Dhaka, Bangladesh – The Churches Witnessing With Migrants (CWWM) held its 7th International Consultation prior to the convening of the 9th Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) Summit at Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The consultation was very significant as participants unanimously approved the organizational structure, orientation and program direction of the CWWM which was presented by Rev. Dr. Liberato Bautista. The approval of the said document affirmed that the CWWM is “an international tripartite network of grassroots migrants, migrant-serving groups, and religious and faith-based institutions” that is “loosely structured, intentionally assembled, and inclusively organized”. It is a movement-based, institutionally-supported, and grassroots-oriented network whose members are acting together in multiple locations.
The CWWM will be guided by a Coordination Team, ensuring that the three groups will be represented. The participants also affirmed the Secretariat role of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines and Migrante International, in recognition of the two organizations’ historical role in CWWM.
Programmatically, the CWWM Framework Documents will inform the network of its work. These are the Consultation statements that participants collectively developed from the CWWM international consultations starting from the New York Consultation in 2013. The framework documents include programmatic calls that instruct the network on areas of collaboration and cooperation.
Another highlight of the consultation was a workshop focused on the UN Global Compact on Migration. The Global Compact is a set of agreements of states currently being drafted. It is an outcome of the UN Summit on Large Movement of Migrants and Refugees held last 19th September 2016 in New York, USA. It is set to be adopted in 2018, a year before the UN High Level Summit on Migrants and Refugees in 2019.
Responding to the possible challenges of this international process, the participants were asked about what they think should be the role of the CWWM in the process leading to the Global Compact. The participants see the following as the most important issues that the Global Compact should address: criminalization of migrants and refugees, women and children, Rohingya and statelessness, rights to work, stay, leave, and unionize, and access to services, addressing the roots causes of migration, and dehumanization of people in transit. The results of the workshop will guide the network for its campaign related to the said UN process.
The participants also envisioned CWWM to be a platform for education and empowerment of churches and migrants; to develop mechanisms to monitor country’s compliance to treaties and instruments that ensure and protect the rights of migrants; and to develop mechanisms to grade nation’s adherence in protecting migrants’ rights; to do coordination to CWWM networks about the UN High Level Dialogue; CWWM networks to do lobby works on their respective countries, and to reach to other faith-based movements..
CWWM7 was held on December 6-8, 2016 at CCDB Hope Foundation, Baroipara, Savar, Dhaka. It was attended by forty-five (45) participants from eighteen (18) countries representing Latin America, North America, Europe, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa and was hosted by the National Council of Churches in Bangladesh (NCCB). ###