Beyond Borders:
Bringing Activists Together for Migrants’ Rights

June 19, 2017

Last month, during the 2017 Sabir Festival of the Mediterranean Cultures in Syracuse, Sicily, migrants’ rights groups from the Euro-Mediterranean and Latin America came together to share their experiences and collaborate. With some activists traveling hundreds of miles to attend, the festival presented a rare opportunity for migrants’ rights organizations working in vastly different contexts to discuss strategies, tell stories, and learn from one another.

The Fund supported Mexican grantee Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado Democrático de Derecho (FJEDD) and a member of the Argentine Team of Forensic Anthropologists (EAAF) to attend the launch, and participate in a discussion on approaches to supporting families across the two regions.

The conversations at the convening revealed some major similarities and differences between migrants’ rights work in the two regions, and made clear how urgent the need on the ground is. The groups primarily homed in on how best to support the families of migrants who die or disappear in transit. To extend the dialogue beyond the room and across borders, the Fund, activists, and NGOs also live-tweeted during the event – check out the highlights of the conversation below:

Migrants’ Rights in the Euro-Mediterranean Region

Participants began by describing the increasing scale of the migrant crisis in the Euro-Mediterranean region and the sheer loss of life migrants face in transit:

The activists also noted hurdles and next steps for their work:

Doctors Without Borders was also present at the convening, discussing their anti-trafficking work and search and rescue operations which save countless lives:

Migrants’ Rights in Latin America

While migrants in the Euro-Mediterranean often lose their lives at sea, migrants in Latin America face organized crime, forced disappearances, and a lack of will from law enforcement to investigate abuses:

Activists from Latin America explained that one of their most successful techniques to obtain justice for migrants is by working with their families:

Thank you to everyone who participated in the conversation on Twitter or in person! For more information on the festival and the organizations who were present, click here.