20 February 2015
Contact: Eni Lestari
Migrants Constituency, AP Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism
Chairperson, International Migrants Alliance
Include develop justice into this declaration – if not, please tell me where I should go to achieve it.
This was the challenge posed by Eni Lestari, chairperson of the International Migrants Alliance (IMA) and member of the migrants constituency of the Asia Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism (AP-RCEM), to Member States of the United Nations during the Interactive Dialogue with Major Groups and other Stakeholders.
AP-RCEM is a platform initiated, owned and driven by CSOs that aims for a stronger cross constituency coordination and ensure that voices of all sub-regions of Asia Pacific are heard in intergovernmental processes in regional and global level.
Since the AP-RCEM’s formation in May 2014, it has reached out to a broad number of CSOs and grassroots organizations such as the IMA for a more coordinated and effective engagement in various intergovernmental meetings.
Lestari was among those chosen by the Steering Committee for the participation of stakeholders to speak in the dialogue.
The dialogue served as the venue for civil society organizations to engage during the second negotiating session for the Post-2015 development agenda.
Lestari grounded her speech on her experience as a migrant worker, woman, and one whose life has been turned around due to the impacts of globalization and neoliberal policies implemented in Indonesia. She was forced to migrate due to falling livelihood of her family.
“Similar to others, I quickly found out that the promises of a better income and future were just fiction,” she remarked.
Based on her experience and the numerous more women and migrant workers, Lestari said that the post-2015 political declaration must lay out commitment and show the way to dismantle flawed global economic system.
“It must lay out a vision for new global, truly democratic economic and political systems that are just, sustainable and equitable. We call this development justice,” she added.
Lestari then outlined the basic shifts that development justice requires: redistribution of wealth, resources and power; economic justice that requires a system that does not rely on forced migration and cheap labor; gender and social justice that requires not only gender equality, health and wellbeing but also ending patriarchy; environmental justice that calls to make the planet habitable especially for the marginalized, and; accountability that calls for governments to realize their commitments.
Finally, Lestari issued the challenge for member states to commit to this kind of justice to usher in a truly equitable, sustainable and human-rights based development.#
Below is Eni’s speech at the Interactive Dialogue
Delivered on behalf of the Asia Pacific Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanism (RCEM) and the International Migrants Alliance
I am speaking on behalf of the Asia Pacific Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanism and the International Migrants Alliance to ensure that the voice of the most affected and the most marginalized by the current development model are heard.
I am a migrant domestic worker. We are amongst the most exploited and most abused workers.
Like most of you,I alsowanted education, prosperity and dignity. But globalization and neoliberal dictates that exposed Indonesia to serious crisis, threatened the security and survival of my family leaving me with no choice but to migrate for work. Similar to others, I quickly found that the promises of a better income and future were just fiction. Debt, exploitation and the denial of human rights are the realities of a system that promotes export and exploitation of migrant labor.
What does this mean for the post2015 Political Declaration?
It means laying out a commitment and a pathway to dismantle the foundations of the global economic system that promotes inequality, forced migration and dependency on cheap labor.
It must lay out a vision for new global, truly democratic economic and political systems that are just, sustainable and equitable.
We call this DEVELOPMENT JUSTICE that I call on you to incorporate in the political declaration.
This means that you must acknowledge that the current system depends on and produces injustice, and commit to remedying it.
To deliver this, all five foundational shifts must be incorporated.
– First, redistributive justice that redistributes wealth, power, resources and opportunities between countries, between rich and poor and between men and women. Your declaration must commit to democratization of global institutions and power; dismantle unfair trade, finance and investment systems; and commit to fairer redistribution of land and to land reforms that benefit small farmers and communities.
– Second, economic justice that means building economies based on solidarity, sharing and justice; and equally value the labour and contributions of all people. It must not rely on the remittances and exploitation of migrant workers.
– Third is environmental justice that aims tomake this planet habitable for all people, particularly the most marginalized, now and in the future.
– Fourth, gender and social justice that does not only promote gender equality, but seeks to end patriarchy and the systems that ensure women are cheap or unpaid labour, in the market and at home.
– Fifth, accountability to the people ensures that this process makes governments finally accountable for the commitments they have repeatedly made and repeatedly denied to the billions of people.
I hope that you can honour not just my request butthe demands of migrants and women like me. Please be ambitious, be brave, be honourable and be just. Incorporate Development Justice into this declaration – if not, please tell me where I should go to achieve it.