In this paper, Jenna Hennebry and Hari KC examine the increase in xenophobia that migrant workers have faced since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic – from physical and verbal abuse to social exclusion and discriminatory quarantine practices. After detailing how xenophobia has exacerbated migrant workers’ pre-existing precarities, the paper proposes a range of recommendations to enable governments to address the issue. Finally, a number of best practices from around the world are outlined.
This paper is part of a series of short “think pieces” by IOM’s Migration Research and Publishing High-Level Advisers on the potential changes, impacts and implications for migration and mobility arising from COVID-19. Designed to spark thinking on policy and programmatic responses to COVID-19 as its impacts continue to emerge globally, the papers draw upon existing and new evidence and offer initial exploratory analysis and recommendations.