Joint Statement on Women and Girls towards the Global Refugee and Migrant Summits
On September 19th and 20th, 2016, world leaders gather at the United Nations (UN) for two major summits on the global refugee and migration crisis – the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants co-chaired by the Governments of Jordan and Ireland and the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees convened by President Obama.
In advance of the Summit, 45 organizations, including Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights co-founder, Women's Refugee Commission, released the Joint Statement on Women and Girls towards the Global Refugee and Migrant Summits, outlining recommendations for states, as well as the specific challenges faced by displaced women and girls.
One of the ten recommendations calls on states to reform gender discriminatory nationality laws, recognizing such laws as a leading cause of statelessness; exacerbating the vulnerability of displaced women and their families; and in contravention with international law, which mandates non-discrimination on the basis of sex:
"At the Summits and beyond, states should commit to:
Reform gender discriminatory nationality laws to ensure that women and men have equal rights to confer nationality on their children and spouses. Gender discrimination in nationality laws is a leading cause of statelessness and has been recognized by the Security Council as a factor that exacerbates the vulnerability of displaced women and children. Further, forced displacement and migration from countries with gender-discriminatory nationality laws threatens to create a new generation of stateless children. These discriminatory laws also contravene Articles 2 and 9 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and other international human rights treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child articles 2, 7 and 8."
Such reforms were similarly called for in the new Human Rights Council Resolution, "The Right to a Nationality: Women's Equal Nationality Rights in Law and Practice," cosponsored in June 2016 by 107 governments.