COVID-19 was the defining issue of 2020, and as the United Nations celebrates International Migrants Day today and considers how we might reimagine human mobility, we mark the contributions migrants are making and the virus’ impacts on their lives. The pandemic disproportionately affects migrants who often find themselves on the margins of society.
Despite caring for the sick and providing essential services, they are too often the first to lose their jobs and the last to be rehired, excluded from essential social services, unfairly ostracized as carriers of the disease and, in extreme cases, left as prey to those who would take advantage of their vulnerability.
Watch the videos below to hear the voices of those struggling to overcome xenophobia and discrimination, to return home in the face of global mobility restrictions and grapple with the impact of the downturn in remittances. We must ensure migrants are provided equitable access to national vaccine programmes and for nations to recommit themselves to the principle of cross-border and regional cooperation enshrined in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration to build prosperous, healthy and resilient communities.