European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

International Migrants Day - Our values are at stake: We need solidarity!

18/12/2018

18 December 2018 marks International Migrants Day. On the occasion of the EFFAT Executive Committee meeting gathered in Brussels, EFFAT affiliates demanded the European institutions to handle migration on the basis of justice, safety and solidarity. 

In a concerted action, EFFAT members joined the ETUC and hundreds of other NGOs and other civil society organizations across Europe which reiterated their support for solidarity with migrants by backing the first European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) on migration.

Through this initiative, we urge the European Commission to provide:

  • Justice: Guarantee more effective means to protect all victims of labour exploitation, crime across Europe and human rights abuses at our borders.
  • Safety: Support citizens who wants offer refugees a new home and build a new life
  • Solidarity: Stop governments that punish volunteers and civil society organisations for offering humanitarian help or shelter for refugees

Commenting on the day Malin Ackholt, EFFAT President, said: ’Europe is now facing a crisis of its values of community and compassion which is reflected in the inability of too many governments to handle migration. By joining the ECI initiative, every citizen has now an opportunity to show that this is not the Europe we want and that each and one of us is empowered to restore the spirit that generated the European project in the first place’.

'Today, we are here as both as workers’ representatives and as citizens to champion the basic human values of solidarity and respect of human rights and to defend the right or even the duty of any citizen to offer humanitarian assistance to migrants and refugees fleeing life-threatening conflict in their home countries’, said Harald Wiedenhofer, EFFAT Secretary general.

If 1 million EU citizens across 7 Member States sign the initiative, the European Commission will be obliged to respond to the above demands.

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EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.