Least Protected, Most Affected: Looking through Lens of Cross-border Migration in COVID Period

AuthorKeshab Chandra Ratha
Published date01 December 2022
Date01 December 2022
Subject MatterArticles
Jadavpur Journal of
International Relations
26(2) 227 –249, 2022
© 2022 Jadavpur University
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/09735984221120297
Least Protected, Most
Affected: Looking
through Lens of
Migration in
COVID Period
Keshab Chandra Ratha1
The major thrust of the present article is to explore the gruesome
sufferings of migrants with respect to detention and deportation, social
stigma, income and livelihoods, lack of health services and digital divide
by establishing the fact that an inclusive global migration governance
supported with a prudent and forward-looking migration policy and a
human rights dimension is the way forward to address the consequences
of COVID-19. An inclusive approach to migrant health leaving no one
behind during the COVID-19 pandemic deserves cynosure of attention
to direct our public health efforts since there can be no public health
without migrant health.
Migration, detention, pandemic, social stigma, global migration
1 School of Political Science, Gangadhar Meher University, Sambalpur, Odisha, India
Corresponding author:
Keshab Chandra Ratha, School of Political Science, Gangadhar Meher University, Amruta
Vihar, Sambalpur, Odisha 768004, India.
E-mail: keshab_ratha@rediffmail.com
228 Jadavpur Journal of International Relations 26(2)
International migration occurs when people cross state boundaries and
stay in the host state for some minimum length of time. Migration takes
place for many reasons. Many people take themselves off from their
home countries with a sole intention to look for economic opportunities
in another country. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a heavy toll on
migrant workers on all sides of the globe, who are particularly ill-
protected in terms of social protection coverage, health benefits, income
and livelihood, detention and deportation and victim of digital divide.
The economic crisis brought about by COVID-19 could be lengthy, deep
and all-encompassing and extending far down when examined through a
migration lens. Lockdowns, travel bans, and social distancing have
culminated in global economic activities to a near dead stop. Host
countries encounter additional challenges in several sectors, like health
and agriculture that rely on the availableness of migrant workers.
Migrants face the danger of contagion and also the probable loss of
employment, wages, and health insurance coverage. Moreover, migrants
are inclined to be gathered in urban economic centers and are exposed to
infection by the corona virus. Providing monetary support to poor
migrant households help them to access their much-needed health
service. Any reduction in such financial assistance could result in
xenophobic, and discrimination against the migrants. Hence, larger
alertness is required against such practices (World Bank 2020).
Lockdowns, loss of employment, and social distancing precipitate a
disorderly and distressing process of mass return of migrants to many
countries of the world.
Key Research Questions
1. How did detention and deportation bear long-term implications
on the detainees?
2. How did stigmatization and discrimination adversely impact the
ability of migrants to integrate into society?
3. What are the economic impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable
groups including refugees, migrants, internally displaced people
(IDPs) and host communities due to the loss of income, restricted
movement, less access to markets, inflation/spike in prices?

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT