Marriage Migrants Speak Out, Rise Up Against Violence
Marriage migrants everywhere, let us all speak up and act in fighting all forms of violence.
This is the call of the Alliance of Marriage Migrants Organizations for Rights and Empowerment (AMMORE) to all marriage migrants all over the world as it launches its global campaign, I Want To Speak Out, today, November 25, during the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
這是婚姻移民權利與培力國際聯盟（Alliance of Marriage Migrants Organizations for Rights and Empowerment, AMMORE）在11月25「國際消除對婦女使用暴力日」（ International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women）發起「我要說話」國際行動時對世界各地的婚姻移民呼籲。
The I Want To Speak Out campaign is a global campaign aimed to coordinate efforts of marriage migrant organizations in fighting all forms of violence, racism and discrimination. Among those participating in this campaign are marriage migrant organizations and advocates in Japan, Australia, Canada, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
The Hardships Marriage Migrants Face
While domestic violence is a persisting problem marriage migrants face, it is the national migration policies of host governments that do not only make them vulnerable to violence but subject marriage migrants to further harm, exploitation and abuse.
Australia’s visitor visa policy has put many migrant women at risk. Many cases of domestic violence involve women migrants who actually hold visitor visas, which limit the access of these women to services such as counseling and crisis accommodation. It also increases the risk of women becoming trafficking victims.
Under Taiwan’s Nationality Act, in particular, marriage migrants face the lifelong threat of becoming stateless as they are required to renounce their original citizenship when applying for Taiwan citizenship, which can be revoked anytime if their marriages are deemed by authorities as “inauthentic”.
The formation of marriage migrant groups in Japan responds to a growing number of violations that marriage migrants there experience – the no guarantee letter-no visa extension policy that holds women dependent to their Japanese spouses, the weak law of Japan on spousal violence not providing enough protection to victims of domestic violence, and, most recent of campaigns, is the indiscriminate move of the Japanese government to deport a Filipina marriage migrant, Loida Quindoy, without due process.
In Hong Kong, single-parent marriage migrants, mostly women, have no assurance of being reunited with their Hong Kong resident children. The territory’s discriminatory policy only traps women in a possibly abusive relationship for four years before their spouses agree and decide to sign the application for HK residency. Furthermore, Chinese marriage migrants remain excluded in the Hong Kong’s racial discrimination ordinance.
The Canadian government is preparing a new immigration legislation in 2018, which might further limit the concrete access of women migrants to permanent immigration status and consequently push them to becoming – and staying – undocumented. This applies not only to marriage migrants but to others, including migrant workers and caregivers.
In Malaysia, marriage migrants or foreign spouses experienced extreme difficulty in applying for permanent residence or citizenship as well as finding work. Despite living there for years and raising children and establishing permanent homes, their immigration status remains uncertain. Their staying and status are very dependent on their husband. Once they are divorced or widowed, their future will become bleak.
The social status of marriage migrants in South Korea, on the other hand, has not improved much. The current legal framework for granting a stable stay to women immigrants perpetuates the subordination of women to the family. The traditional functions of women: a wife, a mother, and a caregiver to the elderly parents-in-law are still required of them whenever they apply for permanent residency and naturalization or if ever they would like their marriage to last.
Various groups in the Philippines are calling on the Swedish government to seek justice for Mailyn Conde Sinambong, a Filipina marriage migrant killed by her husband as well as the repatriation of her kids to the Philippines, where they can be taken care of by Mailyn’s family.
菲律賓各界團體要求瑞典政府調查菲律賓裔婚姻移民Mailyn Conde Sinambong遭先生殺害的案件，並將其子女送回菲律賓由Marily的家人照顧。
Marriage Migrants Speak out, Rise up
Marriage migrants are not merely people encaged in the four corners of our homes. We will not be beholden by any policy that we deem racist, anti-women and discriminatory. We and our families bear the brunt of the global economic crisis and the experience double the pain through more oppressive policies of the governments.
We resist neoliberal globalization for it continues to undermine people’s rights while hailing profit as most important. Its policies have rendered migrants as nothing more than cheap and docile labor without rights. The policies affecting marriage migrants very much reflect this mantra, which we are determined to resist.
On this day, various marriage migrant organizations and their advocates under the banner of AMMORE will mobilize and hold actions projecting their campaigns and demands as part of their involvement in the I Want To Speak Out campaign.
The AMMORE encourages all marriage migrants everywhere to speak out and rise up for our rights and freedoms. We encourage all migrant organizations, rights advocates and solidarity friends to join us in our campaign against all forms of violence.
Let us strengthen our unity, resolve, and collective voice towards a world without violence, where all women and men are equal and active contributors to genuine development.
Reference: Hsiao-Chuan Hsia, AMMORE Chairperson