Social Protection for Migrants Women and Girls
Brief summary of presentation of information made
The panelists were Mario Castillo (ECLAC), Julia Escalante (CLADEM), Mariella Mazzotti (INMUJERES – MIDES) and Susana Chiarotti (CLADEM), representing organizations working with migrants in the border of Mexico and in Uruguay.
Some of the highlights:
- We are seeing more than ever the phenomenon of femininization of migration
- Some initiatives can be shared between countries of Latin America. Chile, for example, has a school system which includes migrant children
- In the last decades there are more women migrating alone – and even girls, which is quite new comparing to other decades
- The average age of this girls is 15.5. They face a lot of risks while migrating, not just because the illegality, but because they became vulnerable to trafficking
- Some of the reasons why these girls are leaving their homes are related to the lack of opportunities to continue studying, search for employment or situations of violence at home. There are also girls being sent to other countries by their parents, to work in domestic jobs.
- Not only the origin country, but the destination country and the transit country must be responsible for these girls.
- There have been cases of sexual abuse among the detained migrants. So, there is a need for people to be properly trained to work with these groups.
- We need partnership strategies to put in practice the portability of rights – so if a migrant is working outside their country, they will not lose their rights when they come back.
- It is never illegal to be a human being. Human rights should be assured to every inhabitant that walks on the planet, not just citizens.
- There is an urge to think not just about the rights of migrants, but also to think about the reasons why people are leaving their countries or being expelled from it. We need to change the structures and eradicate the causes.
- The Global Compact for Migrants (https://refugeesmigrants.un.org/migration-compact) would not be necessary if the rights of the migrant would be respected.
What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?
We already know about the refugee and migrant crises around the globe. However, we need to remember that women and girls are the most vulnerable among the vulnerable and we need to make sure efforts are being made to attend to their specific needs. It is also important to note that a lot of developing countries in South America, such as Chile, Uruguay and Brazil, are facing the same challenges that developed countries are facing when it comes to migration, and sometimes with less resources and understanding of the population.