People who move to another country or another area in their own country for seasonal or temporary employment. They are among those communities most seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Countries’ economies have been severely disrupted by COVID-19 and many migrants are now in host countries with overburdened health systems that are often unavailable to them. Migrant workers often live in cramped and unsanitary conditions and can be forced to return to their own countries. Although they are not a greater health threat than citizens of their host country, because of their dire circumstances, they are in the high-risk category for infection and even death. Many have endured verbal and physical assaults, and at times, institutional exclusion from the receiving society. Those who are able to return to their own countries often face stigma, discrimination, and exclusion from their fellow citizens. The disruption of economic activity from lockdown measures has hit migrant workers hard.
According to the WHO, all countries have an obligation to protect and promote the right to health for all people on their territory, without discrimination, and this includes migrants regardless of their status. Stigma can force people to hide their illnesses in order to avoid discrimination,. This prevent them from seeking immediate health care and can lead to increased infections.
TIP: Journalists can reduce stigma and discrimination by writing positive stories on how migrant workers fill gaps in the labour market . They do the work that local populations are unwilling to or unable to do, lower production costs and shore up entire sectors of the economy of some countries. Migrant workers provide much-needed foreign exchange and contribute significantly to the gross domestic product of many countries in the region in which they work..They also contribute to the transfer of knowledge and skills and are often innovators, entrepreneurs and covidpreneurs. The hashtag #lockdowners refers to individuals who support and are coping with altruistic isolation and social distancing.
Infectious Disease Prevention