Sara Balabagan and Migration rights

Lorenzo Penya Laurentius at
Mon Oct 16 10:50:17 MDT 1995

Sara Balabagan's life has been saved thanks to all people in the world who
have sent messages of protest to the United Arab Emirates monarchic pro-
Western government. However, the fate of thousands upon thousands of poor
Filipino migrant women continues to be bleak. The Filipino ruling class (with
or without Marcos) has condemned the Islands' working people to misery. Hence
the need for emigration.

      The right to migrate is the most important and significant freedom. But
defending the right to travel and settle freely in any other country is one
thing; to hide the dismal conditions under which many immigrants are forced
to live is quite another. Many Filipino migrants, especially women who are
house-maids in Muslim countries, are systematically mistreated, humiliated,
oppressed and very often raped or abused. Kuwait's is reported to be a
particularly cruel case (and, what is more, after subjecting many of those
young women to bad treatments, the feudal-monarchic regime expels a number of
them, thus denying them both the right to stay and the right to have a
decent, dignified life while they remain there).

      What about a new line of discussion on migration? The classics of
Marxism did not have much to say on that issue, I am afraid. Yet it is the
greatest issue of our times.

      Isn't anybody going to raise their voice in defence of those poor black
migrants who have been subject to Spanish police repression in Ceuta, where
the European community has condemned them -- without trial -- to remain
indefinitely enclosed in concentration camps? Aren't such issues of interest
to Marxists?

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