India to work with UN for women migrants

Tuesday, 31 August 2010, 19:00 Hrs
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New Delhi:India will work with the UN for protecting and empowering women migrants from this country, an official said Friday.

This will be done under a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

"This MoU was signed to work together on programmes and projects for better protection and development of women migrants from India," MOIA joint secretary and CEO of the Indian Council of Overseas Employment (ICOE) G. Gurucharan told IANS.

The MoU was signed Wednesday by Gurucharan and Anne F. Stenhammer, regional programme director of UNIFEM.

"Forty percent of the Indian migrant workers are women, out of which 99 per cent are in the unorganised sector, where they are vulnerable, so this effort is of immense help," an ICOE official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Stenhammer said that globally, women constituted 49.6 per cent of the 190 million migrant workers.

"In the last few years, the trend has been that women are fast becoming economic actors than dependent migrants. It is more important than ever before that the governments acknowledge these changing patterns and ensure that their policies and implementing agencies protect women, who are particularly vulnerable," Stenhammer said.

The MoU states that the main areas of UNIFEM and the ICOE "is in protecting and promoting the rights of women migrant workers for facilitating safe and legal migration, reintegration of returnees and other broader issues of economic security and rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment."

The MoU also says that a pilot project will be started in the "source" area - two states in India - and in the "destination" countries.

The MoU also includes documentation, engendering of programmes, policies, budgets and issues of regular and irregular migration.

It was signed during the just concluded Regional Conference on Empowering Women for Asia and Arab States. Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Jordan, Laos, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam were the other countries that participated in the conclave.
Source: IANS
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