According to the 2020 report from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), in 2019 there were 33.4 million new internal displacements in the world, of which 24,855,000 were due to disasters and 8,553,800 due to conflict and violence. This represents the highest figure registered annually since 2012.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) migrants may face intersecting discriminations: both as migrants as well as on the basis of their gender identity and/or sexual orientation. It is important that measures are put in place to ensure that these populations have equal access to public health and safety services, and assistance to overcome the socio-economic impacts of the crisis. Here are some of the specific challenges that LGBTI migrants may have to overcome.
Difficulties in accessing healthcare services
Health workers are not the only ones putting additional efforts into their work in the midst of the COVID-19 emergency. Basic food and grocery services, agriculture, public transport, cleaning companies, many factories and processing plants must continue to work. These essential workers include large numbers of migrants.
Human trafficking exists before, during and after crises such as COVID-19. However, during a crisis there are factors that increase the vulnerability of some groups of people to potential traffickers, such as limited access to services, loss of employment, and reduction of working hours. These situations can place people in settings where their needs and that of their families may be compromised. At the same time, a crisis can also aggravate the situations of those who are already victims of trafficking.
The impacts and implications of the COVID-19 coronavirus are different for men and women and may create greater inequalities for people who are in vulnerable positions, such as migrants, according to UN Women.
Organizations around the world are aware of this inequality and have warned about the urgent need to look at existing realities from gender and intersectional perspectives that allow for the identification of these inequalities and, at the same time, incorporate greater protection and assistance to more vulnerable populations in response plans.