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Over 48% of international migrants are women: Significant feminization of migration unnoticed in debates and reports

Ms. Amina Bouayach, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) kicked off the international symposium on the “Protection of the Rights of Migrant Women in Spain and Morocco: Achievements, Emerging Challenges, and Perspectives for Action”, on Tuesday 5 December 2023, at the CNDH headquarters in Rabat, Morocco.

This symposium was organized by the CNDH in partnership with the Observatory of the Rights of Persons of the Barcelona Bar Association (ICAB).

Within this context, CNDH Chairperson highlighted that over 48% of 280 million international migrants are women. It is a significant feminization of migration, which often goes unnoticed in debates and reports, while migration is perceived and handled as a mainly male phenomenon.

She stressed that women's migration is generally associated with specific challenges such as discrimination, exploitation, and vulnerability, and several women are subject to human trafficking networks.

Ms. Bouayach also noted that alongside its statutory missions relating to the protection of migrants, regardless of their status, the CNDH is actively engaged this year with its partners (IOM and UNHCR) in promoting the fundamental rights of migrants, including women. This initiative aims to ensure access to justice and foster socio-economic inclusion and social protection.

Mr. Jesus Sanchez Garcia, President of the Human Rights Commission of the CICAC (Catalan Bar Association) and Dean of the ICAB, underscored the historical roots of migration while highlighting the challenges it poses. He stressed the need to transform these challenges into opportunities for human development, emphasizing that protecting the rights of migrants is a shared responsibility.

Ms. Erica Torregrossa, lawyer, ICAB co-president and expert in international humanitarian law and human rights, highlighted the importance of conducting joint actions by relevant stakeholders in ensuring migrant women's access to justice, education, health, etc. to address the specific challenges they encounter, including discrimination, violence, language barriers, etc.

In alignment with global migration momentum, this seminar is part of an ongoing series of discussions on migration issues, particularly the protection of the rights of migrant women.

The objective of this seminar is to initiate a thorough debate on the complex challenges associated with migration and propose collaborative and comprehensive approaches. Besides, it also aims to provide an analysis of the migratory journeys of women between Morocco and Spain, focusing on specific issues relating to their protection, encompassing both legal considerations and the context of mobility between Morocco and Spain.

Bringing together experts from the Barcelona Bar, the Defensor del Pueblo of Spain and experts in human rights, gender, and migration from Morocco and Spain, this event provides a platform to discuss current protection frameworks and potential challenges. The aim is to formulate concrete recommendations that can improve the situation of migrant women in the migration context between Morocco and Spain.

Download CNDH Chairperson’s statement (Available in French)