Conferenza Internazionale Migrazione Mediterraneo

4th Mediterranean Migration Strategy and Development Follow-Up Meeting 11 to 13 April

Palermo, Italy


Since BWI launched the Global Campaign for Migrant Workers’ Rights in 2010, labour migration continues to be an important focal point of BWI’s work. This was evident by the series of resolutions introduced highlighting the continued commitment BWI must put in place to organize migrant workers, promote the rights of migrant workers’ rights, and advocate for development and implementation of rights-based migration polices nationally, regionally, and globally at the 4th BWI World Congress that was held in Durban, South Africa in December 2017.

In 2015, more than 1.3 million migrants and refugees, mainly from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq entered the European Union via Turkey crossing the Balkan countries by foot. At the same time over 100,000 migrant and refugees from sub-Saharan African countries reached southern Europe by crossing the Mediterranean from North Africa. The response of the European governments differed ranged from Germany welcoming close to 900,000 migrants and refugees to Hungary building fences and speakers to warn migrant workers to not enter Hungary. Caught in between were 850,000 migrants and refugees who were basically stuck in Greece waiting for their asylum claims to be processed.

The influx of migrants and refugees resulted in a dramatic rise of xenophobic, and anti-migrant sentiments fuelled by nationalist and right-wing political movements. Noting this it is critical that BWI continue to campaign aggressively to ensure not only the rights of migrants but also refugees as evident by the increasing number of refugees fleeing political unrest, economic poverty, and natural disasters.

The BWI recognizes has conducted several meetings with BWI affiliates from Europe and the Middle East and North Africa to evaluate the union’s work to date in the area of migration as well as joint partnerships and activities amongst unions in the unions; update each other on the latest trends and discourse on issues related to migration in the region; and strategize joint initiatives within the frame of BWI’s global campaign for migrant workers’ rights—BWI Connect. This proposed meeting is a follow-up of previous meetings.

The objectives of this meeting are as follows:

  1. To assess the current political and economic situation related to labour migration in globally and regionally.
  2. To evaluate and plan concrete strategies and steps forward for BWI affiliates to address migration within the Mediterranean region;
  3. To identify how BWI can further support BWI affiliates addressing migration within the region;
  4. To develop relationships with other stakeholders in relation to migration within the region; and
  5. To build a campaign to address the rise of anti-migrant and xenophobic political movements in Europe.


Program Meeting

Best Western Ai Cavalieri Hotel, Via S.Oliva,8 – Palermo

11 April 2019 (Thursday)

All day:            Arrival

12 April 2019 (Friday)

9:30                Opening Remarks:

  • Rita Schiavi, Chair of the BWI Migration Ad Hoc Working Group, BWI
  • Mercedes Landolfi, FILLEA-CGIL

10:15               Key Note Speech:

  • Leoluca Orlando, Mayor Palermo

11:00               Break

11:30               General Session: Global and Regional Governance of Migration

This session will highlight the current trends and discussion on issues impacting migrants and refugees at the global and regional level.


  • Global Governance: Rita Schiavi, UNIA-Switzerland and Chair of the BWI Working Group on Migration
  • Europe Region: Mercedes Landolfi, FILLEA-CGIL-Italy (TBC)
  • Middle East and North Africa Region: Wassim Rifi, Middle East Coordinator, BWI


  • BWI affiliates from FNV, GBH, and TARIM ORMAN-IS

13:00               Lunch

14:30               Roundtable Discussion: Politics and Migrants

This session will feature candidates for the upcoming EU elections as they outline their positions regarding migrants and refugees and how the EU should address the consistent flow of migrants and refugees, ensure the rights of migrants and refugees, and the increasing anti-migrant sentiments within the European Union particularly by right-wing governments.


  • Onorevole Rossella Muroni, Camera dei Deputati
  • Andrea Torre, Direttore Centro Studi Medi. Migrazioni nel Mediterraneo
  • Marina Mesure, Candidata francese al Parlamento europeo
  • Fausto Melluso, Arci Sicilia e Assessore Comune Palermo con delega all’Immigrazione


Moderator: Mercedes Landolfi

15:30               Break


16:00               Roundtable Discussion: Trade Unions and Migrants

This session will feature trade union’s response to ensuring the rights of migrants and refugees through organizing campaigns and political advocacy nationally, regionally, and globally.

  • Speakers will include trade union representatives from Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey.

17:00               Concluding Remarks for First Day

19:00               Solidarity Dinner


13 April (Saturday)

9:00                 General Session: Building Partnerships between Europe and North Africa

This session will focus on how to strengthen the partnerships between BWI affiliates from Europe and North Africa building from previous meetings as well as recognizing the latest political and economic factors that have influenced changes in migration flows.

Moderator: Rita Schiavi

11:30           Way Forward

Coen Van der Veer, Global Wood and Forestry Director, BWI

12:30           Lunch and Departure





12 Apr 2019


10:00 - 19:00
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