The widespread imposition of mobility restrictions by governments to slow to the spread of COVID-19 has exacerbated the vulnerability of migrant workers who move as part of temporary labour migration schemes. In this paper, Brenda Yeoh reviews a range of short-term policy measures which have been enacted both to ameliorate these vulnerabilities and to uphold the temporary migration regime. She then proposes that the pandemic highlights the need to rethink such temporary migration schemes in the post-COVID-19 world.
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.