Implications, Awareness, and Opportunities

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AFFILIATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: We are very trigger-happy when it comes to the use of adjectives like ‘vulnerable’ and ‘marginalized’, but are we aware of the implications that assignment of such adjectives has? We speak of biometrics and blockchain, without realizing the cost to personal security and implications for non-nationals as well as nationals. These discussions took place at the Gender and Migration week in South Africa and are critical today when we are still grappling with the idea of profiling people on the basis of their looks, professions, languages, socio-economic status, beliefs, and nationalities.

STAYING AWARE: By virtue of things beyond our control, like the country we were born in, the family we were born into, the skin colour we inherited, we hold unequal power and privilege. It is critical that we do not centralize our agenda or usurp the central stage and remember the ‘invisible’. That is the crux of the bone of contention we have with Eurocentric understanding of migration and health and inequalities vis-à-vis Global South being reinstated. This goes back to the ‘changing the perspective’ point, where we must endeavour to visiblize the invisible, profile them to understand what can be done for them, since they cannot be passive actors in the society, lest they are left behind. We must remain acutely aware of the danger of propagating a single narrative, recognize the associated complexities and contestations associated with it.

CREATE OPPORTUNITIES: Not always there is a demand and supply match. Sometimes one must push and manipulate situations and strategize for interest. There are important advocacy windows all around us. There is a need to identify these strategic windows, the sticking points, and realize the power of our personal networks, to push forward our agendas. As discussed at the Gender and Migration week in South Africa there is no time to wait for tailor-made opportunities.

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