The current outbreak of COVID-19 is primarily a health issue. However, it is also having an unprecedented impact on mobility, both in border and migration management, and on the situation of all people on the move. Past epidemics, such as Ebola, have provided experience and knowledge on how to address the crisis. However, to address a situation of such global magnitude that we are currently facing requires coordination among all actors, the close monitoring of medical developments, and an element of creativity.
Migrating usually involves a series of changes and adjustments for migrants and their families. Migrants need to adapt to new languages, cultures, traditions and social systems. These changes can cause a temporary increase in stress levels, that normally regulates itself with time as the individual adapts to the new circumstances, routines, and lifestyles of the destination country. However, when a crisis situation impedes migration, this adaptation process becomes much more difficult, which can lead to negative psychosocial consequences.
Remittances are cash transfers sent by migrants, usually to family members in their country of origin. International remittances can also make up part of the regular income of some people, for example, those who perform cross-border work, such as seasonal workers who tend crops in neighbouring countries. According to UNDESA, migrants send an average of 15% of their earnings back home. Remittances often represent up to 60% of family income.
Alongside forms of discrimination based on gender, class, disability and other characteristics, racism can have a significant impact on the way migrants are perceived and treated. Racism can be understood as any theory, doctrine, ideology, or sets of ideas that create links between genetic or physical characteristics individuals or groups with their intellectual, cultural, and personality traits, including the false concept of racial superiority. Racism tends to gener<alize about a group of people by associating certain characteristics (such as skin colour) with negative traits.