File is not found

Gender and Covid-19: A look at the realities of displaced and refugee women, adolescents and girls in Latin America

United Nations, 17 July 2020. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for Central America and the Caribbean (UNODC ROPAN), together with other agencies of the United Nations System, participated in the talks on gender and Covid-19 "A look at the realities of displaced and refugee women, adolescents and girls in Latin America".

The purpose of these meetings is to raise awareness among various audiences about the reality that women, girls, and adolescents are experiencing and to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on refugee, migrant and displaced women from a gender perspective, particularly with regard to access to services, employment and livelihoods, and physical integrity and the territorial, social and economic environment that has been conditioned by the pandemic.

In addition, it seeks to create a conversation around this issue between the government and United Nations representatives, experts from academia and civil society, as well as to hear diverse perspectives on priorities in responses from different actors.



Participants in this discussion included Eugenia Piza López, Team Leader of the UNDP Gender Team for Latin America and the Caribbean; Bianka Rodríguez, President and Executive Director of COMCAVIS Trans; María Bances, Senior Protection Coordinator of UNHCR's Regional Office for the Americas; Maria Noel Vaeza, Regional Director of UN Women, Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean; and Julissa Mantilla, IACHR Commissioner and Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrants.



Women make up almost half of the world's 272 million migrants and 48 percent of all refugees. Women migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) represent at least 50.4% of all migrants, and in 2017 there were 6.3 million migrants in LAC under the age of 18.

In the Americas, migration has grown in magnitude with new countries of destination, and with changing profiles of migrants (more women and children and not just young men seeking economic opportunities as had been the case traditionally). Despite the growing feminization of migration, female subordination and discrimination still exist in all areas of society.

In most countries of the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) region, the social protection and social security systems in place do not correspond to the reality of labor markets and socio-economic and demographic transformations. For example, the lack of accessible care infrastructure for migrant children represents an obstacle to the labour inclusion of immigrant women.

Given this crisis, many migrants and refugees have chosen to return to their countries of origin (in Colombia, it is estimated that 600 people per day have returned from Venezuela since April), subjecting them to a large number of risks, such as the spread of the virus, the lack of economic prospects, or in the case of women, greater susceptibility to sexual violence and risk of exploitation.

Guarantee the human rights of the most vulnerable, particularly migrant and refugee women and girls, placing them at the center of policy responses. This requires a commitment from governments to establish resources to address the specific needs of women and girls in the short and long term. Political actors need to understand their circumstances in order to provide an effective and equitable response to the VICTIM 19 crisis, ensuring the full exercise of their fundamental rights.