Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of the Global Migration Group (GMG),
I would like to welcome you all to this CSW side event on
"Policies empowering migrant women and girls in the context of
the 2030 Agenda."
I would like to start by thanking the Permanent Missions of
Bangladesh and Italy to the United Nations for co-organizing
this event, and our distinguished panelists for their
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offers a unique
opportunity to address international migration in a
comprehensive, human rights-based and gender-sensitive way.
Pledging to leave no one behind, the Agenda offers the unique
potential to ensure that the rights of even the most vulnerable
migrants are protected and fulfilled.
Marking the first year of implementation of
the 2030 Agenda, UN Women is
delighted to chair the Global Migration Group in 2016.
The Global Migration Group is
an inter-agency group that brings together 18 entities to
encourage the adoption of more coherent, comprehensive and
better coordinated approaches to the issue of international
UN Women is undertaking the
important role of chairing the Global Migration Group in
2016 in line with three objectives:
First, ensuring that both
men and women migrants are impacted positively by the
work of the GMG and elevating the focus on women in the
Second, strengthening the
role of GMG members and their partners, in particular
Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD),
in implementing and monitoring the migration-related
targets and indicators of the 2030 Agenda for
Third, strengthening the
GMG’s effectiveness and impact, through increased
coordination and cooperation.
As GMG Chair in 2016, UN Women will
highlight the importance of mainstreaming a gender-sensitive and
human rights-based approach to the implementation and monitoring
of the migration-related targets and indicators of the 2030
Orderly, safe, regular and
responsible migration can be an empowering process for women to
establish a better life at their destination as well as in their
community of origin, upon voluntary return with enhanced skills
and financial means.
I would like to share a few reflections on the importance of
advancing the rights of migrant women and girls in the context
2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Migrant women are central to realizing Sustainable
Development Goal (SDG)
5 on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and
With women constituting
approximately half of the 244 million people who live outside
their countries of birth, it is imperative that
SDG 5 is applied to migrant
women, ending all forms of discrimination and inequality in law
and practice - including migration policies.
Currently, many women and girls face discrimination, violence
and exploitation at various stages of the migration cycle.
In this context, target 10.7, which
facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and
mobility of people - including through the implementation of
planned and well-managed migration policies is of particular
relevance to reduce the multiple vulnerabilities of women
migrants in an irregular situation and those working in the
informal economy face.
For migrants using irregular channels, forced labour is a
particular risk. Migrant women, however, are more susceptible to
being trafficked for sexual exploitation, constituting 98 per
cent of all such victims.
Here, target 8.7 is of critical
importance to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate
forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking,
prohibit the worst forms of child labour, including the
recruitment and use of child soldiers, and end child labour in
all its forms by 2025.
Further, many migrant women face gendered vulnerabilities that
are specific to their sector of labour market insertion, which
is often guided directly by migration admission policies.
In the highly feminized care sector,
for example, large numbers of women migrants frequently have
their passports or identity documents confiscated and are often
isolated in private homes, working excessive hours without or
with very low pay.
These restrictive employment
contracts do not permit them to change employers in case of
They lack collective bargaining
rights, access to legal or social protection, such as employment
insurance or parental benefits, and inadequate access to health
care including reproductive and sexual health care, as well as
lack recognition of skills and qualifications.
In this context, target 8.8 protects
labour rights and promotes safe and secure working environments
for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women
migrants, and those in precarious employment is particularly
Further, in line with target 17.18, capacity-building support in
data disaggregation by sex, age and migratory status is vital in
order to systematically monitor progress of vulnerable groups -
including migrant women and girls - to protect their human
rights and guarantee access to health, education, and employment
Finally, reducing transaction costs of remittances, as agreed in
target 10.c of the 2030 Agenda will be crucial for migration to
facilitate the economic empowerment of all migrants.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is our collective responsibility to
deliver on the pledge enshrined in the 2030 Agenda to "leave
no one behind."
This requires the design and
implementation of policies that empower migrant women and girls
to realize their fundamental freedoms and human rights, thus
contributing to sustainable development.
Last but not least, we must also focus on following up on the
migration-related provisions of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on
Financing for Development.
Both the 2030 Agenda and Financing
for Development outcomes have prioritized gender equality and
women’s empowerment as a key objective, enabler and beneficiary
of sustainable development and financing for development