The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted migrants throughout the globe. Low-skilled migrants, refugees, and internally-displaced migrants are at a higher risk of contracting the virus. The pandemic has also aggravated the dangers of already-dangerous migration routes. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, international organizations have recorded a spike in human rights abuses suffered by migrants, especially in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. The restrictions on travel, imposed as a measure to contain the virus, have resulted in a rise in "stranded migrants," individuals who want to return to their home countries but cannot.
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Low-skilled labor migrants have contracted the pandemic in disproportionately high rates than citizens. According to the International Organization for Migration, a United Nations-affiliated agency, poverty is a major cause in the spread of COVID-19 among migrant populations in relation to citizens. Low-income migrant workers tend to live in crowded housing, perform strenuous work, and eat poorly, all of which put them at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. The share of immigrant workers living in poverty is high in several OECD countries (32 percent in Spain, 25 percent in the United States, and 30 percent in Italy in 2017). Pandemic-triggered unemployment has affected citizens and migrants alike, but since migrants do not benefit from government relief packages, they become more impoverished and therefore more likely to contract the virus. Furthermore, low-wage migrants have limited familiarity with available health resources, whether because of language barriers or because they have limited exposure to official medical directives. Low-income migrants also lack access to the same levels of health insurance as citizens. Moreover, migrants are overrepresented in sectors defined as essential, both because they tend to work in infrastructure sectors (in 2020, 69 percent of all migrants in the United States worked in essential infrastructure jobs), and because they tend to work in jobs where working from home is impossible. In Saudi Arabia and Singapore, migrants made up 75 percent and 94 percent, respectively of all new confirmed cases in May-June 2020.
Refugees are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, especially those residing in camps and temporary shelters. They are at heightened risk of contracting diseases because of their poverty, overcrowded living conditions limited access to medical services, and exclusion from benefits given to citizens. Refugees and asylum seekers make up about 10 percent of all international migrants, and according to the International Organization for Migration, the 20 countries with the highest number of COVID-19 infections are home to 9.2 million refugees, almost half of all refugees worldwide. Internally-displaced migrants - individuals displaced within their own country - are similarly vulnerable. At the end of 2019, there were 50.8 million people internally displaced, 45.7 million of them due to conflict and 5.1 million in the context of disasters. These internally-displaced persons are particularly vulnerable to pandemics, especially those among them over the age of 60, who number 3.7 million.
Even after the outbreak of COVID-19, migrants continue to cross the Central Mediterranean, described by the International Organization for Migration as the most dangerous maritime migration route worldwide. An estimated 4,056 people attempted this crossing in August 2020 (up from 3,477 in the same month in 2019), although Italy's port closures and suspension of search and rescue operations, in response to COVID-19, have made the crossing deadlier than before. Some 283 individuals are known to have died on this route between March and August 2020, and the lack of rescue boats suggests that more shipwrecks have gone unnoticed.
The Mixed Migration Centre (MMC), a non-profit focusing on migrants' human rights, found that migrants report a rise in abuse and human rights violations since the start of the pandemic. Between July and August 2020, the MMC surveyed 3,569 respondents in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, and found that since the COVID-19 pandemic began, migrants have faced increased risks of arbitrary arrest and detention, deportation, theft, bribery and extortion, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, and labor exploitation. Notably high shares of respondents in East Africa (65%) and Latin America (55%) perceived a rise in arbitrary arrests and detention. Although the proportion of respondents reporting such a rise was lower in Asia as a whole (33%), the majority of respondents in Malaysia (82%) perceived an increased risk of being rounded up and imprisoned.
Governments around the globe have issued migration restrictions, including absolute bans on incoming travel. The International Organization for Migration recorded that as of June 2020, a total of 216 countries established over 45,300 travel restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19. Of 763 surveyed airports around the globe, 69 percent were partially or fully closed. Over 80 percent of land border crossings were partially or fully closed.The imposition of closures and bans have left a substantial number of migrants stranded, meaning desiring but unable to return home. These stranded migrants include seasonal workers, international students, temporary visa holders, and migrants who travelled for medical treatment. These migrants are often ineligible for government assistance due to their migratory status, resulting in hundreds of families falling into extreme poverty. People at sea ("seafarers") face additional mobility issues due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Large numbers of maritime personnel, including fishermen and employees on cruise ships and cargo vessels, have been stranded at sea for months.
Forced displacement is an involuntary or coerced movement of a person or people away from their home or home region. The UNHCR defines 'forced displacement' as follows: displaced "as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence or human rights violations".
A migrant worker is a person who either migrates within their home country or outside it to pursue work. Migrant workers usually do not have the intention to stay permanently in the country or region in which they work.
Environmental migrants are people who are forced to leave their home region due to sudden or long-term changes to their local environment. These changes compromise their well-being or secure livelihood, and include increased drought, desertification, sea level rise, and disruption of seasonal weather patterns. The degree in which some of these changes occur can be reduced by means of climate adaptation projects. Climate refugees may flee or migrate to another country, or they may migrate internally within their own country. Though there is no uniform and clear-cut definition of environmental migration, the idea is gaining growing attention as policy-makers and environmental and social scientists attempt to conceptualize the potential societal effects of climate change and environmental degradation.
The Venezuelan migration and refugee crisis, the largest recorded refugee crisis in the Americas, refers to the emigration of millions of Venezuelans from their native country during the presidencies of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro because of the Bolivarian Revolution. The revolution was an attempt by Chávez and later Maduro to establish a cultural and political hegemony, which culminated in the crisis in Bolivarian Venezuela. The resulting refugee crisis has been compared to those faced by Cuban exiles, Syrian refugees and those affected by the European migrant crisis. The Bolivarian government has denied any migratory crisis, stating that the United Nations and others are attempting to justify foreign intervention within Venezuela.
The European migrant crisis, also known as the refugee crisis, was a period characterised by high numbers of people arriving in the European Union (EU) overseas from across the Mediterranean Sea or overland through Southeast Europe. In March 2019, the European Commission declared the migrant crisis to be at an end, although displaced people continued to arrive.
The Migrants and Refugees Section is a section on migrants and refugees included in the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (IHD).
The COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The virus was confirmed to have spread to Bangladesh in March 2020. The first three known cases were reported on 8 March 2020 by the country's epidemiology institute, IEDCR. Since then, the pandemic has spread day by day over the whole nation and the number of affected people has been increasing.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, human rights violations including censorship, discrimination, arbitrary detention and xenophobia were reported from different parts of the world. Amnesty International has responded that "Human rights violations hinder, rather than facilitate, responses to public health emergencies and undercut their efficiency." The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that stay-at-home responses for slowing the pandemic must not be mandated at the expense of human rights. Broader concerns have been expressed about the effect of COVID-19 containment measures on human rights, democracy and governance.
The COVID-19 pandemic in Guatemala is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The virus was confirmed to have reached Guatemala in March 2020.
This article documents the chronology of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, which originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Some developments may become known or fully understood only in retrospect. Reporting on this pandemic began in December 2019.
Coronavirus disease 2019 affects men and women differently both in terms of the outcome of infection and the effect of the disease upon society. The mortality due to COVID-19 is significantly higher in men. Slightly more men than women contract COVID with a ratio of 1:0.9.
The World Health Organization is a leading organization involved in the global coordination for mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic, within the broader United Nations response to the pandemic caused by the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in late 2019.
This article documents the chronology of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020, which originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Some developments may become known or fully understood only in retrospect. Reporting on this pandemic began in December 2019.
This article documents the chronology of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in June 2020, which originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Some developments may become known or fully understood only in retrospect. Reporting on this pandemic began in December 2019.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, food security has been a global concern — in the second quarter of 2020 there were multiple warnings of famine later in the year. According to early predictions, hundreds of thousands of people would likely die and millions more experience hunger without concerted efforts to address issues of food security. As of October 2020, these efforts were reducing the risk of widespread starvation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This article documents the chronology of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in July 2020, which originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Some developments may become known or fully understood only in retrospect. Reporting on this pandemic began in December 2019.
Sustainable Development Goal 1, one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015, calls for "no poverty". The official wording is: "to end poverty in all its forms, everywhere". Member countries have pledged to "Leave No One Behind": underlying the goal is a "powerful commitment to leave no one behind and to reach those farthest behind first". SDG 1 aims to eradicate every form of extreme poverty including the lack of food, clean drinking water, and sanitation. Achieving this goal includes finding solutions to new threats caused by climate change and conflict. SDG 1 focuses not just on people living in poverty, but also on the services people rely on and social policy that either promotes or prevents poverty.
The United Nations response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been led by its Secretary-General and can be divided into formal resolutions at the General Assembly and at the Security Council (UNSC), and operations via its specialized agencies and chiefly the World Health Organization in the initial stages, but involving more humanitarian-oriented agencies as the humanitarian impact became clearer, and then economic organizations, like the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the International Labour Organization, and the World Bank, as the socioeconomic implications worsened. In June 2020, the Secretary-General launched the 'UN Comprehensive Response to COVID-19'; the UN has also launched a global vaccination initiative. Given the impact on the global economy, funding has been an especial problem, as it has for ongoing operations, and the 'UN Comprehensive Response to COVID-19' has a dedicated funding package attached. The UNSC has been criticized for a slow coordinated response, especially regarding the global ceasefire, which aims to open up humanitarian access to the world's most vulnerable in conflict zones.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed health care disparities with African-Americans experiencing the highest current COVID-19 mortality and morbidity rates in the US—more than twice as high as the rate for white people and Asians, who have the lowest current rates.
This article documents the chronology of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in October 2020, which originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Some developments may become known or fully understood only in retrospect. Reporting on this pandemic began in December 2019.