Authored by Ahmet İçduygu, this paper discusses the social, economic and health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, with particular reference to repatriation. While returning home represents a viable option of protection from COVID-19 health risks for most individuals on the move, for irregular migrants this decision is far more complex. The paper focuses on three key questions: 1. How do stranded irregular migrant workers experience insecurities and uncertainties surrounding their lives during the COVID-19 crisis? 2. How and why do irregular migrants struggle with the repatriation process? 3. How can repatriation processes be improved through multi-level cooperation for global migration governance?
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.