12 November 2018

REMESO researchers Aleksandra Ålund and Carl-Ulrik Schierup took part in the 8th World Social Forum of Migrations (WSFM), 1-4 of November in Mexico City. Civil society from across the globe participated, representing migrant organisations, humanitarian and advocacy organisations, labour unions, and academics, engaged in numerous workshops.

The WSFM is a regularly occurring thematic event derived from the World Social Forum. It is a meeting space for unity in diversity, aiming to strengthen and articulate the voices of civil society, seeking to build a new vision of migration, and to promote inclusion, respect and equality in defence of the rights of migrants and their families. It is a forum for dialogue between migrant organisations, advocacy groups and labour unions, developing visions and strategies for confronting social exclusion and racism. The forum interrogates ground causes of migration, global inequalities, environmental crises and scrutinises alternatives to complex emergencies causing contemporary forced migration. One of the ambitions of the WSFM ahead is to develop a global solidarity network of “Sanctuary Cities”.

Dialogues and meetings during the WSFM in Mexico City were based on the following thematic parameters:
• Human, labor and union rights, social inclusion, hospitality and mobility.
• Realities of borders, walls and other barriers.
• Resistances, actors, movements and collective actions.
• The systemic crisis of capitalism and its consequences for migration.
• Migration, gender and body.
• Migration, the rights of Mother Nature, climate change and North – South disputes.
• Diasporas, transnational communities and an active migrant population.

In a plenary session on the theme of “Resistances, actors, movements and collective actions” Ålund focused on local and global social movements and the building of spaces of solidarity. In a plenary session on the theme of “The systemic crisis of capitalism and its consequences for migration” Schierup addressed dilemmas of global governance on migration in the context of precarisation, the deflation of human rights and the advance of the extreme populist right. Both interventions followed up questions discussed in a, newly published, topical special issue of the journal Globalizations, summarising results of long-term international research project on Migration, Civil Society and Global Governance, financed by the Swedish Research Council. The project was carried out by REMESO in collaboration with researchers at the Autonomous University of Zacatecas (Mexico) and Ankara University.

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