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San Cristóbal de la Casas, Chiapas, México August 29, 2007

Global Worker had an interesting meeting with the local office of the National Commission of Human Rights, a federal entity that investigates abuses by federal officials. In Chiapas they receive complaints from migrants in transit who have been victims of federal police abuse. Unfortunately, this is an all too common phenomena. Migrants going north are systematically exploited by corrupt police officials. Not surprisingly, the National Commission’s cases suffer from the same portable justice issues that plague all advocates representing transnational clients.

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México August 27, 2007

Global Workers approach in identifying potential partners is to make contact with organizations that have legal departments and outreach capacity. A legal department is necessary because the advocates will be assisting in labor cases originating in the USA, identifying new cases, providing direct legal services for issues that arise locally related to the migration, and to continually identify bigger picture legal and legislative challenges to portable justice that must be addressed. Outreach capability is equally important.

Brussels, Belgium July 10, 2007

Parallel to the governmental Global Forum on Migration & Development was the Global Community Forum on Migration, Development, and Human Rights organized by prominent NGOs. Especially since NGOs are marginalized in the government process, the need for NGOs, trade unions, migrant associations and church organizations to organize themselves on this issue is urgent. The inclusion of human rights in the conference title was deliberate. One can not discuss migration without human rights.

Brussels, Belgium, July 9, 2007

Global Workers was one of the 200 NGOs worldwide selected to participate in the Civil Society Day of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (www.gfmd-civil-society.org/index.html) on July 9 in Belgium. The Civil Society Day was created as a means of quasi participation in the government-only Global Forum on Migration and Development (www.gfmd-fmmd.org).

Yellow Knife, North West Territories, Canada June 30, 2007

Canada’s non-agricultural or Temporary Foreign Program (TFP) has similarities to the USA’s H-2B guest worker program. According to Canadian advocates, the TFP has grown exponentially, with 40,000 workers coming to the province of Alberta alone in 2006. Employers are not required to provide housing, transportation, or cover recruitment costs. It is typical for employers to rent housing to the workers, oftentimes charging inflated rents. Under payment of promised contract rates is rampant and enforcement is scare.

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