The Impact of Covid-19 on Migrants and Migration in the Gulf States

By: Dr. Georgia Cole
It is fitting that the Centre for Global Human Movement’s first Global Conversation on Covid-19 began with a discussion on the virus’ impact on migrants in the Gulf States. As Froilan Malit, Jr. outlined at the start of his talk, all but two states within the Gulf Cooperation Council, namely Oman and Saudi Arabia, have a larger number of migrants within their borders than nationals. Any effective and sustainable regional response to the virus must thus necessarily put migrants and migration at its centre. While political leverage is far from evenly distributed between governments in the Gulf and those in migrants’ home countries, a degree of interdependence means that governments in migrants’ countries of origin have also been enrolled in conversations about how to manage the virus’s impacts on public health, social protection, transnational remittances and international diplomacy.

COVID-19 and State of Preparedness for the Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

By: Dr. Mohammad Tarikul Islam
Bangladesh now hosts around one million Rohingya refugees, many living in makeshift camps in the area of Cox’s Bazar. The Rohingya refugees are highly vulnerable to Covid-19 in part because of the health risks associated with displacement, overcrowding, increased climatic exposure due to substandard shelter, and the poor nutritional and health status among affected populations.

Borders, Politics, and Pandemics: The Risks of Technosolutionism in the Time of COVID-19

By: Dr. Petra Molnar
As the ‘Feared Outsiders’, refugees, immigrants, and people on the move have long been linked with bringing disease and illness across borders. Not only are these links blatantly incorrect, but they also legitimize far-reaching state incursions and increasingly hard-line policies of surveillance and novel technical ‘solutions’ to manage migration.

COVID-19 Impact on Zoonotic Disease Risk Solutions in Displaced Populations

By: Dorien Braam
As the war in Syria drags on, humanitarian actors have shifted from emergency response towards longer term development aid, affecting the assistance available to people living outside formal refugee camps. The recent measures, that have been implemented to reduce the impact of the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic have further restricted the availability of aid. Lockdowns and movement restrictions have severely disrupted the supply of medical and food items available to refugees in- and outside camps. Worldwide COVID-19 policy and health responses have so far mainly relied on uncontextualized ‘science-based’ risk assessments, which risk exacerbating local socio-economic and health inequalities.

Global Conversations – Migrant Workers in the Gulf Region

Our first video episode in a new series “Global Conversations – Frontlines during Covid-19.”
We were joined by Mr Froilan Malit, a migration specialist at Gulf Labour Markets and Migration, joined us from Dubai for this virtual seminar. Froilan has worked for many years across the Gulf region with migrant workers, consulates and international organisations and has extensive experience in the protection of the rights of migrant workers.

Global Conversations: Frontlines during Covid-19

Join us on Zoom!

How does Covid-19 effect the situation of refugees and migrants across different parts of the globe and what can we expect for the post-Covid phase? We will engage in global conversations with people at the frontlines in Europe, the Middle East and North America. After short 1-to-1 conversations, we will open the floor to the audience to ask their questions.

Next Session:
12 June “Technology, remote work and sustainable livelihoods for refugees post-COVID” with Lorraine Charles and leaders of frontline organisations Chams, Na’amal, Re:Coded, Refugeework.net, Natakallam as well as the refugees working with them

How Humanitarian Blockchain Can Deliver Fair Labor to Global Supply Chains

By: Ashley Mehra and Dr. John G. Dale
Blockchain technology in global supply chains has proven most useful as a tool for storing and keeping records of information or facilitating payments with increased efficiency and its use to improve supply chains for humanitarian projects has mushroomed over the last five years; in large part due to the potential for transparency and security that the design of the technology proposes to offer. We want to ask an important but largely unexplored question about the human rights of the workers who produce these “humanitarian blockchain” solutions: “How can blockchain help eliminate extensive labor exploitation issues embedded within our global supply chains?”

“For now, we are still circling”: Stories of Displacement from Eritrea

By: Dr. Georgia Cole
Monday started in typical fashion for a day of data collection in Kampala, Uganda. I was there to interview Eritreans who had travelled to Uganda from the Gulf States, where they had spent anywhere between a few months and several decades working in cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah and Dubai. The aim was to identify, through their histories of migration, what role these oil-rich states played in global networks of refuge and protection.