intolerable amalgamate between migration and terrorism. It misuses development aid funds as instruments for the prevention of migrations, and transforms the right of asylum into a right of rejection in order to vindicate police roundups and deportations of rejected asylum seekers. Europe multiplies agreements with countries south of the Mediterranean in order to impose that they share the processing and repression of migrations. It sometimes even pushes solidarity associations into keeping foreigners out. Although the prime responsibility lies with the European states, African countries also are to blame when their deficiencies and their malfunctions lead to economic or political standstills that leave their citizens with the only option of emigration. However, no one can ignore the imbalance of power between African and European states.

Political and diplomatic trends over the last ten years or more, and the most recent developments, show that institutions, especially in the EuroMediterranean and EuroAfrican areas, are instilled with the antimigration ideologies that prevail among the leading elites in Europe and increasingly in North Africa. Within a few months of the next intergovernmental conferences on the subject, we more than ever fear that security and diplomatic technocrats agree on the selective closure of borders to the people that are the most exposed to misery and persecutions. We know that xenophobic nationalism has always been and still is an easy frame of reference for governmental policies, and that it is as dangerous to our future as it has proved to be devastating in our past. That frame of reference may be linked with market considerations promoting the selection of the useful labour force and brain drain policies. We think that there is a real risk that agreements across the Mediterranean bring about an elite consensus dissociating the interests of elites and those of ordinary people, and leading to the creation of buffer zones and the segmentation of Africa.

Such are the reasons why:

We call on those who are active in civil societies in North Africa, SubSaharan Africa and Europe to participate in the EuroAfrican nongovernmental Conference on the respect of the fundamental rights of migrants, on freedom of movement for all, on development and prosperity sharing policies devoid of security concerns, on the fight against securitarian policies and their consequences, on policies of admission and integration that can restore the right of asylum and secure the recognition of immigrants'rights as workers and citizens.

At the end of the conference, the first EuroAfrican non governmental manifesto on migrations, fundamental rights and freedom of movement will be adopted.

To join the associations that call the conference : conferencemigrations (at)

secretariat for the steering committee : Association Marocaine des Droits de l'Homme

Structure of the conference

The conference will take place in four parts, each with a specific deliberative assembly that might split into smaller working groups.

Friday, 30 June 2006 : morning : PLENARY SESSION
- Opening
- Presentation of the participants and aims of the Conference
- Organization of deliberative assemblies for each session and of the working groups

Friday, 30 June 2006 : afternoon : THEMATIC SESSIONS
Group work on each of the four themes (one acting secretary in each group)
- Theme 1 : Respect of fundamental rights, freedom of movement for all, rehabilitation of the right of asylum
- Theme 2 : Facing securitarian policies and their consequences
- Theme 3 : Development and prosperity sharing
- Theme 4 : Policies of admission and integration for the rights of migrant workers and citizens

Saturday, 1 July 2006 : morning : THEMATIC SESSIONS
- Separate meetings of the four deliberative assemblies
- Pooling of proposals and synthetic conclusion on each of the four themes
- Collective discussion on the draft report for each theme
- Exploratory discussion on the strategy for « promulgating » and « activating » the conclusions

Saturday, 1 July 2006 : afternoon : PLENARY SESSION
Final synthetic conclusion

Public Demonstration