By Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC)
The Pakistan Trade Union and Defence Campaign (PTUDC) organized a protest at the Islamabad Press Club on 19 June 2023 at 6 pm. The protest aims to condemn the tragic incident of a migrant shipwreck off the coast of Greece, where hundreds of young men, women, and children lost their lives while seeking work and a better future. The PTUDC demands justice for the victims and calls for immediate action to address the root causes of forced migration. The protesters also condemned the arrest of Member National Assembly, Comrade Ali Wazir and demand his immediate release. Activists and leaders of Revolutionary Students Front (RSF), Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation (JKNSF) and Awami Workers Party (AWP) also joined the protest.
This tragic incident is not an isolated event but rather a symptom of a much larger problem. Throughout the year, countless lives have been lost at migration points from the Middle East to Europe. The escalating economic and climate crises have exacerbated both legal and illegal immigration towards the global north, leading to multifaceted challenges. Migrant workers who survive the perilous journey often encounter xenophobia and labor rights suppression in their destination countries. Meanwhile, “third-world” nations face security challenges and additional burdens.
PTUDC firmly believes that the Government of Pakistan should take immediate action to provide compensation to the families affected by this tragedy. Furthermore, we urge the government to declare a state of unemployment emergency and actively pursue its constitutional objective of providing decent employment opportunities for all able-bodied individuals. Alternatively, the government should consider offering an unemployment allowance equivalent to the minimum wage. We also call upon the government to invest in vocational training and regulate labor export.
We would like to commend the Greek working class for their ongoing protests and demonstrations, as well as their solidarity with their fallen fellow workers. This tragic incident further highlights the flaws inherent in the existing global system, which perpetuates the crisis of forced migration and brings death and suffering to countless individuals. PTUDC firmly believes that only a world without borders can foster true human flourishing and resolve the ongoing crisis.
In addition to addressing the shipwreck tragedy, the protest organized by PTUDC also addressed the growing issues of inflation and joblessness in the country. Many concerned citizens will gather to raise their voices against these pressing challenges.
The protesters also held play cards condemning the arrest of Member National Assembly, Comrade Ali Wazir and demanding his immediate release.