In preparation for this year’s intergovernmental Global Migration Summit, gender-specific measures draw much of the attention especially that the inherent vulnerability related to migration makes it almost inevitable for women and girls to be easy targets of sexual violence. Both during their often illegal pathways fleeing their homes, and within host countries shelters, the issue is of an alarming magnitude. Because political debates often polarize around measures for the labor markets for foreign labor, refugees and migrants human rights enforcement has been in the margin of most of national policies.
The unprecedented needs to manage the migrants and refugees current large inflows compel us to nurture innovative solutions. And so, one way to addresses the complexity of the migrating women and girls protection could be using low-tech solutions such as designing aid solutions in the camps that equip them with emergency lines and self-protection measures as part of covering basic needs such as food and shelter, and designing innovative international trade channels that could help them gain economic independence despite the chaos, and also crown fund innovative solution through student prizes. And also leveraging digital platforms such as mobile apps. For instance, innovative apps when reaching a critical mass proved to be surprisingly effective. They have the potential to rate safety routes, places and people as well as guide refugees and migrants and keep them updated about weather and border conditions.
Preventing and responding to sexual violence for migrants and refugees cannot rely on yesterday’s stale solutions, it calls for comprehensive right-based measures that addresses the vulnerability of migrants to violence as a high priority in the development agenda.