Pervasive systemic drivers underpin COVID-19 vulnerabilities in migrants

Int J Equity Health. 2021 Jun 22;20(1):146. doi: 10.1186/s12939-021-01487-2.

ABSTRACT

Asylum seekers, refugees and undocumented foreign nationals have always been identified as a vulnerable population owing to the longstanding structural barriers and inequalities that they continually face. Their vulnerabilities have become more conspicuous and exacerbated since the advent of the Coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The plights of these migrants around the world, in the COVID-19 era, are therefore underpinned by not-so-new but enforced, re-emerging and adapting pre-existing systemic inequality drivers. Long-standing and pre-existing systemic drivers such as nationalism and anti-migrant or xenophobic stigma, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, have metamorphosed into COVID-19 nationalism and COVID-19-related xenophobic stigma respectively, fomenting discriminatory and segregation-laden policies and programmes. Transformative changes of asylum policies taking holistic and systematic perspectives while fostering the involvement of migrants in government planning and policy processes to redesign better policies are required to tackle the pervasive systemic drivers that underpin COVID-19 vulnerabilities in the identified migrant groups.

PMID:34158073 | DOI:10.1186/s12939-021-01487-2