Istanbul, Turkey - October 11, 2015

People’s Global Action
The PICUM event was strategically planned to coincide with two other events, the ninth annual People’s Global Action (PGA) and the eighth Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).  Thanks to PICUM”s support, Executive Director, Cathleen Caron was able to attend all three consecutive events.
The People’s Global Action on Migration, Development & Human Rights is an independent civil society event parallel to the states-led GFMD process.  It provides an essential space for civil society to critically engage the governments’ GFMD process and to challenge states to undertake migration and development policy-making from a human rights framework, as well as hold governments accountable to their international human rights and development commitments.  
Global Workers Justice Alliance has participated in various PGA’s and GFMD’s over the years. The global dialogue is important, but it is difficult to carve out the time and engage in a meaningful way when regional demands are so pressing. About 150 people attended the PGA held at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul. In the morning, panelists covered the topics that would be covered at the GFMD, which include labor mobility, the area most relevant to Global Workers. Panelists discussed the state of affairs and what progress was made, if any, on their issue since the last PGA in Sweden in 2014. Elizabeth Mauldin, representing CDM, the International Labor Recruitment Working Group, and a collective of Mexican and Central American groups, known as COMPA (We are active in both coalitions), spoke about promising developments in the USA such as the California recruiter registry and the transparency bill, soon to be reintroduced into Congress.
The afternoon was mired in a discussion of the relevancy of the PGA. At the outset, civil society had extremely limited input and access to the government space. However, over time and as a result of strategic advocacy, the “Civil Society Days” portion of the GFMD took shape and is now the norm. The two days preceding the government-only GFMD are now known as the “Civil Society Days”. With governments as invited observers, organizations and private actors debate various issues on global migration. The idea is to develop messages that are then taken to the “Common Space” to present and influence the government debates. 
With less resources each year, organizing a fruitful PGA has become more difficult. After mush debate it was concluded that the space is still needed to make our messages more coherent in the Civil Society GFMD space. Due to a variety of logistical problems this year, the PGA was not as powerful an organizing space as years past. However, participants are hopeful that the next one, in the works for Bangladesh in 2016 will have renewed energy and focus.

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