Human rights lawyer Preeda Tongcumnum is among the more than 200 migrant worker advocates gathering in Bogar, Indonesia, this week to take part in the Solidarity Center labor migration conference. As assistant to the secretary general at the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF), Tongcumnum helps migrant workers in Thailand understand their legal rights and advocates for policies that support migrant workers.
Another conference participant, Jane Barrett, affiliate support coordinator at the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), heads up a network of unions and worker associations that coordinate organizing and support for informal economy workers, including migrant workers. Barrett plans to “share some of our fledgling attempts and thinking around organizing migrant workers and to learn from other successful examples.”
Traveling from the United States, where he organizes a largely migrant workforce, Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Labor Organizing Network (NDLON), also is joining the August 10–12 event, Labor Migration: Who Benefits? A Solidarity Center Conference on Worker Rights & Shared Prosperity.
Tongcumnum, Barrett and Alvarado offer a glimpse of the broad range of migrant worker activists who are bringing their diverse experiences, challenges and successes together for three days to achieve one goal: empowering migrant workers.
They will share strategies on organizing migrant workers, reforming the labor recruitment process and ensuring migrant worker access to justice.
They will address xenophobia and gender equality, and they will take time to celebrate their victories: Members of the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) will mark achievements like the 2011 passage of an International Labor Organization convention stipulating rights of domestic workers, many who are migrants, and the formation of the organization which unites domestic workers from around the world.
Get facts about migrant workers and follow the events on our website and on Twitter @SolidarityCntr.