Written by Emilie Le Barbanchon, Intern at SB OverSeas
PICUM short for Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants is the only international network of organisations working exclusively to uphold the rights of undocumented migrants by ensuring they can access education, healthcare, housing, work and legal aid, and other fundamental rights. PICUM counts 151 member organisations from grassroots to service providers to trade unions in 32 countries, all with a similar vision, mission and principles. In addition, PICUM organises a range of events, such as legal seminars, migrant youth exchange as well as their General Assembly.
SB OverSeas was invited to attend the two day assembly in order to present our organisation as a potential member. The conference was filled with workshops on communication strategies, tackling hate speech, the GDPR regulation and updates on the UN Global Compact on Migration. We also got to hear through the ‘Floor is Yours’ concept, how other organisations were working on integration and other issues facing undocumented migrations. After having given a speech on the work SB OverSeas does, we were accepted into the network.
By being a member of PICUM, SB OverSeas will be a part of a network of organisations that all share common vision and common values. While communicating with other members, we will exchange our experience on advocacy and keep up to date with trends on migration and what is done in different countries to tackle the issues related to undocumented migrants. We will also have the opportunity to engage in public actions and collaborate to strengthen the protection of migrants in Europe and at the international level. Also, PICUM will help us gain more visibility and have a greater impact at the European level.
On the other side, SB OverSeas will bring added value to PICUM. With 90% of our projects being focused on on the protection and defense of migrant’s rights and being the only member that has activities in Lebanon, Turkey and Belgium, we will be able to communicate our experience form the ground which will inform the Platform on the situation of the refugees there and their advocacy actions. Furthermore, our work overlaps with that of PICUM as it is focused on providing a dignified standard of living and access of rights through aid, education and empowerment to those who need it, irrespective of their legal status. In addition, SB OverSeas is a proactive supporter of their ‘Words Matter’ policy which explains why expressions such as ‘illegal migrants’ should not be used.
Thank you to the support of FEDASIL, Orientation center Neder-Over-Heembeek, as well as CNCD-11.11.11, who supported us in our application procedure. We are proud to be part of the movement and hope this cooperation will help us to reach a broader audience and bring our support to all the people who are sufferingdue to the conflict in the Middle East.