JOINT RESPONSE TO THE DRAFT CMW DRAFT GENERAL COMMENT NO. 5 (2020) ON MIGRANTS’ RIGHTS TO LIBERTY AND FREEDOM FROM ARBITRARY DETENTION

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This submission is made on behalf of 11 civil society organizations and individuals working on issues concerning gender, sexuality and migration from different perspectives. [See Annex 1: List of Endorsements]. We commend the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CMW) for addressing the pressing issue of migrants’ rights to liberty and freedom from arbitrary detention and welcome the opportunity to provide inputs to the Draft General comment No. 5 (2020) on migrants’ rights to liberty and freedom from arbitrary detention in a very critical time given the COVID-19, discriminatory government response against the migrant workers during the pandemic and worryingly increasing incidents and crackdown against migrant workers globally. We believe that integrating a clear intersectional and gender analysis will further strengthen the draft general recommendation and set out some analysis and recommendation below for the Committee’s consideration:

1. Expressly recognize multiple and intersectional forms of discrimination in the context of violations of the rights to liberty and freedom from arbitrary detention of migrants

2. Address the xenophobic and nationalist discourse around migration particularly as it is taking place as a fall out of the COVID-19 pandemic

3. Address the impact of structural inequalities and gender stereotypes on violations of the right to liberty of migrants and reaffirm the rights to bodily integrity and autonomy

4. Include specific recommendations to strengthen the framework for ensuring accountability and access to justice for violations of migrant rights, especially women migrants’ rights

5. Address the current economic context as a key driver/ structural cause of migration and the absence of corporate accountability for migrants’ rights violations in the context of detention and immigration policies.

LIST OF ENDORSEMENTS:

1. Anita Ashong Katai, Barrister & Solicitor
2. Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN)
3. Beyond Trafficking & Slavery (BTS)
4. CREA
5. Dr. Samuel Okyere, University of Bristol
6. Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW)
7. Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP)
8. International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW AP)
9. Lawyers Collective 10. OutRight Action International
11. Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI)
12. WOREC Nepal

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