Migrants in transit
Many migrants in transit are in a precarious — even perilous — human rights situation. During 2015, more than 5,000 women, men and children lost their lives along migratory routes across the globe, with an estimated 500 children perishing in sea crossings alone. Even as technological advances have made travel faster and safer, for many migrants the journey towards their intended destination could take weeks, months or even years, and is increasingly dangerous.
Migrants in transit risk a range of human rights violations; migrant women often face specific gendered forms of discrimination and abuse, both in the public and private spheres, and children can be particularly at risk, whether they are travelling on their own or with their families or caregivers.
The Human Rights Council requested OHCHR to prepare a study on the situation of migrants in transit, including unaccompanied children and adolescents, as well as women and girls (resolution 29/2). The study was presented to the 31st session of the Human Rights Council on 11 March 2016.
The study concludes that there exists today a clear protection gap for migrants in transit. The lack of a human rights-based response to migration is resulting in greater risks for migrants in transit and leading to death, injuries and other human rights violations. The study recommends that a range of effective measures should be put in place to address this protection gap, noting also that the lack of research and data on the human rights situation of migrants in transit is a major obstacle to the formulation of effective and sustainable policy responses.
On 14 March, OHCHR organised a side-event to explore the human rights situations of migrants in transit and launch the study. The event was co-sponsored by the Governments of Mexico and Greece.
The side-event was opened by the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights and included the participation of the Ambassador of Mexico, the Ambassador of Greece, the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, UNICEF, Médecins Sans Frontières, and the International Detention Coalition. More than 90 participants attended the event, including representatives from Members States, UN agencies, and civil society organisations.
The discussion was twitted live: #HRCmigrants