Migrant Forum in Asia
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Policy Brief No.4 | Migration and Inclusive Democracy: Impact of COVID-19 in Asia

Policy Brief No.4

Migration and Inclusive Democracy: Impact of COVID-19 in Asia



On 23rd April 2020, the UN Secretary General HE Antonio Guterres referred to the pandemic, in a video message, as causing ‘economic crisis, social crisis, human crisis and human rights crisis’. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about significant changes in migration governance and has reoriented state and society focus upon immigrant and emigrant populations. Issues that prevailed in labour migration governance regarding the access and opportunity of services and pathways to redressal for migrant workers have taken immediate precedence among all stakeholders. However, civil society and migrant rights advocates point out that quick implementation of previously and oft-recommended measures without consulting or providing space to migrant voices may diminish or even prove detrimental to migrant worker needs.

Under pressing circumstances (the span of which is undetermined), governments of both countries of origin and destination have been forced to analyse critical components of demand and supply chains of basic goods and services and rethink inclusive mechanisms of migration governance. At the global level, this would include focusing efforts and attention to Sustainable Development Goals 16 “focusing on peaceful and inclusive societies, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels” and SDG 17 “focusing on strengthening the means of implementation and revitalising global partnerships for sustainable development”, observing and implementing targets within these goals through finance, technology, capacity building and trade, based upon policy and institutional coherence, multi-stakeholder partnerships and data accountability mechanisms.

The below brief has been derived from MFA’s contribution to discourse around migration governance during the pandemic, organised by the Korean Association for Human Rights (KAHRS), in partnership with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), on the impact of COVID-19 on migration, human rights and inclusive democracy in the Asia-Pacific, based upon Sustainable Development Goals 16 and 17.


You may read and download the full PDF version of the policy brief here: Policy Brief 4 Migration and Inclusive Democracy

About Us

MFA is a regional network of non-government organizations (NGOs), associations and trade unions of migrant workers, and individual advocates in Asia who are committed to protect and promote the rights and welfare of migrant workers.

It is guided by a vision of an alternative world system based on respect for human rights and dignity, social justice, and gender equity, particularly for migrant workers.

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