December 18 has been the International Migrant Day. On the basis of this symbolic date, established in 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly, some groups and organizations about migrants and refugees, previously involved in the 45th session of the PPT (hearings of Palermo 2017, Parigi 2018, Barcellona 2018, Londra 2018, Brussels 2019) signed a Manifesto to reaffirm solidarity and commitment to defend the rights and freedoms of migrants and refugees from all over the world.
The numerous social realities adhering to the Manifesto confirm the ever widening distance between the objectives of human rights desired by the UN and their effective implementation: in richer countries “physical and legal walls are still erected to prevent people from exercising their right to migrate or return to their countries”.
The Manifesto also incorporates many of the concepts that emerged in the PPT session mentioned. In April 2019, the PPT identified the continuing violations presented as “crimes against humanity and systemic crimes”. The PPT has recognized the responsibilities of the European Union in making the continent a “hostile environment”, “a scenario of systematic violations of the rights of migrants and refugees”.
As we read in the Manifesto “serious violations of human rights continue. In fact “to take place throughout the entire migratory path – from the country of origin, to the countries of destination and permanence: to the external, internal borders of Europe and within the territory of the member countries. These policies, illegal and illegitimate which are manifested above all in the border areas, represent in the judgment of the PPT an unacceptable injustice, which results in crimes against humanity”.
“Migration is a human right”. But in many cases it is not a choice but a constraint caused by “wars, ideological, ethnic, sexual or religious persecutions; or as a result of the practices of transnational corporations that together with the governments of different countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, expel local populations to misappropriate their resources. In this case, the exercise of the right to migrate and cross the borders imposed by capital becomes an act of resistance for individual and collective survival”.
According to the Manifesto, support and solidarity initiatives have been promoted against denying the rights of migrants and refugees: “the 45th session of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal, the General States of Migration in France, citizens’ disobedience and solidarity initiatives in Spain, Greece, Italy and elsewhere in Europe, as well the solidarity in the United States, Bangladesh and Mexico, are some examples that must be grown and reinforced”.
As the Manifesto concludes, “there is no crisis of migrants, but a crisis of “state policies”, which prevent a right which is part of history: “the right to migrate”.