UNIFEM East & Southeast Asia Regional Office
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Migration Publications

Good Practices To Protect Women Migrant Workers- File

Good Practices To Protect Women Migrant Workers

This UNIFEM publication is the result of the High-Level Government Meeting on Good Practices to Protect Women Migrant Workers held in Bangkok, December 2005. The report explores the successes and challenges in protecting migrant domestic workers in terms of management, regulation and laws. It shows the development of country-specific good practices in various countries of employment, namely Bahrain, Brunei, Jordan, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Finally, Senior Government Officials present at the meeting agreed to a set of recommendations regarding migration management, welfare and support services and coordination.

Empowering Women Migrant Workers in Asia, A Briefing Kit

This kit developed by UNIFEM is informed by the experience of struggle, resilience and creative practice of women migrant workers and their support groups. It enhances an understanding of how prevention of discrimination and abuse of women migrant workers should be addressed as issues of ensuring gender equality and basic human rights; promoting sustainable development and good governance. Finally it reinforces commitment to collaborative action between government and civil society stakeholders within and across countries and regions, in ways that meaningfully protect and empower women migrant workers.





  1. Introduction: Why Protect and Empower Women Migrant Workers

  2. Stories of Women Migrant Workers

  3. Facts about Women’s Migration for Work in Asia

  4. Exploring Links and Differences Between Migration, HumanTrafficking and Smuggling

  5. Migration for Work – a Gender, Human Rights, Development and Good Governance Issue

  6. Gendered Basis for Women’s Migration for Work

  7. Gendered Violations and Impacts throughout the Migration Cycle

  8. Women Migrant Workers’ Capacity and Contribution

  9. Strategic Interventions 

  10. Examples of Good Practice 

  11. Tools for Gender and Rights-based Programming 

  12. References

Human Rights Protection Applicable to Women Migrant Workers, A UNIFEM Briefing Paper

This briefing paper is intended to provide tools for human rights advocates working to advance the rights of women migrant workers. It examines a set of concerns facing women migrant workers – with an emphasis on women in domestic service. It further demonstrates how the five most relevant major human rights instruments – the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and their Families (MWC), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination  Against Women (CEDAW), the International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) –can be applied.


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Cover Page and Introduction: Feminized Labour Migration in the Context of Globalization

  1. Exploitative Terms of Work: Pay, Hours and Contracts

  2. Locked in the Home: Restrictions on the Freedom of Movement

  3. Labour Market Discrimination Against Women – at Home and Abroad

  4. Dangerous and Degrading Working Conditions – Safety and Health

  5. Gender-Based Violence in the Workplace

  6. Gendered forms of Racism and Xenophobia Against Women Migrant Workers

  7. Restrictions on Migrant Women’s Ability to Organize for their Rights and end notes


UNIFEM-CEDAW Panel on Addressing Women Migrant Workers’ Concerns

This publication is a report of the UNIFEM-CEDAW Panel on Addressing Women Migrant Workers’ Concerns, held during the CEDAW session in New York, June 2003. The report highlights the explicit and disproportionate rights violations of women migrant workers in relation to men at all stages of the migration process; and how the rights of women migrant workers can be more effectively addressed through the CEDAW process in both countries of origin and employment.


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  1. Opening Remarks and Messages

  2. Addressing Human Rights Violations Against Women Migrant Workers through CEDAW

  3. Human Rights Protections on Applicable to Women Migrant Workers

  4. Creative Practices and Continuing Challenges in Addressing Migration: The UNIFEM Regional Programme on Empowering Women Migrant Workers in Asia and other Initiatives 

  5. Open Forum and Outcomes


Promoting Gender Equality to Combat Trafficking in Women and Children

This publication is a product of the seminar on “Promoting Gender Equality to Combat Trafficking in Women and Girls”, co-organized by The Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden and UNIFEM in co-operation with UNESCAP, 7-9 October 2002. It highlights key trends in trafficking; briefly reviews current initiatives to address the same; maps out the salient elements of a gender sensitive rights-based development perspective on the issue; fore-grounds key gender concerns throughout the trafficking process and suggests strategic interventions, essentially preventive strategies –economic empowerment; social protection and security; education; legislation; safe migration and transformation of attitudes and behaviour - to address the issue.


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  1. Table of Contents and Messages

  2. Gender Equality, Human Rights and Trafficking: A Framework of Analysis and Action

  3. Providing Livelihood Options for Women and Adolescent Girls: An Integrated Approach

  4. Providing Education for Livelihood and Resilience for Girls and Boys

  5. Providing Social Security and Protection for Women and Children in Difficult Circumstances

  6. Safe Migration and Citizenship Rights for Women and Adolescent Girls

  7. Promoting Effective Legal Strategies to Combat Trafficking

  8. Promoting Changes in Existing Social Attitudes to Women, Men and Sexuality

  9. Discussions and Recommendations

  10. Appendices


Claim and Celebrate Women Migrants’ Human Rights through CEDAW, The Case of Women Migrant Workers, A UNIFEM Briefing Paper

This publication takes women’s migration for work as an illustration to demonstrate how CEDAW’s methodological framework – in fact the entire Convention – can be effectively used to address the long term and immediate concerns of women migrants, at all stages of the migration process, even in the absence of a specific Article on migration. It further shows how CEDAW’s existing potential to address migration can be significantly strengthened through the adoption of a General Recommendation on migration. 

  1. Cover page and Table of Contents

  2. Chapter one, CEDAW’s Uniqueness, An Overview

  3. Chapter two, The Gendered Terrain of Overseas Labour Migration:  Cover ,  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

  4. Chapter three, Claiming Women Migrants’ Human Rights through CEDAW: The Case of Women Migrant Workers: Part 1 , Part 2

  5. Appendix: Glossary and End Notes 



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