Freedom of movement

Emmaus International supports the national undocumented migrants’ march (France)

Emmaus International supports the national undocumented migrants’ march (France)

“From every corner of the country, we march for equality”: Answering the call from some twenty collectives of undocumented migrants, along with Marche des Solidarités and Etats Généraux des Migrations, and with support from over 200 different organisations, undocumented migrants have organised various marches in France since 19 September, which all met in Paris for a large protest march towards the Elysée Palace on Saturday 17 October.

From 19 September until 17 October, several hundred undocumented workers and their supporters crossed France, encouraged by the solidarity of the residents they met along the way. They all met on Saturday 17 October in Paris to march towards the Elysée Palace. Thousands attended.

Protesters and organisers are calling for the regularisation of undocumented people, the closure of administrative detention centres and housing for all. They are also calling for the government to guarantee their rights to ensure everyone protection in the workplace, in their daily lives and equal access to health care.

During this health crisis, many undocumented people have been frontline workers, and today a lot of them still have no rights, no employment and/or protection measures. This reality is reflected across many countries: this is why the transnational coordination of migrants has called for those living in exile and their supporters to spread this momentum across the whole of Europe and beyond.

The increase in policies of non-acceptance and disincentives mean that it is more necessary than ever to support the struggle of exiles around the world. Emmaus International, which has always been active in fighting for unconditional, dignified welcome and for States to respect their obligation to receive migrants, joins many voices which are being heard from around the world denouncing national, European and international laws that expose millions of people to oppression.

With this in mind, Emmaus International is currently involved in reflections and preparatory meetings for the first European Social Forum on Migration, which will be held in Lisbon from 18 to 21 March 2021, in a format adapted to the pandemic-related health situation. Similarly, since October 2019 we have been building an international alliance between local authorities and civil societies for unconditional and dignified welcome of migrants, and full respect for their fundamental rights.

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