April 28 Coalition for Migrants' and Refugees' Rights and Welfare
Declaration to launch a new Coalition. Die LINKE Berlin Internationals are founding members
We are a Europe-wide formation of grassroots organizations with a migration background: religious organizations, non-governmental organizations, civil society formations, institutions, political parties, influencers, academics and concerned individuals for migrants (regular and irregular), immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced peoples.We are united by our common objectives and shared values that all people have the right for equal protection in the continent.
In this time of Covid-19 pandemic, irregular or undocumented migrants are still NOT receiving health care services and social benefits. Yet they are those who for the longest time, have continuously contributed to the socio-economic development of their European host countries working as: carers for the elderly and children, cleaners of homes, cooks, and servers of meals in restaurants, pickers of fruits and vegetables, builders of office towers, deliverer of takeaways, etc. In the UK, Ireland, and Spain, irregular or undocumented migrant workers and asylum-seekers with professional medical training, are already being recruited to work in care homes and hospitals in response to the medical emergency.
In recognition of the vulnerable situation of migrants and refugees, Portugal (See 1) granted them full citizenship rights and allowed them to access health care and financial aid during the pandemic. Similar calls for regularization of irregular or undocumented migrants are being made by French, Spanish, and Italian parliamentarians.
As we face the pandemic, we call on each other to strengthen our solidarity among migrants, refugees, and displaced people with workers and the local population in receiving countries and the sending countries. We need to continue the fight not only against the virus but also against forced migration, exploitation, and oppression brought about by globalization.
We call on the head of states and policy-makers of all European institutions to ensure that during and after the pandemic, the most vulnerable communities of migrants, refugees, and displaced people are protected and afforded social and welfare assistance in recognition of their sacrifices and contribution towards alleviating the current global health crisis.
To this end, we ask the following:
Regularization and/or full citizenship rights for all migrants, immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced peoples, including irregular or undocumented migrants!
States should provide health and other social services regardless of immigration status and address homelessness and food insecurity!
End immigration detention and deportation!
We give our commendation to all the health workers and other key workers, substantial numbers of them coming from migrant and immigrant communities. They exposed themselves to the risk of infection in serving and taking care of those in need. We express our highest respect for those who have already fallen in the course of their service, and we mourn for the tens of thousands who have succumbed to the sickness.
We commit to building this April 28 Coalition. Beyond this, we pledge to continue working with each other for the upliftment of the most vulnerable people.
As our firm commitment to our united calls, we sign this unity statement this 28th day of April 2020 during the Commemorations of the UN’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work and the International Day of Remembrance and Action for Workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work as declared by the International Labor Organization.
1 Schengen Visa Info, 2020. Portugal Grants Migrants and Asylum Seekers Full Citizenship Rights During COVID-19 Outbreak