The current outbreak of COVID-19 is – first and foremost – a health issue and affecting us all. The virus has shown that it does not discriminate - but many refugees, those forcibly displaced, the stateless and migrants are at heightened risk. IOM reiterates the need for migrant-inclusive approaches, in the overall COVID-19 response and calls on countries to address the particular needs and vulnerabilities of migrants, regardless of their immigration status, particularly in the spirit of Universal Health Coverage.
Information on the Covid-19 Emergency
COVID-19 – and the measures taken to combat it – have changed almost every aspect of life for people living in the UK, including migrants. During this time, access to information is not only vital to understand the risks to our health, but also to adapt to these new circumstances and look for help when it is needed. IOM UK has created a “COVID-19 Migrant Information Service” online platform to provide multilingual information on five key areas of every-day life that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 emergency: Health, Employment, Benefits, Housing, and Immigration.
Many migrants can find it difficult to in navigate complex information as they may face linguistic barriers. Providing accessible information in multiple languages helps people to better understand the services they are entitled to and access them when needed. IOM UK is providing this information in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Romanian, Chinese, Albanian and Vietnamese, with Polish to be added soon.
Please visit www.covid19uk.iom.int to access multilingual information on COVID-19 measures and support in the UK.
In addition, IOM UK is offering a webinar, available on multiple dates, targeting frontline staff working on the COVID-19 response at a community level, to provide an overview of engaging migrant communities, diaspora leaders and migrant-led community organisations in a partnership approach to develop and communicate successful response measures. Please check the link below for further information and upcoming dates
“Engaging Migrant Communities in the Context of Covid-19: Lessons from the Field”
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at: [email protected]
The crisis is also having an unprecedented impact on mobility both in terms of regimes for border and migration management, and the situation of all people on the move, including those displaced by conflict or disaster. The global mobility has been affected in the form of various travel disruptions, restrictions and blockages. To better understand how COVID-19 affects global mobility, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been working to map the impacts on human mobility, at Global, Regional and Country level. Resources ad information are available here.
Since January, IOM’s global workforce has been mobilized across the world, and have been working with governments to plan their responses and save lives as the global health crisis evolves into the most significant mobility crisis ever. IOM COVID-19 response covers all regions of the world, and comprises a wide range of on-going and planned activities aimed at reaching the vulnerable and building operational capacities to address the mobility dimensions of this pandemic.
The EUSS continues to be open for applications from EU nationals and eligible non-EU nationals. While the deadline for applications remains 30 June 2021, it is important to apply as soon as possible. Having settled status is very helpful when seeking financial support in the event of losing a job or struggling to pay rent as it automatically proves that you have a right to reside in the UK.
While applications under the EU Settlement Scheme continue to be processed, they will take longer than usual. Many support services are currently suspended due to the coronavirus restrictions. In addition, some support services and application routes have temporarily changed:
- Settlement Resolution Centre (SRC): the SRC will no longer be answering telephone calls. It will, however, continue to respond to email enquiries and provide a call back function when required.
- ID document scanner locations: the ID document scanning services have been temporarily suspended.
- Postal route for submitting Identity evidence: the postal route for submitting identity evidence is currently suspended. The Home Office is unable to accept any documents by post, but all documents already sent to them will be returned as quickly as possible. Applications can still be made online using the EU Exit ID Document check App..
- IOM support on the EUSS: IOM caseworkers continue to advise and support vulnerable EU nationals. Local Authorities and 3rd Sector Organisations can make referrals for vulnerable individuals. Please contact [email protected] for further information and referral form.
The Covid-19 global health crisis has led to unprecedented measures including the closing of international borders, major travel restrictions and regulations put in place for public safety and health. In this context, all of the planned resettlement movements between 13 March to the end of April have been cancelled. The affected local authorities have been notified by the UK Home Office. IOM and UNHCR are supporting and keeping refugees up-to-date in the refugee-hosting countries.
We remain in close communication with our UK Home Office counterparts to monitor and review the position going forward so as to resume resettlement movements when conditions allow.
IOM Partners with Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare to Support Migrants Affected by COVID-19 with Funding from Japan
Vientiane – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW) today (18 June) launched the project - Enhancing COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness to Migrants and Mobility Affected Communities in Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
Migration Flows Across West and Central Africa Nearly Halved by COVID-19; Mobile Populations Economically Impacted
Dakar – Data collected at 35 key transit points across West and Central Africa by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) indicate regional migration has dropped by nearly 50 per cent during the first half of 2020 (compared with 2019) due to government travel restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
N’Djamena – Toumaï, “hope of life” in Gorane, is the name given to the oldest human ancestor discovered in Northern Chad two decades ago. But where humanity is believed to have begun, it is slowly being threatened by the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Riyadh - Saudi Arabia: IOM and the Saudi Human Rights Commission have resumed this week their training programme for frontline workers, for the identification and referral of Victims Of Trafficking (VOT) and for ensuring continuity in protection assistance.
International Day of Family Remittances: The global pandemic highlights the crucial role of remittances for migrant families.
Geneva – COVID-19 and its impacts have had far-reaching consequences and exacerbated inequalities. For the 800 million people reliant on migrant family members sending money home – money that many can no longer receive – COVID-19 is more than a deadly virus; it constitutes a devastating and immediate blow to their development , imperiling their access to health, education, housing and nutrition.
Kampala – Bashir Hamba studied fashion and design at a local college in Uganda’s capital Kampala. Today, he is part of a group of young people who have ventured into making face masks as part of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Nairobi – Over 300 Ethiopian migrants and their families today are receiving food and other essential items from IOM, the International Organization for Migration, in Nairobi, Kenya, a small effort to mitigate the broader impact of COVID-19 in the region.
Kyiv—Micro and small enterprises in Ukraine government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions have had to dismiss one in three employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine, revealed a survey, conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). *