Greetings sisters,

We are writing on behalf of the Women & Global Migration Working Group.  We would like to encourage global women’s rights advocates to put the UN High Level Dialogue on Migration & Development on your advocacy radar screen!  

The UN High Level Dialogue on Migration & Development, is a UN General Assembly event which will take place at UN Headquarters in New York from 3-4 October, 2013.  The Women and Global Migration Working Group and the Global Coalition on Migration are active in preparations for both the official HLD and a week-long parallel event, the People’s Global Action for Migration, Development & Human Rights (which will take place at the Church Center for the United Nations from 29 September through 5 October). 

Most urgently, the UN has created a registration process for any civil society group seeking credentials to the High Level Dialogue.  The deadline for organizational registration is May 22.  Even organizations with ECOSOC status MUST REGISTER by May 15 in order to participate.  Non-ECOSOC organizations also have the opportunity to register and participate.  To register, go to: http://www.un.org/esa/population/meetings/HLD2013/hld2013.html

[Note that the form asks for delegation names now, but these can be amended, so you do not need the final delegate list at this time.]

The Women & Global Migration Working Group involves national, regional and global organizations from trade union, women’s, migrant, development and faith communities representing all regions of the globe. The working group was created in a pre-meeting at the AWID Forum in Istanbul in April, 2012.  [See statement and list of participating organizations at :  http://www.forum.awid.org/forum12/migrant-women%E2%80%99s-rights-are-human-rights/]  Since that time we have collaborated with women’s rights advocates at the World Social Forum on Migration (Manila, 2012), the UN CSW and UN Commission on Population and Development, to advance the rights of women impacted by migration in the context of larger gender and economic justice concerns. 

Why get involved?

  • Deliberations on migration take place in the context of the 20th anniversary of the International Conference on Population & Development (“Cairo”) in 2014, and the “Post-2015 Development Agenda.” The global women’s community is actively engaged in impacting both from a gender perspective. BOTH migration and sexual and reproductive health are part of the ICPD agenda.  At the recent Commission on Population and Development nations tried to pit rights of immigrant access to services against specific rights to sexual and reproductive health. 
  • Current realities of migration, militarism and climate change, which all have specific impacts on women, are the outcomes of a failed global economic model that would be strengthened under current global migration policies and some post 2015 proposals.  We need to take advantage of global policy-making opportunities to challenge the “development” model which makes it necessary for millions of women to migrate.  
  • Migrant rights advocacy needs the strong voice and analysis of feminist activists. We need to speak with one voice in the upcoming global policy debates.  

Background:  Member states have been resistant to discussing migration within the multilateral system. This issue is housed everywhere, and centralized nowhere.  Calls for a global conference on migration in the late 1990s were derailed, even as the focus shifted from a human rights framework, including the UN Convention on the Rights of Migrants, to a national security, labour supply, and remittance-dependency model.  A High Level Dialogue in 2006 could not find agreement for concerted action within the UN system and the process was “outsourced” to a member-state driven Global Forum on Migration & Development (GFMD).  

The GFMD, a non-UN process is a forum for discussion without intergovernmental negotiations or State accountability.  It has served to reinforce the current global migration framework which focuses more on labour supply than on rights.  Meanwhile, there has been little enthusiasm by member states to return global policy-making to the United Nations and little coherence of UN migration programmes among UN agencies.  The October 2013 General Assembly High Level Dialogue is the first time there is a significant focus on global migration at the UN since 2006.   At this point there will be no negotiated outcome document, but outcomes would go to the General Assembly for further action.  

Despite (or because of) member states’ reticence to address the issue, we feel it is a very important moment to mobilize migrant rights, women’s, human rights, development and faith-based organization in New York to push hard for a rights-based and gendered perspective on migration policy.  The People’s Global Action, led by local and global migrant rights organizations, will include plenaries, workshops, strategy sessions, advocacy, media outreach and a public march and rally. 

For preparatory documents and information on the HLD process, see:  

UN site:  http://www.un.org/esa/population/migration/hlmimd2013/highlevelmim2013.htm

Civil Society organization for HLD: http://www.un.org/esa/population/meetings/HLD2013/documents/HLD_Civil_Society_update_11April2013.pdf

Civil Society Regional Preparatory Events/ Global Coalition on Migration: http://hld.gcmigration.org/category/regional/

For a working draft of a civil society platform for the HLD:  http://www.un.org/esa/population/migration/hlmimd2013/Migrantsrights_HLD13_preparatory.pdf

Women & Global Migration Working Group:  https://www.facebook.com/WGMWG

If you have questions or would like to discuss further, please contact Carol Barton, United Methodist Women, cbarton@unitedmethodistwomen.org; Catherine Tactaquin, National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, NNIRR, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Kadri Soova, Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants, PICUM, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;  Milka Isinta, Pan African Network in Defense of Migrant Rights, PANiDMR, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please share this information with your networks.  Please contact us if you plan to participate in the HLD and related PGA.  We look forward to working with you. 

Sincerely,

Carol, Cathi, Kadri and Milka

 

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