Challenges faced by women and girls must be front and center at Global Refugee and Migrant Summits

by Oxfam Canada | September 16, 2016

Women and girls who flee conflict, crisis and natural disasters, as well as women who migrate for other reasons, such as domestic violence or poverty, face specific threats - including human trafficking, exploitation and sexual violence and a denial of their basic human rights, including the right to seek asylum.

In a joint statement issued today, 42 grassroots women-led civil society organizations, human rights and humanitarian agencies, including Oxfam, outline recommendations for commitments by states attending the Global Refugee and Migrant Summits on September 19th and 20th, to ensure the protection and safety of refugee women and girls. 

The recommendations are:

  1. Ensure displaced women and girls meaningfully participate in all aspects of the Summits themselves and follow-up implementation, monitoring and accountability efforts.
  2. Implement safe and legal migration routes, including through expanded family reunification options for refugees, rather than a policy of deterrence. Ensure access to effective asylum and legal protection mechanisms for all migrants.
  3. End the arbitrary and prolonged detention of asylum seekers and migrants. Increase support for alternatives to detention.
  4. Make an explicit, detailed commitment to protect all displaced women and girls from gender-based violence while in transit, in reception centres and upon reaching their destinations.
  5. Expand access for women to legal and safe livelihoods opportunities that leverage their capacity to sustain and protect themselves and their families.
  6. Ensure that all refugee and migrant girls have access to quality, safe and inclusive education at all levels.   
  7. Reform gender discriminatory nationality laws to ensure that women and men have equal rights to confer nationality on their children and spouses.
  8. Increase funding and policy support to ensure access to life-saving and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services.
  9. Provide increased and dedicated funding to displaced women-led civil society organizations, and support policy reforms to enable displaced women to organize themselves and register civil society organisations.
  10. Promote robust and coherent accountability across donor funding for addressing women’s participation, gender-based violence, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights, and gender sensitivity.

Read the full statement here:

Oxfam Canada

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