COVID-19 leaves few lives and places untouched. But its impact is harshest for those groups who were already in vulnerable situations before the crisis. This is particularly true for many people on the move, such as migrants in irregular situations, migrant workers with precarious livelihoods, or working in the informal economy, victims of trafficking in persons as well as people fleeing their homes because of persecution, war, violence, human rights violations or disaster, whether within their own countries — internally displaced persons (IDPs) — or across international borders — refugees and asylum-seekers.
The disproportionate impact of the COVID19 pandemic on people on the move presents itself as three interlocking crises, exacerbating existing vulnerabilities: a health crisis; a socio-economic crisis and a protection crisis.
This Policy Brief offers four basic tenets to guide collective response:
- Exclusion is costly in the long-run whereas inclusion pays off for everyone
- The response to COVID-19 and protecting the human rights of people on the move are not mutually exclusive
- No-one is safe until everyone is safe
- People on the move are part of the solution