UN Network on Migration launches Policy Brief on Covid-19

man listening to boy's lungs

he UN Network on Migration has launched a Policy Brief in response to the impact of Covid-19 on migrants.

The Policy Brief calls for increased access to services for migrants. It provides practical guidance for States and other stakeholders on how to achieve safe and inclusive access to services for migrants.

The recommendations advocate for a migrant inclusive and people-centred approach. They emphasise that this is a cross-sector issue and that decision-makers need to taken into account migrant’s rights in all sectors, including health, immigration, finance, education, labour.

In certain circumstances, such as in the agricultural or the textile industry, migrants can be at a greater risk of contracting Covid-19 as the living and working conditions often do not allow for social distancing. Other factors include limited access to information due to language and cultural barriers coupled with the marginalisation of migrant communities. Many of these sectors are supported by the work of undocumented migrants who are often excluded from national health programs and cannot access healthcare.

The key recommendation is to ensure access to services for migrants. This includes:

  • Inclusive access to essential lifesaving health services and continuity of care
  • Prevention and support to victims of sexual and gender-based violence (GBV)
  • Access to accurate and timely information, conducting risk communications and strengthening community participation and engagement
  • Access to child protection services for migrant children
  • Sustained learning for children and adolescents including on-job and skilled training
  • Access to adequate housing and shelter
  • Continuity and quality of water, sanitation and hygiene services (WASH)
  • Essential food and nutrition services
  • Scaled up and expanded resilient and pro-poor social protection systems
  • Decent work and reinforced protection, occupational health and safety measures for migrant workers

The Policy Brief emphasises the importance of diverse and inclusive stakeholder input from civil society organizations and community leaders, private sector actors, employers and workers’ organizations, as well as national human rights institutions. The engagement of migrants themselves as key stakeholders in the community is vital for the sustainability of national plans.

Read the full report here.