The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity for some extremist groups to exploit existing prejudice in communities. In some contexts, especially in South Asia, social media platforms are being used to inflame stigma and discrimination towards migrant workers.
Migrant workers are already among those most impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, with economic activity severely disrupted and many migrants being hosted in countries where health systems are under-capacitated or unavailable to migrant populations. The situation for those migrant workers currently living in cramped and unsanitary conditions, or being forced to return to their homes in the absence of a socio-economic safety net, is of great concern.
This document provides guidance to journalists on how to intervene early to unite, rather than divide our communities, neutralize stigma, and avoid fanning community bias and anxieties.