Vala Bjarney Gunnarsdóttir, starfsnemi hjá fastanefnd Íslands í Genf, flutti ræðu í mannréttindaráðinu 25. júní 2019 í sérstökum umræðum í málefnum farenda.
Clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Migrants and Independent Expert on International Solidarity
25 June 2019
Statement by Iceland
Iceland thanks the Special Rapporteur for his latest report and warmly welcomes its focus.
Iceland is a firm advocate of gender equality and in the context of the human rights of migrants we support your conclusion that there is a need to better protect migrant women and girls from gender-based discrimination, abuse and violations at all stages of migration.
We find compelling your conclusion that for many women and girls, migration in fact provides opportunities for their economic and social development. Not least how it can lead to increased self-confidence, autonomy and control over their lives and, eventually, lead to positive changes in this respect in their country of origin.
We also found interesting the indication that when women rather than men have migrated in order to find meaningful work, and be able to send home remittances, this has led to changes in traditional gender roles; with the men staying behind taking over the role of caregiver, traditionally occupied by mothers.
You also point out that migrant women often tend to be paid less than men. Last year in Iceland, a groundbreaking law on equal pay went into force and our belief is that this law will also contribute to tackle this disparity that women, including migrant women, face, and we are therefore pleased that you highlighted this important issue.
Of course, as you also point out, Mr. Morales, migration also has negative aspects, in particular with regard to migrant women and girls, who can face discrimination and be subjected to torture and ill-treatment.
The issue of migration overall is one that has recently been highly contested in many places, and there is a need to try and harmonize that debate, and the way we approach migration, in order to find that elusive consensus.
You say there is limited understanding of the realities faced by migrant women and girls and that this affects the ability of States to formulate and implement gender-responsive migration laws, policies and programmes. How can we best further the understanding of these realities, in your opinion?
I thank you.