Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Stranded : the impacts of COVID-19 on irregular migration and migrant smuggling


The European University Institute has released Stranded : the impacts of COVID-19 on irregular migration and migrant smuggling, a research brief by Gabriella Sanchez on the coupling of COVID-19 measures with migration restrictions, and their impacts on both irregular migration and migrant smuggling activity. 

The brief draws from our collective work on irregular migration facilitation, as well as recent cases that demonstrate how, once again, the imposition of restrictions to reach safety simply put migrants, refugees and asylum seekers at increased risk, criminalize their efforts and those of the people who facilitate their journeys, and justify legal and enforcement measures that increase the vulnerabilities they face

You may also find the publication here.

Here is an abstract of the research brief:

This research brief documents the impacts the COVID-19 response, coupled with border enforcement and migration restrictions have had on the journeys of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in transit irregularly and on their communities. Relying on recent empirical research and journalistic coverage, the brief pays specific attention to how measures against the pandemic may impact the activities of those behind irregular journeys –including migrant smugglers or facilitators. For this we draw from data on the experiences of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in the context of irregular or clandestine journeys and the growing empirical evidence and insights from facilitators. The COVID-19 pandemic challenges the ways in which we think about and perform mobility worldwide. Numerous scholars have started to think of the short and long-term implications the COVID-19 response will have on irregular migration, as the following weeks and months will be critical to document and understand the effects of the pandemic on mobility dynamics.


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