For Education, Empowerment & Equality

MPs urge G7 for human rights based action on migration

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5 May 2017 -- Eighty-nine parliamentarians from 57 countries have called on G7 governments to urgently address the challenges of migration, particularly as it affects women and girls. Their appeal came at an international parliamentarians' conference in Rome ahead of the G7 summit in Italy later this month.

“I am delighted to welcome this esteemed group of global parliamentarians to Rome,” commented Pia Locatelli, MP, Coordinator of the Italian All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health and Women’s rights. "We meet at a tumultuous time when there are huge numbers of migrants, refugees and internally displaced people all over the world. Migration is an issue that Italy deals with every day and we are determined to approach it with an approach rooted in human rights."

"Parliamentarians are important in improving quality of life regarding the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for women and girls, especially migrants," commented Ulrika Karlsson, MP, President of the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF). "Seizing the opportunity presented by this conference and delivering a strong message to G7 leaders is an important way we can play our role as public representatives.”

While acknowledging the huge positive potential of migration for both individuals and states, the parliamentarians stressed the many challenges of irregular migration.

“Around half of the world’s 60 million refugees are women and girls. This group faces many risks, especially threats of violence and sexual exploitation. For example, they are often forced into transactional sex by smugglers in exchange for travel documents. However, women should not only be seen as victims,” commented Maria Grazia Panunzi, President of  the Italian Association for Women in Development (AIDOS).

The conference was opened by Paolo Gentiloni, Prime Minister of Italy. A special inauguration speech was delivered by Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of Myanmar and a keynote address delivered by Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Laura Boldrini, MP, President of the Chamber of Deputies and Linda Lanzillotta, Senator, First Vice President of the Senate were the hosts of the conference.

In the final parliamentary appeal document, which will be incorporated into the G7 process, parliamentarians called on world leaders to:

·       provide comprehensive sexuality education and establish a health system that focuses on universal access to full sexual and reproductive health services including family planning and information for young people

·       adopt policies that embrace the contributions migration makes to the political, economic, social and cultural fabric of countries of origin and destination alike

·       promote, protect and fulfil the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, especially those of women and children

·       incorporate a gender perspective into policies and strengthen national laws, institutions and programmes to combat gender-based violence including harmful practices, trafficking in persons and discrimination against women and girls

·       create an environment where girls and women are empowered

About the conference

The 2017 International G7/20 Parliamentarians’ Conference was organised by Italian All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health and Women’s rights in collaboration with the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF) and the Italian Association for Women in Development (AIDOS).

The conference was organised in association with the Italian G7 Presidency and with the support of the Italian Senate and Chamber of Deputies.

The theme of the conference was “The Challenges of a World on the Move: Migration and Gender Equality, Women’s Agency and Sustainable Development.”

The meeting was organised in partnership with the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD), the African Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (FPA), the Arab Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development and the Inter-American Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (IAPG).

ENDS

View photos of the conference here

Download the Rome Parliamentary Appeal here:

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