Paper: International Migration and Human Security under the COVID 19 Pandemic

Paper details

Paper authors Oscar A. Gomez
In panel on COVID-19 beyond Health Insecurity
Paper presenter(s) will be presenting In-Person / Online


This paper reviews the effects of the pandemic on population movements, following three human security frames of migration: migration as a threat, migrants as a population of concern, and migration as a means for security. Despite great global efforts to debunk the myth of migration as a threat, the pandemic's nature has once again made the stereotype prominent. Distrust and xenophobia episodes have taken place worldwide, adding a new layer of complexity to the emergency. Moreover, an almost complete halt to migration closed the possibility of moving away from the direct disease threat and ensuing deprivation, not only because governments impeded new movements but also because people on the move found themselves in new precarious situations. The fall in remittances and relapses into poverty across the world are evidence of this trend, so any recovery strategy will have to include migration considerations. Finally, different migrants have fared differently against the pandemic's challenges: while specific vulnerabilities are notorious, contributions covering dangerous jobs during the emergency have also been exalted. Efforts to contain stigma and provide protection without discrimination will be necessary to potentiate the migration contribution to the pandemic recovery. Preventing further disease relapses remains a difficult problem to address.



Oscar A. Gomez