Single title

Implications of Covid-19 on Migration and Cross-Border Trafficking in South Asia

by Dr. La Toya Waha

This analysis provides important insights for future policies by looking at migration developments in South Asia from a broad perspective

Covid-19 strongly affected the livelihoods of people all across the globe. Border closures, lock-downs and travel restrictions hindered the free movement of people and put international migration on hold. However, trafficking in human beings did not stop. Quite the contrary, it continued even under these circumstances. This study gives an insight into the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on international migration and trafficking in human beings with a particular focus on South Asia.

South Asia is known for an astonishingly high impact of remittances on national economies. Many South Asian migrant workers reside in the Gulf countries and the money they send back home contributes to the GDPs of their countries of origin to a large degree. Due to Covid-19, many migrant workers were left jobless abroad or had to return to their countries of origin without many prospects for reintegration into the labor market. This placed many of them in a difficult position and in dire need of new job opportunities and made them vulnerable to human trafficking. 

This study explores the examples of Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh through the lens of migration experts and provides important insights for future policies as it shows the importance of looking at migration developments from an all-encompassing perspective. 

Read our study "Implications of Covid-19 on Migration and Cross-Border Trafficking in South Asia" here as a PDF.


Facts and Findings
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December 21, 2021
Facts and Findings
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July 13, 2021