A Seminar presented by ACLS African Humanities Fellow, Dr. Ekanade Olumide Victor Dr.
Protection of Migrants Rights: in Africa and throughout the World
“Protection des Droits des Migrants en Afrique et dans le Reste du Monde”
This public lecture jointly organised by the West African Research center (WARC) and the Senegalese Human Rights Committee was held at WARC on Saturday, July 20, 2013. Questions of migrants rights and related issues were addressed by a panel of distinguished scholars and specialists. These
included Professor Ndioro Ndiaye, former Snegalese Minister of Health and former Deputy Director of the United Nations International Organisation for Migration; Malick Sow, magistrate and chairman of the United Nations Committee on Arbitrary Detentions; Alioune Tine, former president of the Senegalese human rights organization, Raddho, and currently chairman of the Senegalese Human Rights Committee.
The panelists lamented the lack of, or disregard for, appropriate national and international legislation to protect migrant workers whose only fault is having left their national homes to go to alien and often hostile lands. This, in the pursuit of life, happiness and liberty and to prove themselves as worthy sons and daughters by the remittances they regularly send back home. This contributes not only to their families, but to national welfare in their respective countries of origin.
A plea was made for increased protection of migrants, especially by international bodies such as the United Nations and the African Union.
The opportunity was also taken by some representatives of development NGOs to lambast the sometime regrettable behavior of some of our diplomats who all too often forget that they are primarily accredited in order to watch and care for their fellow countrymen established abroad.
The discussions were very lively, especially with the presence of the cabinet director of the Ministry of Senegalese Abroad. In his capacity as the representative of the minister in charge of Senegalese abroad, M. Ibrahima Fall explained that the welfare of such Senegalese in foreign lands was a priority for the government, as they are major contributors to the national economy with remittances and other money transfers annually amounting to billions of CFA.
The event was attended by no less than 88 people, including Senegalese former diplomats, West African ambassadors in Dakar, NGO and civil society officials, researchers, clerics from the Christian and Muslim communities, and the larger public.