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Free Trade and the Right to (Not) Migrate


29 Sep 2016 to 30 Sep 2016


Maison des Associations Internationales
Rue Washington 40
1050  Bruxelles

Event Type

L - Conference, forum


Trade & Society

Event Location


Event Description

Since the implementation of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 the destruction of local economies and livelihoods drove many Mexicans into migration, to look for jobs and get money to send back home to their impoverished families.

Around the world, the forced implementation of trade liberalization, privatisation, and deregulation increased injustice and drove millions of peoples into poverty since the beginning of the neoliberal era. 

Today, the 21st century world trade order is in the making, through agreement like TTIP, TPP, and others. Those trade agreements aim to align the structure of economies, politics and societies worldwide to the demands of powerful states and transnational companies. This deep interference in the sovereignty of local, regional or national policy may create even greater injustice and thus more massive migration flows.

Free trade creates injustice. Thus, when we talk about the root causes of migration, we have to talk about trade policies. 


Venue: Maison des Associations Internationales, Rue Washington 40, 1050 Bruxelles (map)
Simultaneous interpretation will be available for the following languages: English | French | German | Spanish

September 29, 2016

17:00 Arrival & registration
18:00 Welcome note by Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Brussels Office
18:15 Welcome note by GUE/NGL

18:30 Globalisation, Labor Migration and the Myths of Free Trade

Keynote address by Professor Dr. Anwar M. Shaikh (New School for Social Research)

20:00 Reception (drinks & sandwiches)

September 30, 2016

09:30 – 12:00 Panel 1: Lessons from the past and present: NAFTA

Facilitator: Kim Weidenberg (Advisor for Human Rights Policies of the Left Parliamentary Group, Germany)

David Bacon (Writer, Union Organizer and Photojournalist)
Adriana Martínez Rodriguez (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Melissa A. Vertiz Hernández (Human Rights Center “Francisco de Vitoria”, Mexico)
Heike Hänsel (Vice-Chairperson of the Left Parliamentary Group, Germany)

13:30 – 16:00 Panel 2: Lessons from the past and present: European Partnership Agreements and the EU-Africa Nexus

Facilitator: Nicolai Röschert (Advisor for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Left Parliamentary Group, Germany)

Heba Khalil (Researcher, Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights) tbc
Aminata Traoré (Essayist and Activist for the Peoples’ United Nations)
Niema Movassat (Spokesperson for Food Sovereignty of the Left Parliamentary Group, Germany)

16:30 – 19:00 Panel 3: Lessons for the future: 21st century trade agenda, TTIP and migration

Facilitator: Paul-Emile Dupret (GUE/NGL Policy Adviser, Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament)

Genevieve Gencianos (Migration Programme Coordinator of Public Services International, France)
Corina Rodríguez Enríquez (Executive Committee Member of Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN))
Lola Sanchez (GUE/NGL) tbc
Ingar Solty (Advisor on Peace and Security Policies, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Berlin)

October 1st, 2016

09:30 - 12:00 Final session: Towards a left trade and migration policy

Facilitator: Alexander King (Foreign Policy Advisor of the Left Parliamentary Group, Germany)

Federico Pacheco Frías (European Coordination of Vía Campesina / SOC-SAT Andalusia)
Annette Groth (Spokesperson for Human Rights Issues of the Left Parliamentary Group, Germany)

12:00 Closing remarks

12:30 Lunch & departure


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