THE Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM) expresses concern on the reported closure of independent remittance centers in highly-developed countries such as the United States, Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand in the name of fighting terrorism.
With such a move, migrants will be forced to transact remittance only with the big banks that will mean higher cost. As well, independent remittance centers are usually more accessible to migrants for they are also the ones that are open when migrants have their dayoff.
This can also lead to more migrants relying on informal channels that can put their hard earned income in jeopardy.
In the fight against terror, migrants are again put in a difficult condition.
Their lives and livelihood were already put at risk when the anti-terror hysteria resulted to wars of intervention in countries where many migrants are present. This time, the stability of sustaining the needs of their family will be put in peril.
This policy also puts into question the viability of the goal to reduce remittance cost as expressed in the zero draft of the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda. With the big banks taking over the remittance industry, profit making from remittance cost will be intensified.
As the only concrete target that have direct potential benefit, albeit minimal, to migrants, reduction of remittance cost will most probably be taken over by corporate interest. The primacy of private sector agenda has been a concern of many civil society organizations advocating for a truly equitable and sustainable development agenda for the people and planet.
In this regard, the APMM calls for the withdrawal of the policy of sending remittance only thru banks. Moves to combat terrorism must not make victims of the people, including migrants, who are ones these moves intend to protect.
Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants