About the Tribunal

The International Migrant Tribunal on the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) put on trial the GFMD for its neoliberal design on migration that posits that sustained and orderly migration leads development. This event particularly highlighted the resistance of grassroots migrants against such machinations.

The tribunal heard testimonies from witnesses from migrant grassroots organizations that actively oppose the GFMD. These organizations coordinated and planned the International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR) in Manila (2008), Athens (2009), and Mexico City (2010). Judges heard testimony from three expert witnesses and six issue based witnesses.

The organizers prepared an indictment and served the indictment to the accused. The accused was the various national governments who have played key roles in the GFMD, in particular members of the Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee includes Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Migrant Tribunal invite


Summation of the Prosecution

In a closing statement, the prosecution provided a summary of its arguments against the GFMD.

  1. On the First Charge: We have established that Defendants have violated Complainant’s human rights by prescribing migration policies in furtherance of their neoliberal agenda of commodification of labor and modern-day slavery.
  2.  On the Second Charge: We have demonstrated the criminal neglect of Complainants’ economic rights and violation of their political, economic, social and cultural rights by the Sending States.
  3. On the Third Charge: We have shown the violation of the Complainants’ political, economic, social and cultural rights by the Receiving States.

The prosecution provided evidence on the following issues to proving that the Defendants a) promote measures violating the rights of migrants; b) remain silent about systemic violations; and c) habitually fail to alleviate the plight of migrants. The testimonies describe abuses and violations as a result of the following policies or conditions:

  1. European Return Directive (Luz Miriam Jaramillo)
  2. Refugees (Rex Osa)
  3. Domestic Workers (Eni Lestari)
  4. Women Migrant Workers (Viviana Medina)
  5. Seafarers (Gregario Cagod)
  6. Labor Export Policy (Gerry Martinez) 

Please see link below for the full summation of the prosecution:

IMT Prosecution’s Closing Summation

Profile of Judges

From left: Bishop Soritua Nababan, Monique Wilson, Niikura Osamu, Ana Lorena Delgadillo, and Roland Tolentino

From left: Bishop Soritua Nababan, Monique Wilson, Niikura Osamu, Ana Lorena Delgadillo, and Roland Tolentino

1. Reverend Doctor Soritua Nababan of the Protestant Christian Batak Church is the current president of the World Council of Churches. He has a long history of involvement in Christian organizations including the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, and the Christian Conference of Asia.

2. Monique Wilson is a famous Filipino actress, feminist, and activist. She played Kim in the West End production of Miss Saigon in addition to appearing in countless stage productions, movies, television shows, and recorded albums. She is a member of Gabriela Women’s Party and spearheading the “One Billion Rising” campaign in the Philippines.

3. Osamu Niikura is the current secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and the vice president of the Japan Lawyers International Solidarity Association (JALISA).

4. Ana Lorean Delgadillo is the current director of the Foundation for Justice and Rule of Law in Mexico which works with families of migrants to promote truth and justice for victims of crimes during transit through Mexico. Previously, she directed the Department of Truth and Justice for the Commission to Prevent and Eradicate Violence against Women in Ciudad, Juarez, and Chihuahua.

5. Roland Tolentino is a teacher, writer, and activist, and the current dean of the College of Mass Communications at the University of the Philippines, Diliman campus.