Free Trade and the Right to (Not) Migrate

Since the implementation of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 the destruction of local economies and livelihoods drove many Mexicans into migration, to look for jobs and get money to send back home to their impoverished families.

Around the world, the forced implementation of trade liberalisation, privatisation, and deregulation increased injustice and drove millions of peoples into poverty since the beginning of the neoliberal era.

Today, the 21st century world trade order is in the making, through agreements like TTIP, TPP, and others. Those trade agreements aim to align the structure of economies, politics and societies worldwide to the demands of powerful states and transnational companies. This deep interference in the sovereignty of local, regional or national policy may create even greater injustice and thus more massive migration flows.

Free trade creates injustice. Thus, when we talk about the root causes of migration, we have to talk about trade policies.

This international conference took place from 28 September to 1 October in Berlin and Brussels. During almost 3 days the participants had the opportunity to exchange their experiences and knowledge about the links between worldwide free trade policies and migration.

Interested in the programme with all speakers and details? Visit the event page.

Videos and pictures of this event are available here.

28 September 2016

Free Trade causes migration - Freihandel verursacht Flucht. Panel discussion in English, French and German


  • David Bacon (USA), Author («The Right to Stay Home») and Photograph focussing on world economy, migration and human rights mit Schwerpunkt auf Weltwirtschaft, Migration und Menschenrechte
  • Aminata Traoré (Mali), former Minister of culture, activist for the Peoples’ United Nations, famous critic of EU free trade policies
  • Moderation: Annette Groth
  • Welcome: Claus-Dieter Koenig, Deputy director, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Brussels

29 September 2016

Globalisation, Labor Migration and the Myths of Free Trade

Keynote address by Professor Dr. Anwar M. Shaikh (New School for Social Research)

Interview with Anwar Shaikh in three parts

Prof. Anwar Shaikh was interviewed by Ingar Solty (Advisor on Peace and Security Policies, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Berlin).

Marx and the Moon. Anwar Shaikh on political economy and capitalism (Part I)

Of thiefs, TV and transfer. Anwar Shaikh about trade and capitalism (Part II)

The limits of the system. Anwar Shaikh about the economic crisis and capitalism (Part III)