Date of Meeting: 16 March 2017

Meeting Organizer: Women in Migration

ISJC Staff Present: Lt-Col. Eirwen Pallant

Reporter: Lt-Col. Eirwen Pallant

Which SDG does this topic cover? 3, 5, 8

Type of meeting: CSW Side Event

Brief summary of presentation of information made

Panel Including representatives from International Centre for Research on Women, Tax for Gender Justice, Equality Officer for Nigeria Association of Nurses and Midwives, Advocacy Director of Global Women and Migration.

  • Economic empowerment involves the individual, economic justice involves systems
  • Migration is central to the global economy
  • Framing of migration – debt crisis was used as an excuse for flow of resources out of the global south by tax cuts, privatization, and increase debt repayment interests. Remittances – migrants sending home to families included in government plans for balancing economy since 1990’s. Circular migration- goes to work overseas for a period before returning home. “What women do to feed their families is a valid strategy but it is not an excuse to institutionalise the system.”
  • Unjust global economy drives migrant workers (esp women) into the most vulnerable occupations
  • Closing of borders has led to reduced opportunity for migrants to find decent and fairly paid labour
  • Upsurge of women migrating for work driven by lack of care provision in the West, often care workers, with resultant skills drain, and domestic workers.
  • Collapse of care system in West with commodification of care driving export of female labour.
  • Export of medical staff to fill gap in West results in lack of medical resources in home countries
  • Nations , businesses and organisations need to be held to account for their profiting from global migration for care work
  • Recent introduction of International Labour Standards is first international law for protection of domestic workers.
  • Migrant female labour working for remittances which governments rely on for national economy
  • SDG 5.4 includes recognition of unpaid labour. Needs to be made visible as provides massive subsidies to economies
  • Migrant women often leave care gap at home.
  • Migrant labour often vulnerable to trafficking
  • Reasons for migration include poor conditions of life in home country, poor government support, poor work with poor pay
  • Need to fight for economic empowerment in own country
  • National tax policy has implications for gender justice
  • Taxes are most reliable and sustainable source of government finance. Deficits in public service mainly carried by women as they do most unpaid caring work. Need to increase taxes to redress.
  • Over-reliance on VAT (as happened in austerity crisis) means unfair burden on the poorest proportionately, as all pay same. Is easiest way to increase income but means companies undercharged
  • Low paid migrant workers (often women) employed to keep prices low for increased profit that usually goes to priviledged white men.
  • Tax havens abuse Tax systems removing money from poor workers. In Zambia losses from profit shifting is equivalent to total health budget for Zambia annually.
  • Intersection of migration and human rights. Case adopted by CEDAW at present arguing secretive cross border monetary movements was a violation of human rights because resulted in inability to resource needs that are human rights
  • When create societies where care is underfunded, increases migration which results in nationalistic rhetoric by politicians.
  • International Compact being discussed with nations at the UN for migration policy and refugee and asylum seekers policy. Likely to be voluntary. Aid conditions likely to be dependent on migration agreements
  • Deterrent measures to discourage migration result in increased risk during migration
  • Spare chairs represent inability for presenters to procure visas despite agreement of USA with UN
  • Black women in migration face both sex and racial discrimination
  • Racism active in migration politics

Possible ways of addressing inequality issues in migration

  • International standards for global supply chains
  • Global supply chains monitoring for fair working conditions & pay, including paying appropriate taxes when paying workers
  • International Tax laws that prevent tax haven abuses
  • WHO to make statement on developing countries experiencing a brain drain to the richer , developed countries
  • Committee of migration at UN draw up detailed regulation of migration with increased avenues for legal migration
  • Link internally displaced persons (IDPs) to migration and services within IDP camps
  • Use human rights mechanism for economic, social and cultural rights and CEDAW (Committee to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women)
  • Advocacy at local, national and global levels

What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?

International migration is a complex issue that has injustice both being a cause and a result.  Nationalistic  policies can lead to injustice globally. This makes our personal decisions on what we buy and from whom and who we vote for as our representatives in government ethical issues which need careful consideration.