On November 28th and 29th, the national and international organizations involved in the PERIPLO project met in Cuernavaca, Morelos to share reflections and results from the first 2-year phase of the project. Part of the meeting was also dedicated to considering how the work these organizations are doing together to transform the labor system in agro-industrial supply chains in Mexico and the United States could be strengthened in the future to ensure a more just and regenerative economy.
The meeting, organized by Fundación Avina, was attended by 10 organizations and 25 human rights defenders, including Oxfam México; Centro de Estudios en Cooperación Internacional (CECIG – Center for Studies on International Cooperation); Tlachinollan, Centro de Derechos Humanos de La Montaña (Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center); Verité; Stronger Together; Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC); Centro de los Derechos del Migrante (CDM – Migrant Rights Center); CIERTO and Caminos Oaxaca: Acompañamiento a Migrantes (Caminos Oaxaca: Center for the Accompaniment of Migrants).
PERIPLO is a collaborative project pushing for the creation of a more equitable labor migration system in agro-industrial supply chains within Mexico and between Mexico and the United States, with the aim of protecting agricultural migrant workers’ human rights. The project is coordinated by Fundación Avina, with funding from the Walmart Foundation, and is implemented by organizations that promote the labor rights of agricultural migrant workers, best practices in responsible recruiting, improved labor conditions, and human rights due diligence processes in the private sector.
This meeting reinforced the common ground within the alliance and the work the alliance has done together. Prompted by questions and invitations to reflect as a group, attendees analyzed the experiences they have had working to advance the labor rights of agricultural migrant workers; they also identified challenges they face and opportunities they have to effect change in the agricultural production system.
Each day of the meeting represented a different stage in the agricultural cycle. On the first day, taking inspiration from the planting process, attendees reviewed the actions being implemented to support agricultural migrant workers in their communities of origin and destination; they also identified the spaces in which each organization intervenes and the type of work each does, either with migrant workers or with the private sector.
The PERIPLO project is being implemented in different states across Mexico and in areas throughout the United States, where the allied organizations provide support to agricultural migrants and engage with companies to promote responsible recruiting and just and equitable hiring practices.
By working together, with a shared vision for improving the labor conditions of agricultural migrant workers, the participating organizations were able to make great strides in the development of coordinated strategies. The decentralized nature of the alliance and its presence throughout the region is vital to the improvements and reforms the project seeks; without these key qualities, it would be difficult to achieve concrete changes that improve the lives of agricultural migrant workers.
The meeting ended with an agreement between the different members of the alliance, who vowed to continue working together in the second phase of this project aimed at improving the labor conditions of agricultural migrant workers and solidifying a more just and equitable agricultural production system.