When and where is the conference the “Female Face of migration” taking place?

The conference will take place in Saly, Senegal, from 30th November to 2nd December.

Why has Caritas organised a conference on women and migration?

Caritas wants to highlight that migration is not just a male issue but it is also about women. Caritas believes that migration, and in particular the new phenomenon of women migrating independently, is an important aspect of development which affects the lives of millions of people - women themselves, families and communities. Migrant women find themselves often in vulnerable situations. They face difficulties including social exclusion and human rights abuses.

What are the aims of the conference?

The conference aims to create a greater understanding of the “feminisation of migration”. It will look at the benefits and challenges of migration. It will give Caritas members and experts the opportunity to share their experiences. In the long-term, this combined knowledge and experience will be used to form the basis of a series of recommendations to be put to governments and to Caritas member organisations. to the aim is to change migration policy in a way that will support and protect women migrants as well as tackling the root causes.

What does the “Feminisation of Migration” mean?

It refers to the increasing number of women migrating without their families, husbands and children. They face different risks and challenges to men, but in some cases, also greater opportunities.

Who will attend the conference?

Keynote speeches will be given by Prof. Catherine de Wenden from the Centre d’études et de recherches internationales in Paris and Dr. Merlie Mendoza from Caritas Manila. Archbishop Antonio Maria Vegliò from the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People will enrich the conference with a theological reflection. Experts from bodies such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration, the Bureau International de l’Enfance (BICE), as well as academics and representatives from a number of Caritas organisations will participate in panel debates. They have also contributed to the conference documentation.

What will be the issues discussed at the conference?

Round table themes will include:

    • Female migration as a challenge for women, their families and communities.
    • Migrant women’s contribution to communities and society.
    • Migrant women as a labour force.
    • Female mobility: legal, social and health implications.

The results of these discussions will feed into a policy document, its first draft being developed at the conference.

Why is the conference taking place in Senegal?

The African continent is affected by both intra-regional and intercontinental migration. Most of migratory flows, including refugees, take place within Africa. Only 1 million migrants from West Africa move to Europe and the US, whereas 7,5 million move within the region.

Senegal is a hub for migrants and shows the various aspects of the migration journey: departure, return, transit and rural to urban migration. Caritas Internationalis also wants to capitalise on increased awareness among African Caritas members in the field of migration by holding the conference in an African country.