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HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL CONTINUES DISCUSSION ON DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN AND HUMAN RIGHTS OF MIGRANTS
22 June 2012

The Human Rights Council this morning continued its interactive dialogue with the Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice and the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants.

In the discussions, speakers said that discrimination against women and girls remained the most persistent and pervasive form of inequality today.  Its effective elimination required the consistent political will of States, with broad-based consensus in society to formulate and implement laws that promoted gender equality.  Speakers welcomed the cooperation that the Working Group had established with various United Nations actors relevant to the issue of discrimination against women and asked how that cooperation could be improved to boost the effective elimination of discrimination against women.  What were best ways to support civil society working for the realisation of women’s civil and political rights in countries where political will was absent and women did not enjoy the most fundamental rights?

On the human rights of migrants, countries welcomed the conclusions drawn by the Special Rapporteur and called for their universal application.  The underlining meaning of the distinction between legal and illegal migrants was to discourage illegal immigration as a major source of exploitation and abuse of human rights.  Illegal migrants were victims of criminal gangs who organized human trafficking and made money on the shoulders of people already under tremendous stress.  Several delegations were alarmed by the fact that in many countries thousands of irregular migrants had been criminalized, which added to a chain of abuse and violence against migrants and made access to effective remedies impossible.  What was the impact of the economic and financial crisis on the respect of the rights of migrants in developed countries, particularly in Europe and the United States?

Kamala Chandrakirana, Chairperson/Rapporteur of the Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice, in her closing remarks said that the productive engagement with the Government of Morocco had hopefully raised the confidence of all other States in terms of engaging with the Working Group.  The planned research would be based on a strong regional analysis, with, it was hoped, involvement of regional research institutions providing strong knowledge-based approach to the two thematic priorities.  With regard to expected results, the Working Group hoped to highlight challenges to the participation of women in public and political life in times of political transitions and in economic and financial crises.  

Ms. Chandrakirana made her concluding remarks during the morning meeting because she had a plane to catch.  François Crépeau, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, will provide his closing remarks at the end of the interactive dialogue this afternoon.

Speaking this morning were Mexico on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group, Colombia, Senegal on behalf of the African Group, Argentina, Algeria, Jordan on behalf of the Arab Group, European Union, Russian Federation, Philippines, Djibouti, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Belgium, Guatemala, Italy, Peru, Greece, Honduras, Spain, Iraq, Switzerland, Australia, Germany, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Cuba, Egypt, United States, Maldives, Venezuela, Tunisia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Paraguay, Panama, Romania, Mexico, Republic of Moldova, Ecuador, Norway, Uruguay, Poland, Republic of Korea, China, Malaysia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sri Lanka, Finland, United Arab Emirates and Austria.

The Council will resume its work at 3 p.m. today to conclude its clustered interactive dialogue with the Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice and the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants. It will then hold a clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rappporteur on the promotion of the enjoyment of the cultural rights of everyone and respect for cultural diversity and the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

Interactive Dialogue on Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice and on Human Rights of Migrants

Mexico, speaking on behalf of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries, said that the protection of the human rights of migrants involved a scope of human rights that was not limited by borders.  The Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries was alarmed by the fact that in many countries, thousands of irregular migrants had been criminalized.  This added to a chain of abuse and violence against migrants and made access to effective remedies impossible.  It was indispensable for the international community to work in a coordinated way in order to live up to the challenges it faced.  It was essential to recognize the positive contributions of migrants and ensure the full upholding of their rights.

Colombia said that Colombia had been moving towards the adoption of a national public policy of gender equality to ensure the human rights of women and gender equality, taking into account the particularities that affected rural and urban populations.   The law on victims and land restitution had broad-based differential focus which gave special emphasis on women victims of violence in Colombia.

Senegal, speaking on behalf of the African Group, stressed the importance of assessing the world of international cooperation and development.  The African Group strongly condemned violations and abuse which migrants were subjected to, and who most of the time were wrongly presented as criminals, with no mention of their contributions.  The African Group was alarmed by measures directly affecting migrants who were separated by expedited and unilateral expulsion procedures. 

Argentina stressed the importance of the Working Group on discrimination against women.  Concerning legislative advancements against discrimination, Argentina had reformed its criminal code to derogate sentence exceptions on sexual crimes when victims requested the court; furthermore, legislation on gender identity and the free development of the person and identification had been adopted.  A national programme on sexual and reproductive health had also been established and Argentina had promoted the establishment of a working group on diversity and sexual and reproductive rights, improving access to sexual and reproductive health services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. 

Algeria said that Algeria’s legal system promoted women’s full exercise of their rights and that participation in the political sphere was a priority.  A hundred and forty-six women had been elected to Parliament in the last elections and Algeria had withdrawn reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.  In 2005 legislation on the family code had been revised in favour of women, notably concerning marriage, divorce and child custody.  In response to illegal migration, Algeria had established conditions of entry, accommodation and movement of foreigners, which aimed at preventing exploitation, and ensuring respect for the human rights of migrants undergoing repatriation. 

Jordan, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, registered with great attention the importance of the thematic priorities of the Working Group’s future report.  The Arab Group reaffirmed the importance of enhancing dialogue among States and recognising different legal systems when dealing with this issue and with concepts which were not universal.  Relevant work by other United Nations bodies should be taken into account in order to avoid duplication.  Arab countries were committed to ensuring the role of women in society and combating all forms of violence.  In an effort to protect women’s rights, an organization for Arab women had been set up with the objective of enabling women to play an active role in society on an equal basis.

European Union said that discrimination against women and girls remained the most persistent and pervasive form of inequality and reiterated the commitment to eliminate it.  The European Union welcomed the cooperation that the Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice had established with various United Nations actors relevant to the issue of discrimination against women and asked how it could be improved to boost the effective elimination of discrimination against women.  The European Union welcomed the conclusions drawn by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants and called for their universal application.  What kind of disaggregated data should be collected on migrants in arbitrary detention?

Russian Federation drew the attention of the Council to the withdrawal of assistance by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to shipwrecked Libyan migrants in the Mediterranean in August 2011.  This represented a violation of international laws and international norms and standards, including the obligation to save lives at sea.  Could the Special Rapporteur on human rights of migrants comment on this incident?

Philippines said the Philippines prided itself with its policies and programmes to manage the migration of its citizens and said that around 10 per cent of its population resided abroad.  Protection of Philippine migrants in transit or in destination countries was a challenge and the Philippines relied on assistance of host Governments and their respect for bilateral and international human rights obligations.  Alternatives to detention should be explored and pursued whenever appropriate, while smuggled or trafficked migrants should be treated as victims.

Djibouti said Djibouti had adopted a series of legislative reforms to ensure women’s rights, including a 2002 family code making gender equality a priority for society and a national strategy introduced in 2003 to promote the mainstreaming of women in the development process.

Netherlands said that the effective elimination of discrimination against women required the consistent political will of States, with broad-based consensus in society to formulate and implement laws that promoted gender equality.  The Netherlands was strongly opposed to practices, laws and policies that led to gender discrimination.  The issue had been placed at the core of its National Action Plan 2012-2015, and the Netherlands had committed itself to electoral gender quotas.

New Zealand said that women in the country did not always enjoy the full equality guaranteed in law.  Violence within families was still of immense concern.  New Zealand was interested in hearing about any existing good practices on sustainably enhancing the political participation of women, through an approach that was designed to have the ability to overcome any risk of backsliding.

Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that detention for immigration purposes should never be mandatory or automatic.  According to Council resolution 15/23, the mandate of the Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice was to undertake a study in cooperation with and reflecting the views of States.  The role of the Working Group was to provide assistance where required by States in fulfilling their own commitments, rather than enforcing its own views on States or defining what these commitments should be.  Concerning the work of the Working Group on courts based on customary or religious law, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation underlined that States that had formed courts on religious law had done so for the reason that religious law took priority from their perspective over other options of laws and legislations available.

Belgium said that, at the centre of struggles for increasing democracy, women were being persecuted for waging a war in favour of human rights but also because they were women.  It was unacceptable that in the name of religion, tradition or cultural dogmas, women’s bodies were being subjected to barbaric treatment, including mutilation, sterilisation, and violations.  In countries where political will was absent and women did not enjoy the most fundamental rights, Belgium inquired how to best support civil society working for the realisation of women’s civil and political rights.

Guatemala said that it was of vital importance to ensure the link between human rights and migration.  States were responsible for guaranteeing that the most elemental rights of migrants were respected.  Guatemala was the country of origin of many migrants whom, while looking for a better life, had become victims of violations.  Guatemala requested the Working Group to elaborate on the importance of communication and coordination and synergies between different stakeholders to address migration in a holistic way.

Italy recalled that the underlining meaning of the distinction between legal and illegal migrants was to discourage illegal immigration as a major source of exploitation and abuse of human rights.  Illegal migrants were victims of criminal gangs who organized human trafficking and made money on the shoulders on people already under tremendous stress.  The international community must strengthen cooperation in fighting this phenomenon and develop comprehensive strategies at national, regional and global levels, based on cooperation between countries of origin, transport and destination.

Peru said that migratory flows were very complex and the international community must respond to challenges posed by this phenomenon, including by its feminization and increasing vulnerability of migrants.  Some countries had imposed extreme and even arbitrary measures on migrants that were not a danger to society, but despite those measures, the number of illegal entries had not gone down.  Continued dialogue based on the principle of shared responsibility was essential, as was the recognition of the contribution of migrants to national economies.

Greece said that the situation of migrants was one of the most pressing challenges of Greece which faced particularly heavy migratory pressures as it was a point of entry into the European Union.  Greece accounted for almost 90 per cent of all illegal border crossings into the European Union.  Considering the current financial crises, were there any alternatives to detention facilities when those facilities were not enough to accommodate a great influx of migrants?  Greece welcomed the thematic priorities of the Working Group on discrimination against women and called upon all States to extend invitations and collaborate with the Working Group in good spirit.

Honduras said that irregular migrants were not criminals and should not be treated as such.  However, deprivation of liberty of a migrant as well as any other person was justified when there was a risk of someone avoiding future legal or administrative procedures or representing a danger for their own safety or public security.  Honduras was concerned by the fact that migrants may be deprived of their freedom for long or indefinite periods of time, with vague motives for this. Fundamental legal safeguards should be in place and Honduras called upon States to revise their laws and policies on the detention of migrants.

Spain said that law 35/2011 had come up with the concept of shared ownership and was important in recognizing women in the rural world, with priority given to their insertion in economic and social life.  One of the most important structural reforms that the Government had undertaken was the Royal Decree Law 3/2012 on urgent measures for the reform of the labour market, favouring the creation of jobs, and reconciliation with family life for women.  

Iraq said that since 2003 it had sought to find and formulate legal frameworks that would provide gender equality in political and public life for women.  Since 2005 a quota for the participation of women in parliament had been set.  Iraq had sought to review all legislation from a human rights perspective, and from women’s issues perspectives.  It had implemented and acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and withdrawn its reservations on women transferring their nationality to their children. 

Switzerland welcomed the approach of work based on pre-existing standards and the work by other United Nations bodies and Special Procedures and regional human rights mechanisms.  Switzerland stressed that impunity was a major challenge and dealing with it should be considered as a priority.  What was the priority of the Working Group in addressing discrimination against women, efforts to abolish discriminatory laws and eliminating discrimination in practice? 

Australia stressed the need for continued support for United Nations Women.  Intersecting forms of discrimination could have a compounding effect and the Government was committed to advancing legislation, policies and programmes to promote equality and non-discrimination.  Eliminating gender based discrimination in the workplace was essential to ensuring women’s workforce participation; to this end legislation strengthening equal opportunities had also been implemented. 

Germany said that a lot remained to be done and in some cases there may still be regulatory gaps in ensuring equality.  The problem of multiple discrimination was also important, women were often not only discriminated against because of their sex, but also because of ethnicity, religious, sexuality, caste, or marital status.  Women participating in political change and public life were often exposed to violence due to stereotypes about femininity and sexual orientation; which experiences could the Working Group share in this regard?

Kuwait concurred with the Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice that the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women required gender equality and equal access of women to political and public life.  Kuwait had enacted laws to enhance and promote women’s role in advancing society and gave them important roles in Government, society and political life.  Kuwait’s ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women was the confirmation of its commitment to dignity of women and this international instrument was part and parcel on national laws.

Kyrgyzstan highlighted the progress made in the country since its first Universal Periodic Review concerning elimination of discrimination against women, including the promulgation of laws facilitating the participation of women in public and private life.  Kyrgyzstan welcomed this dialogue which allowed the country to learn about good practices and approaches that would help it in its work to eliminate discrimination against women.

Cuba believed that the thematic priorities of the Working Group on discrimination against women for 2012-2013 were both complex and far reaching in nature.  The Working Group should engage in extensive consultations with States and other actors and should not ignore in its analyses the existence of different legal, customary and cultural systems.  Violations of rights of migrants occurred mainly in developing countries; could the Special Rapporteur elaborate on the impact of the economic and financial crisis on respect for the rights of migrants, particularly in Europe and the United States?

Egypt supported the call to ensure that migrants in detention were accurately informed of their status and rights, including the right to contact a consular or embassy representative and members of their families.  The rights of migrants regardless of their status had to be observed and fulfilled.  Particular attention should be paid to the situation of migrant women in detention.  Egypt was particularly concerned about the detention of unaccompanied children.  It was alarmed by the attempt to insert the controversial notion of sexual orientation, which fell outside universally agreed human rights norms.  

United States said political transitions, and especially women’s efforts, offered new opportunities for legislators to revisit laws that discriminated against women.  The United States had urged close coordination between governments and civil society in the Middle East and North Africa to build awareness of women’s human rights and ensure that those rights were enshrined in national constitution and respected in practice.   It requested that the Special Rapporteur further consider how some non-custodial options might exacerbate migrants’ vulnerabilities to human trafficking.

Maldives said that national, regional and international human rights mechanisms played critical roles in ensuring women’s full enjoyment of their rights.  States had a pivotal role in promoting gender equality.  The Maldives had passed into law a domestic violence act in April 2011 to protect and ensure access to channels of redress for women.  There was still a long way to go, but significant progress had been made.  In May 2011 a Ministry of Gender, Family and Human Rights, to mainstream women and children rights in the development programmes of every sector of the Government, had been created.
Venezuela expressed support for the thematic priorities of the Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice.  Venezuela was committed to this struggle and , its legal framework included laws on violence prevention and equal opportunities.  The main international instruments had been ratified.   Venezuela had also achieved improvements concerning access to education and inequality between sexes at all educational levels.

Tunisia looked forward to the upcoming visit of the Working Group and reiterated its interest in advancing the role of women in society without discrimination.  Concerning migration, persons in illegal residence were not excluded from the protection of international norms, protection should be accorded and migrants’ detention should only be implemented when it was necessary, reasonable and proportional.  Despite difficult political and economic conditions, Tunisia remained convinced of its responsibility to protect the rights of migrants.

Czech Republic welcomed that the issue of discrimination against women was a priority for the future work of the Working Group, including women’s human rights in transition periods.  Transition processes in different countries had a great deal in common; however there were significant differences in local conditions and specific challenges for women.  The Czech Republic asked how the Working Group envisioned reflecting this reality in its research; and to elaborate on what kind of activities States could undertake to override stereotypes, traditions and socio-cultural norm to fully implemented women rights.

Cyprus appreciated the multi-stakeholder approach that the Working Group adopted through its engagement with States, United Nations agencies, civil society organizations, and human rights institutions, and was looking forward to its report which would underline a human rights-based approach and women empowerment as agents on eliminating discrimination against women in law and practice.  Cyprus attached particular importance to the promotion of the human rights of women and gender equality through revision and repeal of discriminatory provisions in legislation, establishment of specialized institutions, and the adoption of specific policies and strategies.

Paraguay was concerned about the deprivation of liberty of migrants under the pretext of national security and noted that deprivation of liberty of pregnant women or children created traumatic situations, which eroded the dignity of this vulnerable group.  Paraguay regretted that the report prepared by Mr. Crépeau had not taken up other issues related to migration such as transnational families, South-South mobility, or positive aspects of migration.  The Special Rapporteur should study border management in the Schengen area in order to ascertain the place of human rights in the elaboration and implementation of various migratory policies.

Panama was actively implementing measures protecting the rights of migrants and their families, and in the first year of implementation of its programme “Panama the Melting Pot”, had regularized 20,000 illegal migrants and members of their families.  The Government had granted stay and work permits to all those migrants who had met the requirements and had integrated them into the labour force in the country.  It had also created a new category of immigrants called resident foreigners, which regularized migrants from friendly countries.

Romania supported the Work Group’s tackling of this area as a matter of first priority.   In Romania, statistics showed that there were generally less women in decision-making positions than men, but the situation had started to slightly improve.  The empowerment of women in the fields of economic and social life contributed to better decision making.  Romania conveyed its readiness to welcome the Working Group in the country and engage in fruitful dialogue during 2013.

Mexico said it was urgent to support the strengthening of legal measures through dissemination and awareness-raising campaigns, to put an end to sexual discrimination.  Mexico had engaged in a number of diverse actions aimed at promoting women’s full enjoyment of their rights, including a reform on gender and discrimination published last month.  The ultimate goal was the elimination of discrimination against women and guaranteeing their access to justice.  It was an obligation, and not a question to be pursued by women alone.  It reaffirmed that international commitment was key in this agenda.

Republic of Moldova firmly believed that only an inclusive approach with the consultation of all relevant stakeholders and mainstreaming of the findings on this subject could bring positive results.  It was rather important to apply the streamlining of international provisions with regional realities and contexts that women faced.  The Republic of Moldova had made significant progress on the legal and institutional framework for equality between men and women.  Gender policies were integrated in all strategic documents. Gender focal points operated in all national institutions and local public authorities.  Could good practices be shared for empowering women’s role in the political life at decision-making levels?

Ecuador reiterated its determination to guarantee the rights of migrants and rejected the criminalisation of irregular migration, xenophobia, racism and intolerance.  As capital and merchandises were increasingly mobile, the right to freedom of movement for people should be greater.  Shared international responsibility had not been sufficiently accepted by a large part of reception countries that maintained a restrictive approach to migration.  Women continued to be discriminated against in many countries, even in developed countries.  In this regard, Ecuador had extended social security and provided basic protection for vulnerable women. 

Norway said that no society was completely free from discrimination against women and the Council must play an important role.  Noting that new political openings and transition could bring backlash and new forms of discrimination, Norway asked the Working Group to elaborate on measures to avoid or overcome such backlash and establish sustainable progress.  Norway also inquired how men and boys could be involved in changing negative gender stereotypes; it asked the Working Group to further elaborate the relationship between equality and development.

Uruguay said that political will was necessary for eliminating discrimination against women.  Feminist movements had played an important role leading to changes in laws and policies and it was important to emphasize cases of multiple discrimination and the recognition of legal frameworks and practices which implied a discriminatory interpretation of positive law and norms.  Irregular migrants remained under the protection of international human rights norms, even when arbitrary detentions continued in many parts of the world; the situation of migrant women, children and the criminalisation of irregular migration remained of concern.

Poland reiterated its commitment to combating challenges posed by discrimination against women and touched on them in its Universal Periodic Review interventions.  The political transition offered a unique opportunity for the countries to gradually change discriminatory laws and eradicate discriminatory practices.  The transition however, did not always have a sure outcome and could backfire in creating ground for new discriminatory phenomena.  A close eye needed to be kept on those threats and Poland trusted that the Working Group would fulfil this task well.

Republic of Korea reaffirmed strong support for the work of the Working Group which would contribute to fulfilling the obligations and commitments of States to remove laws that discriminated on the basis of sex and remove gender bias in the administration of justice.  The Working Group should add new value to the existing agencies and human rights bodies, including this Council, United Nations Women, and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.  Given the rapid increase in the number of migrants, many of whom were in irregular situation, Governments faced new challenges of balancing the needs of border control while respecting the human rights of everyone.  Special attention needed to be given to migrants with particular protection needs, such as women, children, and victims of trafficking.

China said that political unrest in some countries and the worsening consequences of economic and financial crises in others posed a number of challenges to the elimination of discrimination against women.  The Working Group should put emphasis in its future work on the impact of political transition on the rights of women.  China intended to adopt stronger measures for the implementation of the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and so enhance the status of women in this country.  With the financial crisis, acts of exclusion and intolerance vis-à-vis migrants were growing and state policies in some States were harsh.  All States must recognize the positive contribution of migrants to the economy and recovery.

Malaysia said that it had and continued to conduct awareness and training programmes, including gender sensitization courses for its administrative, enforcement and judicial officers in dealing with the issue of discrimination against women.  It sought further clarification on the Working Group’s plan to engage with other stakeholders as mentioned in paragraphs 47 and 48 of the report, specifically what criteria would be used in choosing which civil society organization to approach and solicit information, documentation and material from relating to its priorities.

Bosnia and Herzegovina said that a coordination body for the Monitoring Enforcement of the Action Plan had been established.   The plan placed particular emphasis on the implementation of activities aimed at women’s participation in political and public life.  Though a large number of activities had been undertaken, desirable results in practice had not yet been achieved, though significant progress was obvious.  The main goal was to further raise awareness within the society through media, academics and civil society in order to encourage women to participate in public activities, electoral processes and apply for different posts as
candidates.

Concluding Remarks,

KAMALA CHANDRAKIRANA, Chairperson/Rapportuer of the Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice, said in concluding remarks that she was thankful for the expressed willingness to provide assistance in implementation of such a broad mandate.  Ms. Chandrakirana thanked Morocco for its positive response to the report and looked forward to further discussions and follow-up to recommendations.  Such productive engagement had hopefully raised the confidence of all other Member States in terms of the productiveness and benefits of engaging with the Working Group.   It would base its research on strong regional analysis, and would hopefully engage in collaborations with all key institutions including with regionally-based research institutes, which would hopefully allow for a strong knowledge-based approach to the two key themes.  Formal and informal activities and dialogue with stakeholders would also be carried out over three sessions per year.  Expectations in terms of the results included the highlight of challenges in political and public life, including political transition and times of economic crisis, and the development of recommendations such as on addressing social and cultural stereotypes.

In response to Senegal’s question regarding its work method on communications, Ms. Chandrakirana said it reflected its commitment to conduct the mandate comprehensively and optimally and that it would refer to the manual of Special Procedures.  Pakistan was thanked for sharing of information on courts formed that were based on religious law and hopefully good practices would be compiled from these courts.  The Working Group was confident that it had not forcibly imposed any values, outside of international human rights standards, or made any duplications.  On complimentarity, the Working Group planned to be led by strong analysis on what achievements already existed and how to build on these in terms of collaborations and what the gaps were.  In response to Switzerland on addressing impunity, it hoped to address this in the first thematic report in 2013.

Interactive Dialogue on Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice and on Human Rights of Migrants

Sri Lanka said that high levels of educational attainment and women’s empowerment had recently been achieved and women occupied important positions in the Government.  Millennium Development Goals were part of the national development agenda, including equitable primary education, child and maternal mortality, and access to drinking water.  Legislation on the prevention of domestic violence act and measures for implementation in former conflict affected areas had been adopted.  A sustained human rights approach to migration was needed to protect migrants in all stages of migratory process.

Finland stressed that women should be equal participants in society and welcomed the focus on countries currently undergoing political transitions, when human rights where often at risk.  The exposure of women participating in political change public life was alarming.  Finland agreed that in an ever changing and complex world the sustainability of results in gender equality and women’s rights was crucial.  Higher goals should be set to strive for the fulfilment of women’s rights globally. 

United Arab Emirates welcomed the thematic priorities that were at the core of discrimination against women, in particularly discrimination in economic and social life, and policies protecting women’s status, especially during economic crises.  The United Arab Emirates found that a purely legalistic approach was not sufficient to address illegal migration; poverty, hunger, unemployment and conflict should be addressed.  International organizations should be strengthened to support measures by countries to reduce illegal migration. 

Austria said that the international community needed to intensify its efforts to eliminate discrimination against women.  Austria inquired about the Working Group’s cooperation with other Special Procedures and United Nations Women, and asked whether a calendar of future visits had been established.  A human rights-based approach to migration was needed and Austria asked the Special Rapporteur on the rights of migrants about plans for future cooperation with other stakeholders such as the High Commissioner, International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime on the issue on migration.


For use of the information media; not an official record

HRC12/071E


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