COVID-19’s impact on migration

Examining the impacts of COVID-19 on migration and mobility

Some of the most disturbing impacts of the pandemic on migrants are related to forced immobility and resultant vulnerabilities arising from radical shifts in the imposition of emergency powers, thereby creating a high degree of uncertainty and instability persisting well beyond the initial phase of COVID-19.

Some commentators have questioned whether the so-called “age of migration” may be coming to an end, brought about by the pandemic intensifying some important longer-term trends, such as the growth in autocratic tendencies that restrict diversity in populations and fuel anti-immigrant sentiment.

The growth in misinformation and disinformation (e.g. false news) related to COVID-19 – the so-called “misinfodemic” – has also underscored the emergence of tech-enabled tribalism used to deliberately undermine and obscure the many benefits of migration in the modern era, making the environment for post-pandemic migration and mobility recovery more challenging.

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Divide the class into groups and assign one topic from the list below to each group.

• Forced immobility

• Return and quarantine

• Increased vulnerability

• Socioeconomic impacts

Digitalization of migration

To start, each group will read about their assigned topic from the section ‘Impacts and implications of COVID-19 on forced immobility and migrant vulnerability’ in Chapter 5 of the WMR 2022. Following the reading, each group will prepare an oral and visual presentation that provides a background on the topic (i.e., what does forced immobility refer to?) and one example of how migrants are impacted.


Have each student write a reflection based on their presentation or that of their peers elaborating on the potential longer-term implications of COVID-19 on migrants.

People working as a team