Coronavirus crisis 'increases suffering of most vulnerable refugees', new IRIS report reveals

Refugee children staring into the distance

The Covid-19 pandemic is exacerbating the existing vulnerabilities of the world’s refugees and internally displaced people, according to a report by the Institute for Research into Superdiversity at the University of Birmingham and Refugee Women Connect.

Research has revealed that many undocumented migrants were anxious about seeking medical help – fearful of being reported to immigration authorities and being deported – and were therefore suffering in silence. Sandra Pertek, researcher at IRiS and co-author of the report, said:

“Vulnerabilities to abuse and exploitation, and precarity experienced by forced migrant survivors of SGBV due to their gender, care responsibilities and insecure immigration status, are amplified in the COVID-19 crisis.”

Jenny Phillimore, Professor of Migration and Superdiversity and co-author of the report added:

“We need urgent action to meet the needs of some of the world’s most vulnerable people, so that they can survive the coronavirus crisis and move on with their lives when it has passed without encountering further harm.”

View the full report: Forced migration, SGBV and Covid-19: Understanding the impact of Covid-19 on forced migrant survivors of SGBV

Read The Conversation article: ‘I feel that all the doors have been closed’: lockdowns are making life even harder for migrant survivors of sexual violence

Read the Al Jazeera news piece: Danger lurks in lockdown for survivors of trafficking, violence

View the Guardian article: Coronavirus crisis 'increases suffering of most vulnerable refugees'

Learn more about IRiS Research

Find out about Refugee Women Connect