Negotiating for Women’s Mobility Rights: Between Definition and Contestation


Invoking surging migration, national-populist movements and their allied governments all over the world have legitimated xenophobic policies and given rise to neo-sovereigntist confrontations that undermine international cooperation. It is impossible to overstate the harshness with which those seeking entry into at best indifferent, at worst overtly hostile, States have been treated. But the unending stream of discouraging accounts is punctuated by reports by NGOs, individual volunteers, and public authorities seeking to succor migrants in distress. Conflicting trends are evidently at work. While some States threaten, and, at times, implement, individual solutions, appeals for coordinated approaches amongst States that supplement or even supplant the existing, inadequate migratory regime gain traction. At the same time, stakeholders mobilize to press for solutions that take into account the human rights of migrants and refugees. In this context, as Michael Doyle recalls in his introduction to this issue, initiatives have taken shape that may presage a fairer and more open regulatory framework, although they may also carry the risk of retrogression. Inter alia, the United Nations New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants has given rise to processes intended to lead to two new Global Compacts, one for refugees and the other for safe, orderly and regular migration, as well as to the development of guidelines for the treatment of migrants in vulnerable situations, all to be agreed on in 2018.

Yasmine Ergas, Negotiating for Women’s Mobility Rights: Between Definition and Contestation, 56 Colum. J. Transnat'l L. 327 (2018).