2022 Resolution on Violence Against Women Migrant Workers

UNGA 76th ses­sion
6 Jan 2022

Analysis of precedential value

UN Gen­eral Assem­bly (UNGA) is the pre­em­i­nent gov­ern­ing body of the UN sys­tem and con­sists of all 193 UN Mem­ber States. The scope of the Gen­eral Assem­bly’s func­tions are, to put it sim­ply, gen­eral and encom­pass both human rights and global health. Rel­e­vant high-level prece­dent can be drawn from Gen­eral Assem­bly doc­u­ments includ­ing polit­i­cal dec­la­ra­tions, out­come doc­u­ments, and other res­o­lu­tions. Due to its uni­ver­sal mem­ber­ship, the Gen­eral Assem­bly pro­duces among the most author­i­tia­tive prece­dents.

This res­o­lu­tion was based on text co-authored by 17 UN Mem­ber States, and once the draft was released, 33 other States agreed to be co-spon­sors. Its sub­mis­sion was com­ple­mented by a report from Ms. Maria-Iuliana Nic­u­lae (Roma­nia), Rap­por­teur of the UNGA’s Social, Human­i­tar­ian and Cul­tural Com­mit­tee.

Used as precedent

bodily autonomy and integrity, human rights

Calls upon all Gov­ern­ments to incor­po­rate a human rights, gen­der-respon­sive and peo­ple-cen­tred per­spec­tive in leg­is­la­tion, poli­cies and pro­grammes on inter­na­tional migra­tion and on labour and employ­ment, con­sis­tent with their human rights oblig­a­tions and com­mit­ments under human rights instru­ments, for the pre­ven­tion of and pro­tec­tion of migrant women against vio­lence and dis­crim­i­na­tion, traf­fick­ing in per­sons, exploita­tion and abuse, to take effec­tive mea­sures to ensure that such migra­tion and labour poli­cies do not rein­force dis­crim­i­na­tion, and, where nec­es­sary, to con­duct impact assess­ment stud­ies of such leg­is­la­tion, poli­cies and pro­grammes, and to take into account the need for effec­tive and mean­ing­ful par­tic­i­pa­tion of women migrant work­ers and rel­e­vant civil soci­ety orga­ni­za­tions, as appro­pri­ate, in the for­mu­la­tion of such poli­cies and pro­grammes.

bodily autonomy and integrity, gender equality

Urges States to adopt or develop and imple­ment leg­is­la­tion and poli­cies, in accor­dance with their com­mit­ments and oblig­a­tions under inter­na­tional law, to pre­vent and respond to gen­der-related killing of women and girls, includ­ing femi­cide, while tak­ing into account the par­tic­u­lar dif­fi­cul­ties faced by women migrant work­ers in access­ing jus­tice.

human rights, positive legal determinants

Urges Gov­ern­ments to enhance bilat­eral, regional, inter­re­gional and inter­na­tional coop­er­a­tion to address vio­lence against women migrant work­ers, fully respect­ing inter­na­tional law, includ­ing inter­na­tional human rights law, as well as to strengthen efforts to reduce the vul­ner­a­bil­ity of women migrant work­ers by pro­mot­ing decent work, by, inter alia, adopt­ing min­i­mum wage poli­cies and employ­ment con­tracts in accor­dance with applic­a­ble laws and reg­u­la­tions, facil­i­tat­ing effec­tive access to jus­tice and effec­tive action in the areas of law enforce­ment, pros­e­cu­tion, pre­ven­tion, capac­ity-build­ing and vic­tim pro­tec­tion and sup­port, exchang­ing infor­ma­tion and good prac­tices in com­bat­ing vio­lence and dis­crim­i­na­tion against women migrant work­ers and fos­ter­ing sus­tain­able devel­op­ment alter­na­tives to migra­tion in coun­tries of ori­gin.

human rights

Also urges Gov­ern­ments to take into account the best inter­ests of the child by adopt­ing or strength­en­ing mea­sures to respect, pro­mote and pro­tect the human rights of migrant chil­dren, espe­cially girls, includ­ing unac­com­pa­nied girls, regard­less of their migra­tory sta­tus, so as to pre­vent traf­fick­ing in per­sons, labour and eco­nomic exploita­tion, dis­crim­i­na­tion, all forms of sex­ual exploita­tion, sex­ual harass­ment, vio­lence and sex­ual abuse of migrant chil­dren, includ­ing in online and dig­i­tal con­texts.

gender equality

Calls upon States to address the struc­tural and under­ly­ing causes of all forms of vio­lence against women migrant work­ers, includ­ing through edu­ca­tion and the dis­sem­i­na­tion of infor­ma­tion and by rais­ing aware­ness of gen­der equal­ity issues, pro­mot­ing their eco­nomic empow­er­ment and access to decent work and, where rel­e­vant, their inte­gra­tion into the for­mal econ­omy, in par­tic­u­lar in eco­nomic deci­sion-mak­ing, and pro­mot­ing their par­tic­i­pa­tion in pub­lic life, as appro­pri­ate.Urges Mem­ber States to estab­lish an inclu­sive and gen­der-respon­sive pub­lic health response to the COVID-19 pan­demic that addresses the spe­cific needs of migrant women and pro­vides equi­table access to com­pre­hen­sive health-care ser­vices for women migrant work­ers, includ­ing men­tal health and psy­choso­cial sup­port, pal­lia­tive care and access to safe, qual­ity, effec­tive and afford­able vac­ci­na­tion.

key and vulnerable populations, stigma and discrimination

Also calls upon Gov­ern­ments to rec­og­nize the right of women migrant work­ers and their accom­pa­ny­ing chil­dren, regard­less of their migra­tory sta­tus, to have access with­out dis­crim­i­na­tion to emer­gency health care, includ­ing in times of human­i­tar­ian crises, nat­ural dis­as­ters, pan­demics and other emer­gency sit­u­a­tions, and in this regard to ensure that women migrant work­ers are not dis­crim­i­nated against on the grounds of preg­nancy and child­birth and, in accor­dance with national leg­is­la­tion, to address the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties to HIV expe­ri­enced by migrant pop­u­la­tions and sup­port their access to HIV pre­ven­tion, treat­ment, care and sup­port.

key population and community leadership

Urges States to rec­og­nize the sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions and lead­er­ship of women in migrant com­mu­ni­ties and to take appro­pri­ate steps to pro­mote their full, equal and mean­ing­ful par­tic­i­pa­tion in the devel­op­ment of local solu­tions and oppor­tu­ni­ties, and to rec­og­nize the impor­tance of pro­tect­ing labour rights and a safe envi­ron­ment for women migrant work­ers in all sec­tors, includ­ing those in infor­mal employ­ment, includ­ing through fair and eth­i­cal recruit­ment and the pre­ven­tion of exploita­tion, and to ensure safe, orderly and reg­u­lar migra­tion, as well as labour mobil­ity.

bodily autonomy and integrity, positive legal determinants

Urges States that have not yet done so to adopt and imple­ment leg­is­la­tion and poli­cies that pro­tect all women migrant work­ers, includ­ing those in domes­tic work, to include therein, and improve where nec­es­sary, rel­e­vant mon­i­tor­ing and inspec­tion mea­sures, in line with applic­a­ble Inter­na­tional Labour Orga­ni­za­tion con­ven­tions and other instru­ments to ensure com­pli­ance with inter­na­tional oblig­a­tions and to grant women migrant work­ers in domes­tic ser­vice access to gen­der-sen­si­tive, trans­par­ent mech­a­nisms for bring­ing com­plaints against recruit­ment agen­cies and employ­ers, includ­ing ter­mi­nat­ing their con­tracts in the event of labour and eco­nomic exploita­tion, dis­crim­i­na­tion, sex­ual harass­ment, vio­lence and sex­ual abuse in the work­place, while stress­ing that such instru­ments should not pun­ish women migrant work­ers, and calls upon States to promptly inves­ti­gate and pun­ish all vio­la­tions of their rights.

human rights, positive legal determinants, stigma and discrimination

Encour­ages States to con­sider ensur­ing that all women migrant work­ers, regard­less of their migra­tion sta­tus, can exer­cise their human rights through safe access to basic ser­vices, notwith­stand­ing that nation­als and reg­u­lar migrants may be enti­tled to more com­pre­hen­sive ser­vice pro­vi­sion, while ensur­ing that any dif­fer­en­tial treat­ment must be based on law, be pro­por­tion­ate and pur­sue a legit­i­mate aim, in accor­dance with inter­na­tional human rights law.

positive legal determinants

Calls upon Gov­ern­ments to ensure that leg­isla­tive pro­vi­sions and judi­cial processes are in place to pro­vide women migrant work­ers access to jus­tice, to enhance, develop or main­tain legal frame­works and spe­cific gen­der-respon­sive poli­cies to explic­itly meet their needs and rights and, where nec­es­sary, to take appro­pri­ate steps to reform exist­ing leg­is­la­tion and poli­cies to cap­ture their needs and pro­tect their rights.

negative legal determinants

Urges all States to adopt and imple­ment effec­tive mea­sures to put an end to the arbi­trary arrest and deten­tion of women migrant work­ers and to take action to pre­vent and pun­ish any form of ille­gal depri­va­tion of the lib­erty of women migrant work­ers by indi­vid­u­als or groups.