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UN rights experts urge states to protect migrant women and girls

[JURIST] Ahead of the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants on Monday, UN experts are urging [statement] states to protect women and girls in the movement of refugees and migrants by adhering to international human rights conventions and standards, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families [texts, PDF]. Migrant women and girls are at a high risk of gender-based violence while in transit and may also face intersecting forms of discrimination based race, nationality, or religion. The joint statement also notes it is important for countries to recognize the socio-economic contributions made by women, although their work is often undervalued. The experts believe this will benefit countries by giving a voice to more migrant women and girls.

UN committees and working groups have advocated for the rights and protection of women throughout the world. In a statement [JURIST report] released last month, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities said that women with disabilities face discrimination and are often excluded from freely participating in society. In June the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women in Law called on [JURIST report] the world's governments to take quick, effective steps towards ensuring women are granted equal rights to health, including reproductive and sexual health. UN officials last year called for an end [JURIST report] to female genital mutilation, including the medicalization of the practice. In January 2015 a group of UN human right experts urged [JURIST report] El Salvador to pardon all women jailed for illegal abortions as a result of pregnancy complications or rape.

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