News & Events


Women across the world face disparities based upon their gender. In the migration context, this is particularly applicable. Despite the fact that women migrate as much as men, oftentimes, their skills contributions and needs are overlooked. Nearly half of the estimated 260 million migrants worldwide are women, who are often at greater risk for exploitation, abuse and violence.

A more gendered approach can better address systemic barriers for migrant women and girls. With this, IOM held a seminar in London entitled “Women and Migration: Implementing international frameworks for empowerment of migrant women and girls” on 19 March 2019 to mark International Women’s Day.

The seminar examined the role and relevance of the Agenda 2030 and the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) to stimulate new thinking and discussion on how to make the implementation of such frameworks more gender-responsive and contribute to gender equality.
Academia, civil society and DFID panellists explored innovative approaches to ensuring implementation of such frameworks adequately addresses the specific challenges faced by migrant women and girls.
Professor Nicola Piper from Queen Mary University in London highlighted: “Although the SDGs and the Global Compact do place women on the agenda, we should not limit our focus to counter trafficking programmes."
Thomas Green, Global Compact for Migration Lead at the UK Department for International Development (DFID) emphasised the role and the potential of the GCM in further advancing gender equality and provided examples of how DIFD projects around the globe support this process.

Civil society was represented by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants’ (JCWI) Campaign Officer Mary Atkinson and Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) Director Michelle LeVoy. Both speakers highlighted the continued challenges facing migrant women, especially undocumented ones. Discussions explored how the implementation of international frameworks must ensure marginalised groups have access to justice. The issue of firewalls also came out strongly as its implementation is essential in protecting migrant women from abuse or discrimination especially when it comes of access to health services.

The seminar concluded by recognizing the significant strides the international community has taken on cooperation on international migration through the adoption of international frameworks such as the GCM and Agenda 2030. However, more can be done to address the implementation to eliminate violence against women and girls, trafficking and exploitation and addressing and reducing vulnerabilities in migration. Facilitating fair and ethical recruitment, ensuring safe and decent work for all and recognising and valuing unpaid care and domestic workers are also priorities for both international agendas.

Singing Our Lives 2018

This summer, music will unite refugees, migrants and British choir members for the Singing Our Lives (SOL) concert showcasing original music that celebrates the strength and resilience of the refugees and migrants, as the finale to Refugee Week 2018.

The concert marks the culmination of a unique creative process bringing together five amateur choirs and professional musicians through a series of workshops aimed at fostering unity among the diverse groups. The concert is the final apogee in a process that explored the themes of justice, changing seasons, and the cultural adjustment process, in addition to hearing real-life accounts from choir members. For some, this was their first interaction with refugees or asylum-seekers.

WHAT Singing Our Lives concert
WHEN Sunday 1st July 2018 at 18:00
WHERE Milton Court Concert Hall, Barbican, London
With over 8.8 million migrants and refugees living in the UK, according to IOM’s Migration Data Portal, active inclusion can reduce feelings of isolation and increase the contribution to British communities.

When migrants, refugees and communities come together and learn from each other - as they do for Singing Our Lives - this is the true essence of integration,” said Dipti Pardeshi, IOM UK Chief of Mission.

Over 200 performers will participate in the event at Milton Court, hosted by Together Productions, in partnership with IOM, Freedom from Torture, the Royal Opera House, Improbable, and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Singing Our Lives combines opera, classical, popular and electronic genres with music from around the globe and performed by the Mixed Up Chorus, the Royal Opera House Thurrock Community Chorus, and the Sing for Freedom Choir, and Guildhall School musicians, Woven Gold and Stile Antico.

If you would like to attend, please click on the link to purchase a ticket.