On 26 May 2020, the UN Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW) and the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants published a Join Guidance Note on the Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Human Rights of Migrants, urging States to adopt prompt safeguards for migrants and their families, irrespective of their legal status.
The experts recalled the significant contribution given during the crisis by a large number of migrants involved in essential sectors such as health, agriculture, delivery services, care work, recommending states not to exclude anyone from the social assistance measures carried out in the last months, in particular those already in a situation of severe vulnerability such as irregular migrants, migrant women and children.
The 17 Guidelines recall that the use of emergency power in response to the health crisis must be carried out in compliance with human rights standards including, medical care, education, family unity and unemployment benefits. In relation to detention, the document notes how “Migrants and their families often face confinement at administrative detention centers that are cramped, overcrowded, and understaffed by healthcare professionals” and urge states to reduce restrictions of liberty to a minimum, keeping in consideration measures as the temporary suspension of deportations and the promotion of migrants’ regularization.
For further information:
- ECRE, Information Sheet 5 May 2020: Covid-19 Measures Related To Asylum And Migration Across Europe, May 2020.
- ECRE, EU Member States Face Criticism and Legal Action for Compromising Rights of Asylum Seekers Through COVID-19 Measures, April 2020
- ECRE, UNHCR Update: Recommendations and Good Practice in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic, April 2020
- ECRE, Weekly Editorial: Europe COVID 19: Reaching the Bottom or Rising Above, April 2020
Photo: (CC) Prachatai, April 2020