GCM Objective 15

Provide access to basic services for migrants


Women in the reception area at the Women's Center in Balukhali camp 5 March, 2018. As of January 2018, UN Women has set up the first Multi-Purpose Women Centre in the Balukhali refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, in partnership with Action Aid and with support from UN Women National Committee Australia.
Photo: UN Women/Allison Joyce


The GCM articulates the importance of basic services for all migrants, irrespective of migration status. Every individual is entitled to health care, housing, education and justice under international human rights instruments. The right of migrants to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health should be guaranteed, including by providing age-appropriate and adolescent-friendly services.

Universal health is an inalienable right that must be upheld at all times, including during global health crises—such as the COVID-19 pandemic—when existing inequalities are often exacerbated, increasing the vulnerability of migrant women and girls. Access to health-care services, including sexual and reproductive health care such as quality family planning services, prenatal and postnatal care and education and information on sexual and reproductive health, in countries of transit and destination, is an essential human right.

All migrant women and girls, as well as transgender and gender non-conforming migrants, must be guaranteed access to gender-responsive services and justice without fear of abuse, discrimination, detention, deportation or other retribution. Firewalls between service providers and immigration control should be in place to ensure safe reporting and access to justice.


  • Laws and policies that guarantee access to gender-responsive services, including comprehensive sexual and reproductive health-care services and mental health services for all migrant women and girls, irrespective of migration status
  • Policies that guarantee the independence of service providers and the confidentiality of service users by ensuring a separation between immigration enforcement activities and public service provision
  • Safe, independent, confidential and accessible reporting services for all migrant women and girls who experience human rights abuses, crimes and/or violations of labour rights, irrespective of migration status
  • Clear information in accessible formats at the municipal and national level on available remedies, access to justice and complaints mechanisms in cases of human rights violations
  • Provision of essential services, including health, justice and social services, for survivors of sexual or gender-based violence, irrespective of migration status
  • Gender-responsive curricula in primary and secondary school education, including in immigrant learning centres, that promote gender equality and seek to dispel negative stereotypes relating to gender and migration
  • COVID-19: Provision of COVID-19 testing and other public health measures free of charge or at low-cost to all migrants, including access to other essential services for migrants, irrespective of migration status


Question Yes Not yet
Do all migrant women and girls have the legal right to access the following basic services in your country, irrespective of migration status?
Primary health care
Sexual and reproductive health services
Mental health services
Education (primary, secondary, tertiary)
Does your State provide access to essential services for survivors of sexual or gender-based violence?
Has your State reviewed and/or revised the school curriculum to ensure it is gender-responsive?
Has your State introduced legal protections and firewalls separating immigration enforcement activities from public service provision?
Does your State ensure that migrants are able to access all basic services without having to disclose their migration status?
Does your State provide a reporting mechanism that enables migrant women, irrespective of migration status, to safely and confidentially report incidences of violence or crime without fear of retribution?
Does your State provide full information in accessible formats, including for persons with disabilities, to migrants on their right to justice and recourse?
If yes, is this available at the municipal and national level?
COVID-19: Does your State ensure that COVID-19 testing is made available free of charge to migrants, irrespective of migration status?
COVID-19: Does you State ensure that migrants, irrespective of migration status, can access relevant services during the pandemic?