A conference on the State of the Global Protection System for Refugees and Migrants, 2018: Impressions and Outcomes

The inaugural session of the conference

Aditi Mukherjee writes a report on the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group conference dealing with protection system for refugees and migrants, organised in Kolkata, India, in November 2018.

The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (2016) recognised that the existing international regime of refugee and migrant protection needed a new push towards strengthening measures for protection. It was decided that two new global compacts – one for refugees and the other for migration will be adopted by the UN. However questions arise: how different will be the global compacts and what will be the promises and paradoxes they will come with? Through a six day research workshop and international conference organised in Kolkata by the Calcutta Research Group (CRG) on the State of the Global Protection System for Refugees and Migrants (25-30 November 2018) in collaboration with the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, these questions were explored against the backdrop of global, regional and national realities of population flows. Academics, activists, functionaries of international humanitarian institutions, and journalists from eighteen countries participated in this event.

Professor Ranabir Samaddar delivering a lecture on ‘Promises and Paradoxes of a Global Gaze’.jpg

(Prof. Ranabir Samddar delivering a lecture on ‘Promises and Paradoxes of a Global Gaze’)

The discussions of the panels of the workshop and conference fed into each other and certain issues were repeatedly raised. The Global Compacts were discussed from various perspectives. Professor Ranabir Samaddar (CRG) reviewed the Compacts by arguing that a new developmental gaze which links protection to development have turned the refugees from subjects of protection to subjects of neoliberal development. Refugee protection has become an affair of technocratic management which is oriented towards the necessities of the market and development goals. As refugees have become subjects of development, concerns about their welfare have declined. He emphasised that the compacts of speak of rights of migrants in a minimal way. Professor Jennifer Hyndman (York University) presented a trenchant critique of the global compacts in the first panel session on The Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants: Promises and Paradoxes. She argued that such compacts do little to change the complicated circumstances of protracted forced displacements which are entwined with the global mechanisms of neoliberal capitalism. The latter aspect was explored further in a panel on Global Capitalism and Refugee and Migrant Labour. Professor Byasdeb Dasgupta (Kalyani University) highlighted how the cheap labour of refugees and migrants forms a core aspect of neoliberal global capitalism. Professor Ilina Sen (Tata Institute for Social Sciences, Mumbai, retired) discussed the conditions of Asian female migrants who work as domestic workers in the Gulf region and the gendered nature of violence routinely experienced by them. Professor Irudaya Rajan (Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram) analysed the exploitative labour brokerage mechanisms for female domestic internal migrant workers in India.

A panel on the NRC in session

(A panel on the National Register of Citizenship in progress)

A panel on the Mediterranean Refugee ‘Crisis’ explored the context and content of the so called refugee ‘crisis’ that the Global North, especially, Europe is facing in relation to the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. Professor David Newman (Ben-Gurion University), Dr Federico Rahola (University of Genova), Professor Giorgia Dona (University of East London) and Professor Petar Bojanic (University of Belgrade) spoke on different aspects of the migration ‘crisis’ around the Mediterranean region. Here, refugees are attempting to escape war-torn areas while also contending with anti-migrant, xenophobic reactions by European countries combined with a draconian regime of border management, aimed at ‘governing refugees at a distance’. The discussions emphasised how the regime of borderlands is a dynamic, shifting and expanding notion, working through multiple governance strategies such as offshore detention techniques and hotspots. Migrants in turn create their own ‘underground Europe’ through counter-conducts attempting to challenge the exclusionary regime of borders.

Professor William Walters delivering the Valedictory Address

(Prof. William Walter delivering the valedictory address)

The activities of the research workshop and conference revolved around six major themes: Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants: promises and paradoxes; faultlines in forced migration including those of race, religion and gender; power and responsibility in the global protection system: the need to redefine the responsibility to protect; global capitalism and refugee/migrant labour; statelessness; migrants and movements across Asia.

The discussions of the panels of the workshop and conference fed into each other and certain issues were repeatedly raised. The Global Compacts were discussed from various perspectives. Professor Ranabir Samaddar (CRG) reviewed the Compacts by arguing that a new developmental gaze which links protection to development have turned the refugees from subjects of protection to subjects of neoliberal development. Refugee protection has become an affair of technocratic management which is oriented towards the necessities of the market and development goals. As refugees have become subjects of development, concerns about their welfare have declined. He emphasised that the compacts of speak of rights of migrants in a minimal way. Professor Jennifer Hyndman (York University) presented a trenchant critique of the global compacts in the first panel session on The Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants: Promises and Paradoxes. She argued that such compacts do little to change the complicated circumstances of protracted forced displacements which are entwined with the global mechanisms of neoliberal capitalism. The latter aspect was explored further in a panel on Global Capitalism and Refugee and Migrant Labour. Professor Byasdeb Dasgupta (Kalyani University) highlighted how the cheap labour of refugees and migrants forms a core aspect of neoliberal global capitalism. Professor Ilina Sen (Tata Institute for Social Sciences, Mumbai, retired) discussed the conditions of Asian female migrants who work as domestic workers in the Gulf region and the gendered nature of violence routinely experienced by them. Professor Irudaya Rajan (Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram) analysed the exploitative labour brokerage mechanisms for female domestic internal migrant workers in India.

A glimpse of a field visit to the migrant quarters at the Khidirpur Dock, Kolkata

(Field visit to migrant quarters located near Kidderpore dock)

In his Valedictory lecture, Professor William Walters (Carleton University) discussed the aerial geography of forced migration and how airways are increasingly used for deportation of migrants to further the geo-strategic manoeuvrings by receiving states, especially those in the Global North.

An interesting part of event were field visits by workshop and conference participants to different migrant quarters of Kolkata. Participants toured Kolkata’s labour migrant quarters spread across the East Calcutta Wetlands and the Khidirpur dock. There was an hour-long interaction with labour migrants at the Khidirpur Docks, who migrate mainly from villages in the Mithila region inWest Bengal’s neighbouring state of Bihar to Kolkata in search of work. The interaction was facilitated by a platform called Know Your Neighbour, Kolkata who work for maintaining communal harmony in West Bengal. The migrant workers frankly discussed their lives in the slums at the dock. They have migrated in the face of poverty in their native villages. The men live alone in the dock area, work as informal labour in various capacities and send money back to their families who continue to live in their native villages in Bihar. During the interactions they highlighted the lack of basic hygiene and amenities in these settlements.

Professor Meghna Guhathakurta releasing the Kolkata Declaration (1)

(Prof. Meghna Guhathakurta releasing the Kolkata declaration)

Building on the key ideas and arguments presented at the workshop-conference, the Kolkata Declaration, a resolution on the status of refugees and migrants was adopted and released on the final day. It highlights the highly uneven geographies of protection for refugees and migrants and calls for elimination of all forms of discriminations tied to race, religion, caste, ability, sexuality, gender and class. It stresses the need to strengthen the rights of stateless persons whose numbers are growing worldwide. It urges that the perpetrators of violence leading to forced displacement should be held accountable for their actions. It points to the less-acknowledged reality that the Asian region is one of the most volatile in terms of forced displacements and emphasises the urgent need for a new regional framework of protection for Asia. It is expected that the Kolkata declaration will have an impact on international organisations working with the refugees and migrants like the UNHCR, IOM and other state and non state organisations and individuals working for the empowerment of migrant or refugee communities and displaced people more broadly.

[Cover image: Inaugural session of the workshop]

Aditi Mukherjee is a Research Associate at CRG and a Ph D researcher in History at the Leiden University. She can be reached at aditi@mcrg.ac.in. 

 

One thought on “A conference on the State of the Global Protection System for Refugees and Migrants, 2018: Impressions and Outcomes

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  1. Subject – The CAB/NRC in North East India​ and the Partition of India – Courtesy Chaiwala​

    Dear Sir,

    Context

    This is w.r.t the CAB/NRC in North East India​

    http://sikkimexpress.com/news-details/skm-lying-to-people-on-citizenship-act

    As usual, this is the brainchild of Fat Pansy Humpty Dumpty – Amit Shah and Chaiwala Modi – son of a dishwasher.They both have 1 thing in common,id.est.,they are Gujaratis

    How many of these Bania vermin, have died for the Dubious Hindoo rashtra,in the wars fought by Dindoosthan.Even Shivaji used to kidnap and rape and plunder these Gujaratis (and the Shiv Sena,collects hafta from them – to date)

    The Word “Bastard” – for the Gujaratis

    Gujaratis are called Bastards,in the Mahabharata,as under:

    The Mahabharata,Book 8:Karna Parva,Section 45

    The Pancalas observe the duties enjoined in the Vedas; the Kauravas observe truth; the Matsyas and the Surasenas perform sacrifices, the Easterners follow the practices of the Shudras; the Southerners are fallen; the Vahikas are thieves; the Saurashtras are bastards.

    What does the Hindoo shastra think of Easterners ?

    The Hindoo scriptures think of “Easterners”, as devil worshippers and the lowest of the low, and as “Easterners follow the practices of the Shudras”- as stated above.

    Who are these Gujaratis ?

    These are the race born of the rapes by the Sakas,Scythians,Turks, Turkics,Greeks, Persians etc.,who discarded the raped woman and the child.The woman and the child were discarded by the Hindoos and interbred with carnal incest,over 2000 years,to mutate into the breed, that you see today.The Mahabharata calls them, a breed of “miscegnation” – id.est., born of unnatural copulation inter se with all forms of sentients.

    A race of liars,cheaters and impotenticas,who swap their wives and daughters,by advertisements in the media – and who have bankrupted the entire Indian Banking system.

    https://gujarat.locanto.net/tag/couple-swapping/༯a>
    http://gujarat.lookingmale.com/WIFE-SHARING/Couple-Swapping-in-gujarat.html༯a>

    Anovirun Organum – The Ashoka Complex

    Ashoka’s mother was a harlot and he was a deformed ugly man.Ashoka’s father was born when Chanakya cut open the womb of his mother,as she was fed arsenic by Chanakya.Ashoka’s grandfather was fed arsenic for years, by Chanakaya, to make him immune to poison – and 1 day, his wife drank the arsenic. So the dementia of the arsenic ran in the blood and DNA of Ashoka – and he became a savage dement – and the rest is history.Like his grandfather,this fool also became a mendicant,and died a loon

    Modi is of the same harlot pedigree with an unknown father and a harlot of a mother,plagued by the history of the rapes of his ancestors – which was their true worth.These sons of harlots are plagued by the rapes of their ancestors and know that they are not “Indians”.There are many such instances in history. Madhavacharya called Adi Shankara, a son of a harlot, as his father was unknown – and so Ade Shankara,compiled his compendium on Hindooism,to discard women and dalits,in status beneath dogs and pigs.Amit Shah is not worthy of a mention as the “Shah” breed is a pedigree of pure miscegnation

    Overtime,these Gujaratis,Palanpur Jains etc.,have convinced themselves that they are of the Lost Tribes of Israel (with the look of wonder woman – Gal Gadot)

    Hence,they dilute and hide their hate and shame – by creating unworthy enemies and then destroying them,for their insane satisfaction and the joy of the 2-300 million of their brigands,who are of the same intellectual pedigree,as the Gujaratis

    The “Indian” Muslim

    The “Indian” Muslim,who states that Rama was an Imam,Shiva was son of Adam,That Adam was sent to India,That Rama temple should be built and who pray to Rama and Ganesh – deserve doom and death (Just like the Mongols who eradicated Baghdad and its idolatory -inspired from Hindoo evil)

    The Gita allows the discrimination of Dalits and lower castes – as a Oral law made by Krishna – and allows their killing (like when Rama killed Sambuka).What hope is there for the Indian Muslims ? What is Article 14 and 15 ? These are meaningless and bogus ideals copied from the US/UK/EU Constitution – by the venerable Ambedkar,who had no other option.Ambedkar almost converted to Islam and said not 1 word, against the Marwari/Bania vermin,since a Bania sponsored his education in London

    The Gita Justifies and rationalises Caste

    It is far better to perform one’s svadharma (prescribed duties), even though faultily, than another’s duties perfectly. Destruction in the course of performing one’s own duty is better than engaging in another’s duties, for to follow another’s path is dangerous.” – Bhagavad-Gita 3:35.

    According to the three modes of material nature (goodness, passion, ignorance) and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society (Brahmin/KsHatriya/Vaisya/Sudra) are created by Me .And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable.” — Bhagavad-Gita 4:13.

    The Solution

    The Solution is “only partition”,for the evolution of the Human Race.Easterners were never a part of Hindooism, and there was never a Bharat or Hindoosthan

    There was 1 Bharat, whose father Dushyant called his mother a prostitute, and his son a bastard – and Bharat, had 7 sons from 3 wives,and not 1 looked like Bharat (The Story of Modi,Amit Shah,Ade Shankara,Ashoka………)

    There was another Bania,Rama Gupta – who handed over his wife to the Sakas,to save his life and gold.This bania,later lost both and his wife.

    Sakas = Pakistanis.

    Babar and his divine army just read the history of Rama Gupta – and the rest was more of the same history

    Dindoosthan is ruled by Bania vermin and Kshatriya rats.The End is Nigh

    The Easterners do not deserve to die for these Bania/Brahmin vermin and Kshatriya trash.Arunachal is Han and the rest is of Southern Tibetean origin – and it was a Tibetan who tortured and killed Zorawar Singh.The 1st Ahom King – the greatest ever – was a Chinese .Tripura is named after the 3 sons of a DEMON , and the state is stated to have been destroyed by Shiva , and the Triipurans are expected to be proud Hindus and Indians

    The Chinese Yueh Chi Tribe conquered and defeated the Dindooo Hindoos 2000 years ago.This tribe was kicked out of PRC then by the ruling kings.The Arunachalese are pure Chinese DNA of the elite PRC tribes.What is common between them and the Indian Mongrels ?

    It is the end of India – a dubious aberration of a fart of farcical history.dindooohindoo

    Regards

    Samir Sardana​

    Like

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