Goree Island, Senegal
Posted by Gerald Lenoir, Executive Director, Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Nunu Kidane of Priority Africa Network, Colin Rajah of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and I traveled from Oakland, California to Dakar Senegal to attend the World Assembly of Migrants (WAM) on Goree Island and the World Social Forum (WSF) at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar.
|A statue of freed slaves on|
Goree Island donated by the
government of Guadeloupe.
The Mayor reminded us that the event was taking place on the spot where the first brutal forced migration of Africans took place. The WSF representative spoke about the importance of migrant rights as a central theme of the Social Forum scheduled to take place February 6-11.
|Migrants from all over the world listen|
to the opening panel presentations at
the World Assembly of Migrants.
The 2-page draft charter reads, in part:
"We Migrants declare to the world that: MIGRATION WILL BE A FREE AND WORTHY CHOICE FOR ALL AND IN EVERY CORNER OF THE PLANET..." (emphasis in the original document)
(To read the entire draft of the World charter of Migrants, go to www.cmmigrants.org.
Tomorrow, the day will be spent pouring over the draft document. There will opportunities for the migrants assembled to give their input. By the end of the day, the charter will be adopted by those assembled. On Friday, migrants, along with their allies, will consider the future of the charter. for many, the future for migrants is depending upon migrants themselves articulating their rights and, together with their allies, fighting for them.
My colleagues and I will continue to blog from the WAM and the WSF until February 11. For photos of today and throughout the week, go to Priority Africa Network's D2D - World Social Forum web page at http://d2dworldsocialforumdakar2011.blogspot.com/