UN Representative on Gender-Inclusive GCM

Ms. Louise Arbour, UN Special Representative for International Migration, has called for a gender-responsive and human rights-based Global Compact on migration.  Ms. Arbour made the remarks via video, addressing a forum organized by UN Women and the Women in Migration Network in Berlin, 30 June, 2017 on  Strategic Approaches for a Gender- Responsive Global Compact for Migration.  The event was held as a side event at the Tenth Global Forum for Migration and Development, Common Space.   Ms. Arbour congratulated UN Women and all experts who contributed to the “important and concrete” Recommendations for addressing women’s human rights in the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.

“Changing the lens through which we look at migration is a pre-requisite for success of the Global Compact and we should start by elevating the focus on women and girls that have too long been neglected in migration debates,” said Ms. Arbour.

“The expression ‘women and children’ is often a way to portray them as vulnerable and in need of protection from men, ignoring the reality that women, men, girls and boys all have specific needs and vulnerabilities,” she observed.

“We need a new narrative that looks at women in migration as rights-holders, agents of development, and most importantly, leaders, that bring dynamism, motivation and cultural richness to societies…It’s now time to integrate a strong gender-equality perspective into migration governance,” she affirmed.

View Ms. Arbour’s four minute presentation here.

As the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for International Migration, Ms. Arbour is responsible for working with Member States, in partnership with other stakeholders, as they develop a first-ever global compact on safe, orderly and regular migration.  She leads United Nations advocacy efforts on international migration, provides policy advice and coordinates the engagement of United Nations entities on migration issues.

For more information on the forum, click here.

WIMN Launches Issue Briefs for GFMD

The tenth edition of the Global Forum on Migration & Development is being held from 28-30 June 2017 in Berlin, Germany.  The Civil Society Days take place from 29 June to July 1, to be followed by the People’s Global Action on Migration, Development and Human Rights (PGA).  The Women in Migration Network has a strong presence in each of these meetings.

Berenice Valdez Rivera, Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración (IMUMI) of Mexico is civil society co-chair of the Civil Society Days, and Carolina Gottardo of Australia is the Women Rapporteur.  Both are WIMN members.  A delegation of 26 members will represent WIMN concerns at the Civil Society Days, meet with member states on the Common Space Day, and attend the PGA.  In addition, WIMN will co-host a side event with UN Women on 30 June, Strategic Approaches for a Gender- Responsive Global Compact for Migration.  Monami Maulik of the Global Coalition on Migration and Jille Belisario of the Transnational Migrant Platform are co-conveners of the PGA.  WIMN is a member of the Global Coalition on Migration and a part of the International Planning Committee for the PGA.

In preparation for the GFMD, which focuses this year on inputs to the Global Compact on Migration, the Women in Migration Network has launched ten Issue Briefs, highlighting key concerns and recommendations for a strong, human rights based and gender-responsive Global Compact.  See each of these briefs below.

  1. General Concerns
  2. Women’s Agency
  3. Push Factors
  4. Racial Discrimination and Xenophobia
  5. Regularisation
  6. Criminalisation & Firewalls
  7. Trafficking
  8. Smuggling
  9. Borders & Detention
  10. Labor Migration
  11. Consideraciones Generales (En Espanol)

WIMN at III Thematic Session for GCM

Members of the Women in Migration Network (WIMN) spoke at the Third informal thematic session in Geneva on 19-20 June, 2017, in preparation for the Global Compact on Migration.  This session focused on International co-operation and governance of migration in all its dimensions, including at borders, transit, entry, return, readmission, integration and reintegration.

For text of all presentations, click here.

WIMN Geneva Third Thematic June 2017 flags

Women in Migration (WIMN) delegates at United Nations in Geneva

Genevieve Gencianos, Migration Programme Coordinator, Public Services International (PSI) addressed “international cooperation and governance of migration on return, readmission, integration and reintegration” from a trade union perspective. WIMN Third Thematic Gen GencianosGenevieve Gencianos of Public Services International and WIMN

Carolina Gottardo, representing WIMN, observed that the Compact “needs to go beyond current standards in a progressive manner that builds up on existing international law…States should focus policy on protecting rights, rather than “protecting” women, which limits autonomy and enjoyment of women’s rights.  She noted that “undocumented migration is not a crime. The rights of all migrants and asylum seekers, regardless of their immigration status should be upheld and they should be treated with dignity and respect. There should be a presumption against immigration detention in law and a commitment to end all forms of immigration detention.”  She called for expanded regularisation pathways for all migrants and asylum seekers.   Click here for remarks by Carolina Gottardo.

WIMN Third Thematic Carolina GottardoCarolina Gottardo of WIMN

Background:  Emerging from the September 19, 2016 Summit on Large Movements of Migrants and Refugees, the New York Declaration called for a Global Compact on Migration, and another Compact on Refugees.  According  to the UN, “the global compactBac for migration will be the first, intergovernmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.”

Preparations for the Compact include a series of six Thematic Sessions, Regional Consultations and Stakeholder Consultations in 2017, and then Intergovernmental negotiations in 2018.

WIMN Third Thematic Kate SheillKate Sheill, Consultant and WIMNWIMN Third Thematic Evalyn TennantEvalyn Tennant of GMPA and WIMN