Address: Plesso didattico Bernardo Albanese, Piazza Napoleone Colajanni, Palermo, Italy
On December 18, 2017, the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) will begin its first session dedicated to the human rights violations of migrants and refugees. It will begin on this date in honor of the anniversary of the ratification of the United Nations Convention for the Protection of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (Dec. 18, 1990). In Barcelona last July 7-8, 2017 the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal heard the Call to examine the policies and practices adopted by the European Union and its member states including the operations of transnational corporations and the impacts on the rights of migrants and refugees (See the Indictment in English and Spanish). This Call was presented by an extended international network of civil society, non-governmental and social justice organizations and numerous migrant and refugee organizations, including the Transnational Migrant Platform-Europe (TMP-E) and the Transnational Institute (TNI).
The first Hearing which begins in Palermo, will be dedicated to migratory flows in the Mediterranean, Europe’s southern border, now reduced to a cemetery of horrors. The second session will take place in Paris on January 4-5, 2018 and will look at the internal borders of the European Union and the related policies and practices of various member states.
The relevance of holding the Hearing in Palermo, which has been supported by a large number of Italian and international social organizations, has unfortunately been confirmed in recent weeks with the tragic news of shipwrecks, deaths at sea, deportations, arbitrary detentions and abuses. According to the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the situation has become catastrophic, indicated by the immense suffering of thousands of men, women and children, constituting an “outrage to the conscience of humanity.” The High Commissioner affirmed that we can no longer remain silent in the face of the “modern-day slavery, torture, and sexual violence”that have occurred alongside migration “management.” Es tiempo de hablar!
It’s time to speak out! This is the purpose of the PPT, reflected in Barcelona by Carlos Beristain, a member of the Tribunal, to heed the warning of a Guatemalan elder at the beginning of a historical memory reconstruction process for victims of institutional and political violence in Guatemala. For migrants and refugees too, the time has come to speak out and bring the truth of migration to light, to evaluate the policies and practices of European governments with regard to human rights, and to reimagine society in the face of the tragic loss of life that we see before our eyes. This is one of the main purposes of the Permanent Peoples´ Tribunal, to understand and articulate serious and systematic human rights violations, based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Algeria,1976) which has served as a guide for the 44 sessions realized by the Tribunal since 1979.
The Tribunal’s international jury is composed of: Franco Ippolito (Italy): Judge and president of thePPT Philippe Texier (France): Judge and vice-president of the PPT
Carlos Beristain (Spain): Doctor and psychologist, expert in human rights and political memory
Donatella Di Cesare (Italy): Philosopher and teacher at the Università la Sapienza di Roma and the Normale di Pisa
Luciana Castellina (Italy): Former member of the Italian and European Parliament, journalist and writer Francesco Martone (Italy): Former Senator, expert on International Relations, Pacifism and Human Rights Luis Moita (Portugal): Professor of International Relations, Università Autonoma di Lisbona