> Migrant domestic worker speaks on sustainable development goals at the UN

Migrant domestic worker speaks on sustainable development goals at the UN

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Watch the full session on this page http://m.webtv.un.org/watch/5th-meeting-post-2015-intergovernmental-negotiations-declaration-session-general-assembly-informal-meeting/4069787778001

Feb. 19, 2015 — A migrant domestic worker spoke today at the United Nations in New York, calling on world policymakers to include the planet’s most vulnerable people in their current redesign of global development plans.

Eni Lestari, an Indonesian woman who now leads the International Migrants Alliance, spoke at the Interactive dialogue with Major Groups and other stakeholders. She asked that the principle of development justice be placed at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as decision makers discuss the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

She told the assembled policy makers at the UN: “You must acknowledge that the current system depends on and produces injustice, and commit to remedying it.”

Lestari was a domestic worker in Hong Kong when development policies in her own country drove her family into debt and left her no options for education and employment. Like millions of others, she wanted education, prosperity and dignity. But globalization and neoliberal policies had exposed Indonesia to serious crisis, threatened the security and survival of her family, and left her with no choice but to migrate for work.

Like many migrant workers, Lestari quickly found that the promises of a better income and future were just fiction. Debt, exploitation and the denial of human rights are the realities of a system that promotes export and exploitation of migrant labor. She supported the case of Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, a fellow Indonesian migrant domestic worker who won a landmark case of criminal abuse against her employer in Hong Kong.

To end her speech, she made a passionate plea to the UN: “I hope that you can honour not just my request but the demands of migrants and women like me. Please be ambitious, be brave, be honourable and be just. Incorporate Development Justice into this declaration – if not, please tell me where I should go to achieve it.“

Lestari is a member of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development. We invite you to witness a migrant domestic worker make a passionate call for development built on justice, equality, solidarity and accountability.

Contact Information:
Eni Lestari: 510 586 8799

 

Statement delivered by Eni Lestari
on behalf of the Asia Pacific Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanism (RCEM) and the International Migrants Alliance

I am speaking on behalf of the Asia Pacific Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanism and the International Migrants Alliance to ensure that the voice of the most affected and the most marginalized by the current development model are heard.

I am a migrant domestic worker. We are amongst the most exploited and most abused workers.

Like most of you,I also wanted education, prosperity and dignity. But globalization and neoliberal dictates that exposed Indonesia to serious crisis, threatened the security and survival of my family leaving me with no choice but to migrate for work. Similar to others, I quickly found that the promises of a better income and future were just fiction. Debt, exploitation and the denial of human rights are the realities of a system that promotes export and exploitation of migrant labor.

What does this mean for the Post2015 Political Declaration?
It means laying out a commitment and a pathway to dismantle the foundations of the global economic system that promotes inequality, forced migration and dependency on cheap labor.

It must lay out a vision for new global, truly democratic economic and political systems that are just, sustainable and equitable.

We call this DEVELOPMENT JUSTICE that I call on you to incorporate in the political declaration.

Thismeans that you must acknowledge that the current system depends on and produces injustice, and commit to remedying it.

To deliver this,all five foundational shifts must be incorporated.

First, redistributive justice that redistributes wealth, power, resources and opportunities between countries, between rich and poor and between men and women. Your declaration must commit to democratization of global institutions and power;dismantle unfair trade, finance and investment systems; and commit to fairer redistribution of land and to land reforms that benefit small farmers and communities.

Second, economic justice that means building economies based on solidarity, sharing and justice; and equally value the labour and contributions of all people. It must not rely on the remittances and exploitation of migrant workers.

Third is environmental justice that aims to make this planet habitable for all people,particularly the most marginalized, now and in the future.
Fourth, gender and social justice that does not only promote gender equality, but seeks to end patriarchy and the systems that ensure women are cheap or unpaid labour, in the market and at home.

Fifth, accountability to the people ensures that this process makes governments finally accountable for the commitments they have repeatedly made and repeatedly denied to the billions of people.

I hope that you can honour not just my request but the demands of migrants and women like me. Please be ambitious, be brave, be honourable and be just. Incorporate Development Justice into this declaration – if not, please tell me where I should go to achieve it.

2018-09-08T17:47:48+07:00February 20th, 2015|Feminist Development Justice, Press Releases|