COVID-19 has exacerbated the precarious situations that refugees and internally displaced persons were already experiencing before the pandemic. People on the move now face a health crisis as the conditions in which they live often increase their risk of COVID-19 exposure. Many – especially those working in the informal economy – are also coping with sharp losses in income, often with no access to social protection. Further, as many of those seeking asylum from persecution have been locked out of countries that have imposed border restrictions to contain spread of the virus, people on the move are also dealing with a physical protection crisis.
Against this background, the United Nations Policy Brief: COVID-19 and People on the Move, released today, invites us to “reimagine human mobility” for the benefit of all while advancing the 2030 Agenda commitment to leave no one behind. It proposes a response guided by key understandings on inclusion, respect for human rights, safety from infection and accessibility to treatment for all, and the removal of barriers faced by migrants.
The United Nations Network on Migration Statement on the policy brief is attached.
Secretary-General’s launch message: