Migration, asylum, and trafficking

List Map
Catalyzing Rights and Migration, asylum, and trafficking

Relevant sources: ICCPR Arts. 2(1), 7, 8, 12, 13, 24, 26; ICESCR Arts. 2(2), 10(3); CAT Art. 3; CEDAW Arts. 6, 9; ICCPED Arts. 13(7), 16; CRC Arts. 2(1), 7-8, 9(4), 10-11, 19, 22, 32-36; CRPD Arts. 16, 18; ICERD Arts. 2, 5; ICRMW; UDHR Arts. 2, 7, 13-14(1), 15

Core elements of the guarantee during the COVID-19 pandemic include:

  • Account for “all migrants regardless of their migration status . . . as an integral part of any effective public health and recovery response to COVID-19” including by “tak[ing] specific measures that are responsive to age, gender, disability and other factors, in order to support migrants in vulnerable situations, who are at risk of being disproportionately affected by the crisis” (OHCHR)
  • Ensure “the right to health to everyone without discrimination, including on grounds of nationality and migration status” including by putting into place “[l]egislative, policy, administrative, and practical measures, including communication measures . . . to ensure migrants’ timely and effective access to health facilities, goods and services, at all stages of migration, regardless of immigration status” (OHCHR)
  • Act “to protect the health of migrants living in homelessness, shelters, informal settlements, camp situations, slums or inadequate housing” (OHCHR)
  • Ensure that “social protection measures” are “available and accessible to migrant workers and their families, regardless of their migration status” (OHCHR)
  • Put into place “measures to ensure that migrant children are not left behind” including by “provid[ing] education remotely and reintegration of all migrant children once in-person schooling resumes” (OHCHR)
  • Prioritize the “release [of individuals] from immigration detention and institute a range of human rights-based, non-custodial alternatives to detention in order to protect the rights and health of migrants and staff in immigration detention facilities” and “immediately release[]” both “children and their families” (OHCHR)
  • Ensure measures to “ensure continued access to individual assessment, best interests assessment and determination, and international protection under international human rights and refugee law” and ensure that “[m]igration and asylum procedures . . . comply with due process guarantees and avoid placing migrants in vulnerable situations” (OHCHR)
  • Take steps “to prevent, monitor and address stigma and incidents of racism, xenophobia, incitement to discrimination, hatred and violence, and hold[ ] those responsible to account” (OHCHR)
  • Recognize “the contribution of migrant workers to support economies and fill labour shortages” and “consider regularization and extension of temporary permits to allow migrant workers to access social benefits schemes” (UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children)
  • Ensure “that all workers are provided with adequate health protections and that occupational safety and health measures are put in place,” “strengthen legal and social protection pathways for victims of labour exploitation,” “not suspend labour inspections due to the COVID-19,” and “facilitate access to justice for victims of trafficking and exploitation” (UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children)
  • Ensure that “continued access to asylum procedures” is guaranteed “in line with international human rights standards” (UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children)
  • Treat “[a]sylum procedures and other procedures involving the recognition of the status of trafficking victims . . . as urgent procedures, and not put [them] on hold during the pandemic” (UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children)
  • Ensure that “victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation” are “properly identif[ied]” and that they are “not detain[ed], charge[d] or prosecute[d] . . . for their involvement in unlawful activities to the extent that such involvement is a direct consequence of their situation as trafficked persons (nonpunishment principle)” (UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children)
  • Ensure that “national COVID-19 prevention and response plans and policies” “[i]ntegrate migrant workers,” are “gender, age and diversity responsive,” and “respect their right to health” (UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families and UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants)
  • Provide “access to social services for migrants and their families,” “[g]uarantee the labour rights of migrant workers,” “[f]acilitate virtual channels to ensure access to education for children of migrants, irrespective of their migration status or of their parents,” and “[i]nclude migrants and their families, regardless of their migration status, in economic recovery policies” (UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families and UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants)
  • Advance “the regularization of migrants in an irregular situation or undocumented migrants” (UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families and UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants)
  • Put into place “human rights monitoring and data collection on the human rights situation of migrants during the COVID-19 pandemic” (UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families and UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants)
  • Arrange “equitable access to COVID-19 vaccination for all migrants and their families on a non-discriminatory basis, regardless of their nationality and migration status,” “[e]nsure that vaccine prioritization within countries takes into account the vulnerabilities, risks and needs of those migrants who are most exposed and vulnerable to the SARS-COV-2,” and “[a]dopt measures to overcome barriers, establish protocols that facilitate equitable access to vaccination for migrants, including those in irregular situations, and provide targeted outreach and provision of information among migrants in a language they understand and in formats they can access” (Joint Guidance Note)
  • Build “socio-economic recovery packages that include migrant workers, refugees and IDPs” (UN)
  • Implement “safely” any “travel restrictions and border control measures necessary to control the pandemic . . . in full respect of international human rights, international humanitarian and international refugee law, as well as labour standards” (UN)

Further guidance can be found here: UN experts; ILO; IOM; UNHCR; UN Network on Migration; UNODC: COVID-19 and the smuggling of migrants, The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on trafficking in persons and responses to the challenges; AU; COE; IACHR; OSCE

Show me of advances during COVID-19

Showing 19 matching measures.

Migration, asylum, and trafficking

Measure Country
Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi Approves the Resumption of Identity Document (ID) Applications and Extends the Validity Period of Different Categories of Temporary Visas South Africa

The Minister of Home Affairs “approved the resumption of Identity Document (ID) and passport applications and extended the validity period of legally issued visas or asylum permits which expired during…

The Ministry of Justice Does Not Execute Deportation and Investigation to Encourage Foreign Nationals to be Tested and Get COVID Vaccination Korea, Rep.

According to the Ministry of Justice, “[f]oreign nationals without a registration number (incl. illegal residents) can book their vaccination through a temporary code, which can be obtained by presenting their…

Superintendency Resolution No. 000170-2021-Migrations (Resolución de Superintendencia No. 000170-2021-Migraciones) Peru

Accounting for various “limitations and measures” due to the “state of health emergency declared by the Peruvian State due to COVID-19,” this measure contains provisions including: extending “the term of…

Covid-19 – Extension Of Visas & Grant Of Permission To Stay Residence Permits/Occupation Permits Holders Mauritius

This Communiqué notes that “[t]aking into consideration of the resurgence of the COVID 19 cases in Mauritius, the Government has decided that foreigners whose visas and Residence Permits/ Occupation permits…

Covid-19 – Extension Of Visas & Grant Of Permission To Stay Residence Permits/Occupation Permits Holders Mauritius

This Communiqué notes that “[t]aking into consideration of the resurgence of the COVID 19 cases in Mauritius, the Government has decided that foreigners whose visas and Residence Permits/ Occupation permits…

2020 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery United Kingdom

Given that the COVID-19 pandemic “intensified” the work of the Modern Slavery Unit of the Home Office, steps were taken “to ensure that victims continue to have access to essential…

President’s Interagency Task Force, Report on U.S. Government Efforts To Combat Trafficking in Persons United States

Some “key efforts” that have been taken by government agencies “in response to COVID-19” include: engagement “with local governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) nationwide to understand the impact of COVID-19…

Public Policy Exempting Certain Out-of-Status Foreign Nationals in Canada from Immigration Requirements: COVID-19 Program Delivery Canada

A policy was put into place “to exempt foreign nationals from certain requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) if…

Guidelines for the Protection of Indonesian Women Migrant Workers in the Situation of the COVID-19 Pandemic (Panduan Pelindungan Bagi Perempuan Pekerja Migran Indonesia Dalam Situasi Pandemi COVID-19) Indonesia

These guidelines, issued by the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection in collaboration with UN Women and other institutions, address the provision of comprehensive services to migrant women, considering…

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants United States

California “is providing one-time state-funded disaster relief assistance to undocumented adults who are ineligible for other forms of assistance, including assistance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES)…

Emergency Powers (Covid-19) (Special Provisions) (Amendment) (No. 4) Order, 2020 Bahamas, The

The Prime Minister issued an order according to which “[a]ny work permit, annual residence or other permit issued under the Immigration Act . . . that expired during the period…

Expatriate Workers to Withdraw Social Security Benefits Before Leaving Kingdom Jordan

The Minister of Labour announced that “[e]xpatriate workers . . . who are wishing to leave the Kingdom against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to withdraw…

Intensify Protection for Three Groups of People, Li Keqiang Demanded to “Guarantee Everything that Should be Guaranteed” (“对三类人群加大保障力度,李克强要求“应保尽保”) China

These “targeted measures” are designed “to increase basic people’s livelihood protection” including measures targeted at “migrant workers who have paid unemployment insurance but have not found a job,” timely “subsistence…

State of our Immigrant City, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) Annual Report for Calendar Year 2020 United States

In order “[t]o address economic barriers and deep gaps in the inclusion of immigrants in COVID-19 relief and crisis response efforts, MOIA [Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs] partnered with the…

Tunisia | COVID-19: Launch of a platform to aid foreigners in situations of financial fragility (Tunisie | Covid-19 : Lancement d’une application pour venir en aide aux étrangers en situation de fragilité financière) Tunisia

Given the ways in which foreigners in vulnerable situations were impacted by Covid-19, the Ministry of Human Rights worked with civil society organizations to create a “commission . . ….

Waiver of Illegal Stay for Foreign Residents and Visitors in Uganda Uganda

The Ministry of Internal Affairs issued a press statement to “notify all foreign residents and visitors that fines accruing from illegal stay for foreigners in Uganda for the period 18…

COVID-19: Special Clinic for Expatriate Workers Established at Hulhumale’ Preschool Maldives

In the context of COVID-19, a flu-clinic where “migrant workers . . . will not be required to present a work permit or documentation” was established. This measure occurs in…

Order 3863-B/2020 Portugal

According to Order 3863-B/2020, “foreign citizens” with pending cases before the Portuguese Immigration and Border Services (SEF) seeking protection and status as asylum seekers, refugees, or those seeking “subsidiary protection”…

Visa Extensions for Health Workers During Coronavirus (COVID-19) United Kingdom

Eligibility for one-year visa extensions was granted to qualifying health workers and their family members whose visas were set to expire between April 1 and September 30 2021 and who…

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