Jun 19 2013
Jun 16 2013
After receiving the award I spoke at the Royal Academy about women’s rights and the importance of secularization of state, society and education system.
Got standing ovation.
June 4, 2013.
Bilateral meeting with European Parliament Vice President Isabelle Durant. And with the members of DROI, FEMM and DEVE committees and the Delegation for Relations with South Asia at the European Parliament. Meeting with Human Rights Actions Unit on the Sakharov Prize Network. Planning to make the world a better place.
Belle rencontre, simple et directe, avec @taslimanasreen, menacée de mort pour sa parole sur le Droit des femmes et le fanatisme religieux.
— Isabelle Durant (@Isabelle_Durant) June 4, 2013
Le Soir published an interview on the right to blaspheme.
June 3, 2013.
I was welcomed, introduced and honored by Senators Marie Arena and Jean-François Istasse at the Belgium Senate. Members of UN WOMEN were present. I gave a speech on women’s education and independence, I also encouraged people in the Muslim countries to fight for a true democracy and a secular state – a state which affirms a strict separation between religion and state, and maintains a uniform civil code, a set of secular laws that are not based on religion, but instead, on equality, and an education system that is secular, scientific, and enlightened.
Spoke as a guest speaker at the plenary session of the European Parliament.
What I tried to say was that the Islamists have gained unbelievable strength in Bangladesh over the years. They have been showing off their strength by harassing, abusing, stabbing and murdering anyone who protest against their atrocities. Atheists have the right to criticize religion, but no one has the right to kill them, just like no one has the right to kill religious people for being religious! EP must condemn the attacks and threats against atheists, secularists and freethinking bloggers and call on the Bangladeshi government to guarantee their safety, respect free expression and prosecute Islamists who threaten, attack and harm critics. Freedom of expression, including to criticize Islam and Islamism as well as to blaspheme, is a basic right. The barbaric and brutal anti-blasphemy law must be abolished.
Attended the debate on the role of media to change the society at the Millennium Film Festival in Belgium. I said, media is busy to entertain people rather than to enlighten people.
Jun 15 2013
Are men to blame for menopause? They might be, according to a new study. In our evolutionary past, men’s preference for younger mates made fertility pointless for older women. This, in turn, may have eventually led to menopause.
In our evolutionary past, men’s preference for younger mates made fertility pointless for older women. This, in turn, may have eventually led to menopause.
How do you evolve infertility? It is contrary to the whole notion of natural selection. Natural selection selects for fertility, for reproduction–not for stopping it.
Over time, competition among men of all ages for younger mates has left older females with much less chance of reproducing. The forces of natural selection are concerned only with the survival of the species through individual fitness, so they protect fertility in women while they are most likely to reproduce.
After this period where women are most likely to reproduce, natural selection ceases to quell the genetic mutations that ultimately bring on menopause. This leaves women not only infertile, but also vulnerable to health problems.
This theory says that natural selection doesn’t have to do anything. If women were reproducing all along, and there were no preference against older women, women would be reproducing like men are for their whole lives.
Essentially, the very fact that men selected younger women means that older women lost the ability to reproduce. If women had selected younger men for reproduction, the outcome would have been reversed. Men would have lost their fertility while women would have stayed productive
They make sense. But an evolutionary biologist challenged the ‘blaming men for menopause’ theory. He said :
The authors argue that the menopause exists in humans because males have a strong preference for younger females. However, this is probably the wrong way round – the human male preference for younger females is likely to be because older females are less fertile. It makes more sense to see the human male preference for younger females largely as an evolved response to the menopause, and to assume that ancestral males would have been wise to mate with any females that could produce offspring. Evolutionarily-speaking, older females faced an interesting ‘choice’: have a child that may not reach adulthood before your own death, or stop reproducing and instead focus on helping your younger relatives reproduce.”
I was never convinced by the grandmother theory anyway. The ‘older women are for taking care of younger women’s children’ theory always sounds strange to me. I would have convinced if there were a grandfather theory as well. Grandfathers also take care of their grandchildren. Don’t they? After having menopause an average woman goes on to live for another 30 years. It is more than enough time to raise children. This extended longevity – plus later childbirth – could potentially alter the timing of the menopause, over a significant ‘period of time, researchers believe. They say, ‘the social system is changing. There are women who are starting families later, because of education or a career.This trend would mean those women would have a later menopause, and those genes would be passed on to their daughters with the possibility of menopausal age being delayed.’ Yes, it would take unbelievably long time because our social structure is by all means patriarchal. Patriarchal system has been indoctrinating men to marry younger women and women to marry older men. As long as poverty and patriarchy exist, men would continue marrying much younger women, they might not even stop marrying female children. Child marriage is becoming illegal, raping children is so increasing in many societies.
Women experience a major, rapid change in fertility as they menopause. But men’s changes are not very significant. ‘Testicular tissue mass decreases and the level of the male sex hormone testosterone stays the same or decreases very slightly. There may be problems with erectile function. But it is still a general slowing, rather than a complete lack of function. The tubes that carry sperm may become less elastic. The testes continue to produce sperm, but the rate of sperm cell production slows. The epididymis, seminal vesicles, and prostate gland lose some of their surface cells but continue to produce the fluid that helps carry sperm.Bit in case of women, It is an end of fertility. The body no longer makes female hormones after menopause. Hormone replacement therapy is dangerous. It causes cancer.
Not necessarily nature, it is society dominated by men that has given men the privileges to mate with younger women which is the reason for them being fertile forever and suffer from different health problems much less than women of the same age. Because of menopause or lack of hormones, women suffer from Osteoporosis,Heart disease, Poor bladder and bowel function,Poor brain function (increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease), Poor skin elasticity (increased wrinkling), Poor muscle power and tone, Some deterioration in vision, such as from cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye) etc. Women do not deserve to suffer from these diseases.
Jun 13 2013
When a 14-year-old boy from the Syrian city of Aleppo named Mohammad Qatta was asked to bring one of his customers some coffee, he reportedly refused, saying, “Even if [Prophet] Mohammed comes back to life, I won’t.”
A group of Islamist rebels, driving by in a black car, reportedly heard the exchange. They stopped the car, grabbed the boy and took him away.
Qatta, in refusing to serve a customer coffee – it’s not clear why – had used a phrase that the Islamist rebels took as an insult toward the Prophet Mohammed, the most important figure in Islam. That offhand comment, made by a boy, was apparently enough for these rebels to warrant a grisly execution and public warning.
When they brought him back to where they’d taken him, his head was wrapped by a shirt.
The rebels waited for a crowd to gather; Qatta’s parents were among them. Speaking in classical Arabic, they announced that Qatta had committed blasphemy and that anyone else who dared insult the Prophet Mohammed would share his fate. Then, the shirt still wrapped around the boy’s head, the rebels shot him in the mouth and neck.
Why did the boy refuse to serve them coffee? Asia news says, they wanted coffee for free, so the boy protested.
Islam inspires Muslims to be barbaric, cruel and inhumane. But all Muslims are not cruel. The credit should not go to Islam. Islam has nothing to do with Muslims being kind, or not cruel enough to kill people. The credit should go to those Muslims who prevent themselves from being cruel because they are somehow influenced by the principles of democracy and the concept of human rights.
This is true Islam that kills people whoever criticizes Islam the religion, Allah the god and Muhammad the prophet. The prophet started killing infidels in the 7th century. His followers have been proudly continuing the killing in the 21st century. They wish to continue till the day of judgment.
Jun 12 2013
How do you want to fight superstitions? Do you want to abuse superstitious people? You want to beat them up? Shout at them? Sue them?
Do you want to use philosophy, history, literature to fight superstitions?
Most likely nothing would work.
Promote scientific outlook and rational thinking. Popularize science.
It might work.
Jun 10 2013
We rational people know about Richard Dawkins’s excellent answer to a stupid ‘what if you’re wrong’ question. Now let’s enjoy the art. And let the believers think about what Dawkins says until they get back their rational logical mind.
Jun 10 2013
Jun 09 2013
Susan Sarandon said that as a child, she had many questions about religion — questions that got her into trouble and ultimately made her rethink her relationship with religion as an adult. She said some of the Catholic teachings she never understood and she shared what happened when she asked innocent questions to better understand her religion.
She said, “I was a very quiet kid, a very wanting-to-please kid.But certain things didn’t make sense to me and when I questioned them, there was a problem.”
The religious teachings Sarandon questioned was the rule that marriage must take place in the Catholic Church. She wanted to know how Joseph and Mary were married, since Jesus didn’t make it up until later. She got punishment for questioning religion. She had to go stand in the hallway. She was in third grade.
Sarandon was looking for answers that made sense to her. She said “I was not trying to be a wise-ass, I just didn’t understand why they would put babies in limbo just because they weren’t baptized..Why would they say every other religion was bad. I think that all religions at their core have some really magnificent teachings, and most of them are very similar. It’s the institutionalization of these religious principles that don’t serve me well.”
And what do I think? I think all the magnificent teachings religion have are not owned by religion. Those teachings or ethic code or morality already exited in every society before religion was created. Religion just hijacked those teachings without mentioning the source. We should give credits to the philosophers and wise men/women of ancient society for those magnificent teachings. Let’s read some of ancient teachings or the golden rule that existed long before religion.
The Golden Rule existed among all the major philosophical schools of Ancient China: Mohism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Examples of the concept include:
“Zi Gong asked, saying, “Is there one word that may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life?” The Master said, “Is not reciprocity such a word?” – Confucius
“Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” – Confucius
“If people regarded other people’s families in the same way that they regard their own, who then would incite their own family to attack that of another? For one would do for others as one would do for oneself.” – Mozi
“The sage has no interest of his own, but takes the interests of the people as his own. He is kind to the kind; he is also kind to the unkind: for Virtue is kind. He is faithful to the faithful; he is also faithful to the unfaithful: for Virtue is faithful.” –Laozi
“Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.” –Laozi
An early example of the Golden Rule that reflects the Ancient Egyptian concept of Maat appears in the story of The Eloquent Peasant, which dates to the Middle Kingdom (c. 2040–1650 BC): “Now this is the command: Do to the doer to cause that he do thus to you.” An example from a Late Period (c. 664 BC – 323 BC) papyrus: “That which you hate to be done to you, do not do to another.”
The Golden Rule in its prohibitive form was a common principle in ancient Greek philosophy. Examples of the general concept include:
“Do not do to your neighbor what you would take ill from him.” – Pittacus (c. 640–568 BC)
“Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing.” – Thales (c. 624 BC – c. 546 BC)
“What you do not want to happen to you, do not do it yourself either. ” – Sextus the Pythagorean. The oldest extant reference to Sextus is by Origen in the third century of the common era.
“Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you by others.” – Isocrates (436–338 BC)
“What thou avoidest suffering thyself seek not to impose on others.” – Epictetus
“It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly (agreeing ‘neither to harm nor be harmed’), and it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life.” – Epicurus
“…it has been shown that to injure anyone is never just anywhere.” – Socrates, in Plato’s Republic. Plato is the first person known to have said this.
Seneca, maybe following Publilius Syrus, told “ab alio expectes alteri quod feceris” (expect from others what you did to them) and “non est quod credas quemquam fieri aliena infelicitate felicem” (it is not so, as you might believe, that one is made happy through the unhappiness of others).
The good teachings do not belong to religion, some of the bad teachings against humanity and some of the lies and ignorance about the universe do.
Jun 09 2013
350 women were put through virginity test during a mass marriage programme organised by the Madhya Pradesh government in India. It is not the first time. The same state forced women to have virginity tests during a mass marriage ceremony in 2009. Girja Vyas, the head of national commission of women then said, “Such a shameful act where girls had to reportedly undergo tests to prove their chastity to avail the government’s financial aid were sinful and could not be tolerated in a sane society.”
Of course the heinous crimes have been tolerated. Otherwise how could the same people commit the same crime against women in 2013? In the name of helping poor people through mass marriages the authority provides men tight virgin vaginas, so that men can loose themselves and go fuck them as much as they want. The authority has reduced women to mere vaginas. They believes in women’s chastity. Are they concerned about men’s chastity as well? Of course not. A woman must be a virgin if she wants to get married. Who she is married to is not at all important, Nothing matters if the bridegroom is a polygamous or polygynous man, or a women abuser, a dowry murderer, a trafficker!
Let’s learn about virginity test.
Some cultures require proof of a bride’s virginity prior to her marriage. This has traditionally been tested by the presence of an intact hymen, which was verified by either a physical examination (usually by a physician, who would provide a certificate of virginity) or by a “proof of blood”, which refers to vaginal bleeding that results from the tearing of the hymen. The physical examination would normally be undertaken before the marriage ceremony, while the “proof by blood” involves an inspection for signs of bleeding as part of the consummation of marriage, after the ceremony.
I do not think mass marriage organizers called skilled physicians to do the virginity test. Men in authority know how to do it. They just need a proof of blood. I think they pushed their fingers, their arms, their dicks, their dickheads, their bamboos, their bottles, their iron rods into the vaginas to see how the poor girls bleed. Men like to see women bleeding and crying in pain. They get enormous pleasure exploiting, abusing, humiliating and insulting women. Nothing new.
Jun 01 2013
I was at UNESCO to receive Universal Citizenship Passport on May 23. It was really a great day. André Cohen, from Mouvement Utopia wrote an article here as a guest blogger about our celebration for the freedom of movement and settlement.
Freedom of movement and settlement – It used to be a Utopia, it is now a necessity.
As with drug prohibition, sexual and gender education, as well as market regulation, what seems like the greatest difficulty with migratory policies is not imagining realistic alternatives, but establishing that there can, and that in fact there must be alternatives to today’s dead-end repressive consensus among the governing classes of dominant powers.
I will not delve into the complex issues of identity and multiculturalism, save to remind our readers that top anthropologists, sociologists, geographers, historians have established at least four decades ago that identity, be it national, gender, local, class or ethnic, is an ever-fluctuating social construct, which evolves according to the political and social issues of each era. So far, to my knowledge, none of the so-called scientific arguments of the mainly right-wing anti-immigrant populists have succeeded in proving these theories wrong in any substantial way.
No, today, most people I will expose the idea of freedom of movement and settlement will agree with the principle but object that it is unfeasible, utopian, in one word, unrealistic.
Now, in order to escape the most obvious counterargument, that of security issues, I will immediately make it clear that free movement and opened border policies are not the same thing. Indeed, as a European citizen, I have full freedom to enter Great Britain, Germany or any other neighboring country, and the right to settle and work there too. It does not mean however, that all these borders are unmanned, that the border patrols, customs officers and coast guards have all been let off. These borders, rife with cameras, mobile patrols and immigration service officers, are as “safe” as they ever have been, and the army and police can do their job looking for contraband, weapons, terrorists, criminals and smugglers. And Germany or Spain are free to kick me out if I behave improperly. Now that is made clear, I will show why, to me, the global freedom of movement and settlement is not a danger, but a necessity.
The invasion of the poor
The idea most often heard in rich countries regarding open immigration policies is the following: opening our borders would bring about a foreign invasion of poor people, a massive flow of starving masses, which would tear apart the national social fabric. They point to this or that neighborhood, this or that passageway to Europe, this or that crisis or conflict sending thousands of refugees at our doors.
As it turns out, most of it is not to be feared: of the more than 200 million migrants around the world, the immense majority have migrated from a southern country to another southern country, or from a northern country to another. This represents somewhere along 80% of migrations, leaving us with approximately 20% of South-to-North migratory trajectories. Not much of an invasion.
Moreover, despite our heavily armed and sealed borders being both costly and inefficient, letting through thousands of migrants, the total share of illegal immigrants among the world total is estimated at around 2%, a lot of them in a few major regions where the demand for a low-cost, undocumented labor force is concentrated. This explains both why the poorest neighborhoods in these regions are often cited as counterexamples, and why they are not representative of any major trend.
Another important factor here: we often cite the number of migrants who, legally or not, make it into rich countries, but rarely do the right-wing politicians evoke the number who willingly leave. It’s like they can barely imagine someone wanting to go back to Asia or Africa. Who would want that? I mean our Northern democracies are so much more civilized and…well, better!
In truth, a clear majority of migrants head back home after an average stay of 6 years. In the case of France, the share of migrants who leave within ten years of their arrival is 60%! And this share is comparable in most wealthy countries.
So, there we are with these few thousand people getting around our border fences and into rich countries, most of them planning to eventually go back to their countries of origin. It doesn’t seem like any invasion to me, but for the sake of debate, let’s admit this number could increase significantly if borders were suddenly opened. What then, would be our issues?
The first issue in the case of rich countries with well-developed models of welfare State is the perceived “social burden” that migrants would constitute, too often represented as slothful paupers enjoying a “Western lifestyle” without working or women with five or more children profiting from our school systems and child assistance policies. While everyone who lives or works in the bleak de-industrialized zones of these countries may be able to name an example of unemployed migrants who have given up on looking for a job, statistics show us this is anything but the main trend. The great majority of migrants are working age people who are quite productive and pay taxes (in many cases, undocumented workers pay taxes anyway, but do not have access to most public services). In fact, according to the World Bank’s figures for the early 2000′s migrants had brought over 160 billion dollars to the economies of industrialized countries. So in fact, migrants contribute quite heavily to our economies, on average more than non-migrants (since they are net contributors to State budgets that are in deficit), which can partially be explained by the fact that most are working-age, and even young and in good shape, in countries that are on average not so young anymore, and that so many leave before retirement age.
So not only does the deportation of an undocumented migrant very costly (costing a country such as France an estimated 700 million to 2 billion euros a year), it actually hurts the economy quite a bit. In fact, the risks taken to enter northern countries are such that although they don’t effectively deter candidates to immigration, they do deter migrants from going to their countries of origin, knowing full well that they would have trouble coming back. So these policies actually artificially creates undocumented workers (who feel stuck in the host country) and illegal immigration (by kicking out migrants who sneak back in).
Now to picture exactly how much this costs us, you must also take into account the effect of migrations on countries of origin. While these are not always positive (we’ve all heard of the infamous “brain drain”), they can be amazingly powerful on local and even national scales. Indeed, the money sent home by migrants is the first source of income of several different countries, in a few cases representing more than a third of the national income. Moreover, if you take all the combined sums sent back home to migrants’ families, this adds up (in 2007, once again according to the World Bank) to something around 337 billion dollars. This represents a whooping three times the total amount of the international aid to developing countries – probably a lot more considering the amount of that declared aid which simply consists in tax breaks for investors, debt reduction and canceling, and transfers to poor territories within rich countries, such as the American Samoa or the French Overseas Territories.
As we can see, not only are migrations a powerful factor for the development of their countries of origin, they also outbid the industrialized countries’ participation to this effort by a three-to-one ratio, which is that much less that rich countries have to give to avoid this or that country’s economic collapse.
The reserve army of capital
A second common perception of immigration which is widely spread by populist right-wing circles is that immigrants are the tools of the rich to keep the wages low, thus taking the “nationals”’s job away from them and driving them into poverty.
While in some cases, this statement is somewhat true, and much has been written about the subject by scholars much more knowledgeable than me on the matter, I can safely claim that this is not the case in a great number of cases.
In fact, a large number of unqualified jobs are unwanted by the local work force, not only because of the low wages but also due to the terrible work hours and working conditions, and above all for their near-complete absence of promotion perspectives (a terrible thing for those brought up in the Western myth of meritocracy). Among these, the most frequently cited are the lower wrung of construction jobs (dangerous, tiring), cooking job in restaurants (long and intense hours, terrible heat), gardening jobs (long hours, cold, rain and heat, very low wages), fruit-picking (only a part of the year, with very long days), janitorial jobs (dirty, thankless, exposed to toxic products and often in the very early morning), some factory jobs (noisy, exhausting and repetitive), taxi driving (long hours, irregular wage), and trash pick-up (dirty, early morning, quite physical). One striking example is that of slaughterhouses in French and German countrysides: since nobody in even remote villages is willing to do the dirty work, slaughterhouses have been recruiting out in the Turkish hill villages and Romanian hamlets, where the slaughter of chicken and goats is still an ordinary sight.
For most people growing up in rich countries, the wage is just not worth this kind of effort, risk-taking and degradation. Life is just better on public assistance or some part-time job as a clerk. These are the jobs European and North-American youth are just not raised to want. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of jobs that have stayed vacant despite four decades of mass unemployment.
Another factor that makes this fear of the job-thieves unrealistic is the demographic trend in Europe (as well as in Japan, and to a lesser extent, North America), where the average couple has less than to children, making the workforce shrink from year to year. Finally, one has to say that this prejudiced view is based on the perception of migrants as necessarily unqualified. This has never been father from the truth. Beyond the fact that over a fifth of African doctors have left the continent for Northern countries, today more than 40% of incoming migrants to France are college-level students, that is more than the percentage in the native French population.
Even if the number of immigrant workers necessary to keep Europe’s economy afloat given by the U.N., 195 million people needed by 2025, is arguably excessive; even if one can also think of ways to stimulate the economy by raising wages and making the working conditions in these undesirable jobs less stressful, one must agree on the fact that putting the full blame on the employers is sometimes not justified, and criminalizing the immigrant is a lot more absurd.
In fact, there is no correlation between unemployment levels and immigration, and such high-immigration countries such as Switzerland, Australia and Canada keep their unemployment levels far below the OECD average, while regions that house fewer immigrants, such as western Ireland, central Greece, eastern Germany and southern Italy often struggle with persistent unemployment problems.
These are a few of the arguments against anti-immigrant rhetoric that are backed by solid science and statistics. But once one proves migrants are good for the economy, only half the job is done. And numbers alone can’t show how much more than money is at stake by allowing migrants to travel freely.
Beyond the migrator economicus
To show the full picture, one has to take into account the dramatic human consequences of repressive migratory policies: migrant workers who’s only crime is their nationality are routinely detained, mistreated, deported; the filtering process for asylum seekers and refugees has become so rigged that less than 10% of files are accepted. While there certainly are some fakers, hundreds upon hundreds of cases of actual refugees sent back to war zones, dangerous situations, ravaged homes and miserable refugee camps. Every year, cases are revealed of people being denied asylum and getting killed just days after deportation, and many more people are jailed on arrival, with some countries considering illegal emigration a crime.
Moreover, over the last thirty years, thousands of migrants have died trying to enter northern countries through ever more dangerous routes.
The cultural aspect, taking into account all the cultural, linguistic, human wealth created by interactions between different people cannot be quantified but must surely be put forward. Immigrants today bring a huge influx of talent into scientific, musical, athletic, artistic sectors of industrialized countries.
But the bottom line argument is that of equity: today, the injustice created by the two tier travel system, residents of the global North being encouraged to study abroad, explore tourist destinations and take on jobs that let them travel around the world business class while citizens of southern countries are forced, sometimes brutally, to stay at home, no matter what their reason for traveling may be.
If you find these arguments convincing, I encourage you to learn more about the Organization for a Universal Citizenship and sign our Call for global freedom of movement and settlement, posted below.
Let’s see what the organization for a Universal Citizenship says about universal citizenship and for freedom of movement and settlement of people on a global scale!
We, citizens and representatives of organizations from the various continents, united within the Organization for a Universal Citizenship, call for universal citizenship and the freedom of movement and settlement.
Today, a change of policy in the field of migrations has become necessary: the systems that regulate migrations are essentially prerogatives of the States and are therefor no longer adapted to the realities of migrations in the 21st century, marked by globalization. These systems trample what constitutes, in our eyes, a fundamental right inscribed in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
These regulative systems institutionalize a two-tier mobility: the more privileged countries can offer their citizens almost limitless travel possibilities, whereas three quarters of humanity cannot escape a form of de facto home imprisonment. This indeed leads to outrageous administrative processes, excessive financial guarantee conditions, working conditions reminiscent of slave labor and a growing criminalization of illegal immigration… Migrants have today become victims of arbitrary decisions and institutional violence as well as preys for criminal networks.
In a number of Northern countries, we see a resurgence of myths built on fear and on xenophobic and racist prejudice. These feed into multiple forms of political intoxication and exploitation; they nourish the most reactionary currents, dangerously waving the fables of foreign invasion, of threats upon national identity and of the dangers of a so-called impossible integration. The prejudices then serve as basis for the most irrational closed-border policies and as justifications for the systematic violations of the most fundamental rights conferred to migrants by international treaties and conventions.
More tragically, the closing and militarization of borders, most notably those of Europe, North America and Australia have revealed themselves to be a murderous system for thousands of people over more than two decades. Costly in human lives, this system is also costly in public funds, throwing away several hundred million dollars, in times of recession, all for obviously inefficient results.
We believe it is illusory to think that closed borders and controlled migratory flows can stop those who have lost all hope of a better life at home from taking their chances elsewhere. We are also certain that we can’t stop those whose living environment has been destroyed by the ecological crisis from moving to greener pastures either. Climate refugees, already an estimated 38 million people today, could number as many as 150 million by 2050.
It is urgent to finally take an appeased look at migration as an ordinary social fact, a characteristic of times past, present and future, deeply related to global transformations of which they are both a cause and a consequence.
We’ve learned that humanity has built its history and wealth through migrations: it is an error and a denial to think it could be otherwise in the future.
We are determined to act today, in order to guarantee that every person’s fundamental rights be respected.
We call for the organization of an international conference in the United Nations on the theme of freedom of movement and settlement, and for the adoption of a legally binding international convention on this subject. It should be prepared by broad talks between all parties involved.
We invite everyone to support a strong symbolic initiative : the Universal Citizenship Passport. This Passport will serve as a travel document, recognized by signatory States, and will symbolize their engagement for the respect of migrants’ rights and for the recognition of the freedom of movement and settlement as a fundamental right for every human being, based on Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.
We demand the effective recognition of a universal citizenship for each inhabitant of our planet, guaranteeing for each person access to fundamental rights in each country where he may travel or reside. We also demand the parallel separation of citizenship from nationality, as is already partially the case in such frames as the European Union, the Mercosur, the CEDEAO or the Trans Tasman Travel Agreement.
Consequently, we call upon the associative and citizen movements, NGO’s, political parties, trade unions, social movements as well as economic actors who share our vision to support our initiatives, to spread our messages and to join the Organization for a Universal Citizenship.
We also call the States and their governments, the commonwealths and international organizations to join our Universal Citizenship Passport project and to struggle for the recognition of the effective right to a freedom of movement and settlement by international and United Nations institutions. We encourage them to sign multilateral agreements in favor of free circulation, to introduce national policies opening their borders and to guarantee the rights of migrants.
Finally, we call each citizen to mobilize for universal citizenship and for the global freedom of movement and settlement. We incite you to put pressure on all political levels for these perspectives to become realities.
Paris, May 23rd 2013.
Everything is so perfect! I just can’t stop loving it!