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Migrant Rights in International Law: Exploring the Gendered Experiences of Migrant Women and Girls

  • Jenny Poon
Keywords: MIGRANT WOMEN AND GIRLS, CEDAW, GENDER GUIDELINES, VULNERABILITY, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Abstract

Migrants are people who choose to move from one place to another to seek a better life. However, when these people move across international borders as a result of fleeing from a ‘well-founded fear of persecution’ and not based on choice, they are forced migrants. This article examines the situations when women and girls move across international borders in order to flee from persecution or massive violations of human rights linked to gender violence. The article argues that women and girls experience vulnerabilities at all stages of the migration cycle not only because they are forced migrants fleeing from life-threatening situations, but also as a result of violations of their human rights based on gendered experience. An examination of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada’s Chairperson’s Guideline No 4 shows that, when these instruments are misapplied or not considered, the vulnerabilities of migrant women and girls may be exacerbated by such misapplication or non-consideration. This article ends by concluding that a focus should not be upon a woman or girl’s vulnerability, but on her agency to be self-reliant and resilient towards her own destiny.

Published
2019-03-04