Posted at 00:00h
With the onset of the current pandemic, things are bound to get a lot more challenging for many migrants and refugees, as well as for the societies that host them.
The number of forcibly displaced people worldwide was already the highest it had been in decades even before the global coronavirus crisis. In 2016, about 40 million people became internally displaced persons (IDPs) and 22.5 million, refugees.
Most migrants are extremely vulnerable both to the health and socio-economic effects of COVID-19. They are constantly on the move, work in the service economy, and have limited access to public services. Women migrants are particularly affected.
We have read stories of hundreds of Venezuelan migrants violating the government-imposed quarantine in Colombia by trying to return to Venezuela at all costs, where they hope to at least they access the country’s precarious health system and look after their families.
Most had been working in Colombia’s informal economy and, after the lockdown, were unable to earn a living.