On the Road to the IMRF – Updated

NOTE: The United Nations Webcast services will provide live streaming coverage of the International Migration Review Forum in all UN official languages, through the UN Web TV website at: http://webtv.un.org

As the UN’s International Migration Review Forum concludes on Friday, May 20, WIMN is sharing here a round-up of our activities. Several members of WIMN, most representing their respective organizations and sectors, actively participated in the IMRF program, in side events and parallel spaces, publications and social media–all the while navigating the challenging environment given the Covid pandemic.

Be sure to follow the links to access documents!

MEDIA ALERT – MAY 20, 2022

WIMN Responds to Adoption of UN International Migration Review Forum Progress Declaration

Click here to read Media Release

WIMN’s Statement on the IMRF Progress Declaration

“…We have expected the IMRF to advance rights for migrants, particularly for migrant women.  We are grateful that in the current geopolitical context, States have reaffirmed the Compact, but we are dismayed that there is less ambition for or commitment to bold forward movement. International human rights, women’s rights and labor rights are not up for negotiation…”

Read and download the full statement here.

WIMN’s Pledge at the IMRF 2022
The Women in Migration Network joins states and other stakeholders in making this pledge to improve and advance the Global Compact for Migration.

“The Women in Migration Network has played an active role in preparations for the IMRF, from participation in Regional Reviews and the Gender workstream of the UN Network, to a role in Progress Declaration negotiations, to a strong presence at the IMRF in New York. Like many, we see the IMRF not as an end, but as a step towards deepened Member State commitment to gender-responsive implementation of the Global Compact. This entails tangible steps to apply the gender-responsive guiding principle to all objectives in the Global Compact, not merely mentioning women here and there…”

Read and download the entire pledge here.


Publications and media

Several WIMN members contributed to the Spotlight Report on Global Migration, produced by the Global Coalition on Migration, where WIMN is a member.

Click here to read and download the report.






Op-eds published by OpenDemocracy.net


* Is the world delivering on the Global Migration Compact?

By Bandana Pattanaik, International Coordinator of Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW).

* What should the world do about climate migrants?

     In Spanish: ¿Qué debe hacer el mundo frente a los migrantes climáticos?

     In Portuguese: O que devemos fazer em relação aos migrantes climáticos?

By Catherine Tactaquin, former director for the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and a member of the Women and Migration Network

* Decent work for all, including migrants

By Neha Misra, Senior Specialist at the Solidarity Center, and Shannon Lederer, Director of Immigration Policy at the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

* The human cost of border deterrence

By Alma Maquitico, Director of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR)

Women’s Caucus

Convened Wednesday, 18 May

The Progress Declaration continues tired narratives of victimization of women in migration, without even a stand alone paragraph focused on the rights of migrant women in all their diversity.  How can we insist on the centrality of women’s human rights and labor rights in migration policy as we move forward from the IMRF?  Join us! 

Organized by Women in Migration Network/WIMN.  Co-sponsored by  ACT Alliance, AFL-CIO, Alianza Americas, Bloque Latinoamericano Sobre Migración, GAATW, Global Coalition on Migration, IMUMI, International Detention Coalition, Latinas en Poder, NGO Committee on Migration, NNIRR, PICUM, Refugee Women’s Commission, Solidarity Center.


Sustainable Re/integration of migrant and trafficked women in Asia, Europe, and Latin America

Convened on Tuesday, May 17, in person and online

Moderated by Carol Barton, Women in Migration Network

Co-sponsored by the Government of Bangladesh, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW), Women in Migration Network, Bangladesh Nari Sramik Kendra (BNSK), Espacio de Mujer (Colombia), Fair Work (Netherlands) and Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program (OKUP -Bangladesh)

Click here for more information and program

From pledges to practices: ‘Actioning’ and sustaining gender-responsiveness before, during and beyond migration crises

Convened on Thursday, May 19, in-person and online

Hear from practitioners and migrants with lived experiences on how to put gender-responsive approaches to migration governance into action. The special interactive session will feature pledges and good practices on gender-responsiveness live during this hybrid IMRF side event. Practices and pledges can be shared on the newly launched Gender+Migration hub in English, French and Spanish.

The side event is co-sponsored by the government of Canada, the International Migration Research Centre/Gender+Migration Hub, Women in Migration Network, and IOM Research, together with the Permanent Missions to the UN of the governments of Ecuador, Germany, Mexico and the Philippines.


The Women in Migration Network, together with its members, allies and partners, is working to strengthen human rights commitments and states’ actions for more just and humane migration policies and practices as the United Nations convenes the first International Migration Review Forum — an assessment and vehicle to further the Global Compact for a Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). The Compact was approved by member states in December 2018 in Marrakech.

WIMN has submitted comments to the last two revisions of the Progress Declaration, which is expected to be adopted by states at the IMRF. The initial (zero) draft of the declaration was published on March 17. Revision 4 is expected the week of May 2.

In our latest comment, for Rev 3, WIMN identifies four priority concerns, and provides detailed recommendations on language revisions in the draft. The four priority concerns include:

  1. Create a separate paragraph (9 pre) specifically addressing the realities of migrant women.  There are paragraphs addressing race and children’s concerns, but not one addressing migrant women, not all of whom are remunerated workers. 
  2. Separate references to women and children in order to address their unique and specific needs. The draft continues to combine women and children, infantalizing women and stressing vulnerability and minimizing women’s independence, agency and leadership.
  3. A clear reference to the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining for migrant workers as well as a commitment to implementing ILO Conventions 189 and 190 in practice. 
  4.  A commitment to real migrant participation, including that of migrant women’s organizations, in the policy-making process. Revisions in the draft refer to migrant “contributions” without acknowledging actual participation.

Click the following to read and download WIMN’s comment documents:

WIMN’s Comment of Rev 3

WIMN’s Comment on Rev 2

Read the interview:

IMRF puts global spotlight on migration

WIMN members interviewed by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung on the IMRF

WIMN in the News: IMRF puts global spotlight on migration

WIMN members Carol Barton, WIMN’s co-convenor, and Neha Misra of Solidarity Center recently spoke with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) about the expectations towards the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF), the first review of the UN’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, approved by states in December 2018. They commented on the problem of shrinking spaces at the UN and the key recommendations of the “Spotlight Report on Global Migration”, soon to be published by FES and the Global Coalition on Migration, where WIMN is a member and a contributor to the report, which will be released on April 28. FES also spoke with Stéphane Jaquemet of the International Catholic Migration Commission – ICMC, also a member of the coalition. The IMRF will take place in New York On May 17-22.

Read the interview here.

Int’l Women’s Day 2022: Responding to Intersecting Global Crises: Women in Migration Mobilize for Transformative, Rights-based Policies

On International Women’s Day 2022, the Women in Migration Network (WIMN) salutes the power, creativity and organizing capacity of women around the world and calls for full and equal rights for women in all their diversity.

This year we celebrate hard won gains for women—even as health, economic, climate and war crises mean huge setbacks for women’s rights and well-being around the world. 

  • While workers, among them many women migrant workers, stepped up to maintain essential services during the pandemic, we are appalled that state efforts to “get back to normal” or even to “build back better” continue to ignore the need for labor rights, including the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, living wages and benefits. Quality public healthcare for all regardless of migration status, and the regularization of undocumented migrant workers—who were deemed “essential,” yet continue to be seen as “disposable”—are much needed. WIMN joins the global labor movement in reiterating our call for a New Social Contract that transforms unjust global power relations and systems, rather than merely “building back better.”
  • While some global north countries are taking steps to move on from COVID-19, millions in the global south, including many migrants and refugees, have yet to receive a single dose of the As a member of the Feminists for a People’s Vaccine, WIMN insists that all people have affordable access to the vaccine and that the WTO adopt a TRIPS waiver to make vaccine technology available in the global south. 
  • The upcoming UN Commission on the Status of Women CSW-66 prioritizes the climate crisis at a time of increasing climate-related events and climate-displacement. While more significant mitigation efforts are urgently needed to address climate change, financing for adaptation and for loss and damage must increase and reflect the uneven responsibility and burden of climate change impacts. These policies must be developed with the inclusion of all impacted groups; be gender-responsive; address race, class, age, disability and other intersectional considerations; and protect the rights of those displaced by climate change. This means creating flexible, rights-based regular pathways for migration, including for those forced to migrate and who may not “fit” existing criteria for protection or regular pathways for migration. For migrant workers, the right to organize and collectively bargain is crucial as they seek access to decent work in the face of extreme climate impacts and to protect themselves in their workplaces against adverse occupational safety and climate-related health impacts.
  • In May, 2022 the United Nations General Assembly will host the first International Migration Review Forum (IMRF). WIMN urges coherence in migration governance. In particular, regular pathways centered around the human rights of migrants must be developed hand-in-hand with the regularization of undocumented migrants. Policies must break down the artificial separation between refugees/asylum-seekers on the one hand, and migrants on the other. All people on the move have rights and should have regular pathways, regardless of the incoherent categories created by migration systems. Moreover, in establishing regular pathways, states should not misdirect migrants into flawed and abusive temporary labor migration programs.
  • We are pained by Russia’s war on Ukraine and the tragic loss of lives and communities, noting the particular burdens placed on women in times of conflict. We affirm the EU and US’s decisions to grant Temporary Protection and to welcome those fleeing the Ukraine. At the same time, we are appalled by the racist behavior towards Black, Roma and South Asian refugees from Ukraine at some borders. We call for rights-based equal treatment of all refugees, not only in this conflict but around the world.

The Women in Migration Network grounds these concerns in a larger context—one of a disproportionate care burden on women; the dismantling of public health infrastructure over many years; the growing debt burden for low-income countries and the brain drain of skilled professionals from the global south. The continued inequality within and between nations, the unabated flow of wealth from poor to rich nations, and the ongoing influence of corporate trade, migration and labor agendas are simply unacceptable. Rights-based and just migration policy, climate action, and health and economic responses will require holistic, systemic, intersectional approaches. WIMN will continue to work toward these goals with allies around the world.


Download a PDF of statement