Youth mark ‘International Migrants Day’ in Cairo

Date: Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Audience members watched the short film “Deal” as part of the IOM Global Migration Film Festival. Photo: UN Women/Emad Karim

In the lead up to the 2018 International Migrants Day, UN Women, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Egypt, organized the screening of the short film “Deal” as part of IOM’s Global Migration Film Festival in Cairo.

Marked each year on 18 December, International Migrants Day aims to draw the international community’s attention to the contributions of migrants, the challenges they face, and most importantly, the importance of ensuring greater promotion and protection of their fundamental human rights.

The screening was followed by a discussion led by Jean D’Cunha, UN Women Senior Global Advisor on International Migration, Junaid Arshad Khan, IOM Egypt Programme Officer for Migrant Protection and Assistance Division, and Hoda El-Mankabady, Programme Officer at UN Women Egypt.

The film evokes multiple themes revolving around female domestic migrant workers and the subsequent discussion focused on factors forcing women to migrate, the conditions of women migrant workers, the challenges they face, the opportunities offered by migration and the systemic changes needed to help realize the rights of women migrant workers.

Speaking at the event, Ms. D’Cunha highlighted “the need for gender-sensitive legislative reforms, the need for gender-sensitive legislative reforms that in the case of domestic workers are aligned with ILO Convention 189, bilateral agreements that protect workers’ rights, community and public awareness raising on the contributions of women migrant workers, and protection of their rights.” Furthermore, she emphasized that “it is extremely important to mobilize women migrant workers and build their capacity to influence policy formulation and implementation that is aligned with their interests.”

Mr. Arshad Khan emphasized the benefits of migration to migrant women workers, their families and communities, including the transfer of skills and knowledge.

The event also highlighted the recent adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration[1] as migrant workers around the world await the realization of its commitments which is also recognized by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Global Migration Film Festival was celebrated from 28 November to 18 December 2018, featuring films and documentaries that capture the promise and challenges of migration, and the unique contributions that migrants make to their new communities. Screenings were held in varied locales, from cinemas to concert halls, and even impromptu settings in hard to reach areas and along known migration routes.