Mindanao summit to address migration

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Monday, July 21, 2014


OVER 100 delegates from government and non-government groups will gather at the Pinnacle Hotel and Suites on August 7 to craft an action plan to address migration-related issues in Mindanao.

The Mindanao Summit on Environment, Migration, Peace and Development aims to unify government and international agencies, non-government organizations, and humanitarian groups toward a shared direction in addressing migration, environment, and peace and development issues.

Speakers of the summit are DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman, Minda executive director Janet Lopoz, and Representative Luz Ilagan.

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"The summit serves as a culmination of a series of regional consultations facilitated by us from September 2013 to February 2014, particularly in Soccsksargen, Armm, Caraga, Northern Mindanao, and Davao Region,"
Inorisa Elento, executive director of Mindanao Migrants Center for Empower Actions Inc. (MMCEAI), told reporters at the weekly Kapihan sa Dabaw on Monday.

The results of the consultations will be presented during the summit, Elento said.

The summit, the first of its kind organized in Mindanao, will gather stakeholders from the international, national and local levels "to develop a shared framework in understanding and addressing migration issues, in relation to environment and peace and development issues."

Toward the end of the summit, delegates are set to formulate a multi-sectoral action plan that will address migration, environment, peace and development issues affecting Mindanao.

She said the summit will also correct misconceptions regarding migration and serve as an avenue for stakeholders from the regions to present various forms of migration-related concerns in their areas.

"When we talk about migration issues, we usually refer to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who move to other countries in search of better employment opportunities. But there is a massive wave of internal migration that also needs the protection of ours laws," Elento said.

She added that internally displaced peoples (IDPs) are vulnerable to exploitation, illegal recruitment and human trafficking as they "are forced to migrate to other cities or municipalities due to poverty situation or calamities."

Elento said she hopes the summit will consolidate the recommendations by stakeholders through the multi-sectoral action plan "to integrate efforts for capacity building, policy reform, agenda setting and strategic directions."

"A recommendation will remain a recommendation if it won't be submitted. The summit will hopefully also be a submission of those recommendations," Elento said. (Brent Harvey S. Jimenez, AdDU Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 22, 2014.

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