Pandemic (Im)mobility: COVID-19 and Migrant Communities in the Global South

Seit dem Beginn der COVID-19-Pandemie sind Migrant*innen immobil geworden - sie sitzen in den Zielländern fest oder sind nicht in der Lage, ihre Reise im Transit oder in den Herkunftsländern fortzusetzen. Dieses Projekt bringt eine Sammlung von Aufsätzen zusammen, die versuchen darzulegen, wie Migrant*innen im Globalen Süden - namentlich in Mexiko, Nepal, Katar und Simbabwe - von der Pandemie betroffen waren und wie sie darauf reagiert haben. Das Projekt befasst sich mit einer Analyse der Verschlechterung der ohnehin schon prekären Situation von Migrant*innen sowie eine Aufnahme, in welcher Weise die Pandemie zu einer Möglichkeit der Ausgrenzung geworden ist, oft durch "discursive othering", also diskursive Ausgrenzung. Kontrollmaßnahmen gegen Migrant*innen im Namen der öffentlichen Gesundheit werden ebenfalls erörtert, bevor abschließend untersucht wird, wie Migrant*innen mit staatlich verordneten Regeln und Grenzen umgehen und inwieweit dies zu Handlungen des Widerstands führt.

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Map, copy editing, leaflet: Aylin Himmetoglu, Magdalena Maier, Abdur Rehman Zafar

Finanzierung: Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst des Landes Baden-Württemberg

Verantwortlich: Franzisca Zanker

Dauer: 
2021
Forschungsbereich: 

Projekt-Publikationen

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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic migrant communities have become immobile–stuck in the destination countries, or unable to continue their journeys in transit or in origin countries. This project brings together a collection of essays that seek to spell out how migrant communities in the Global South, namely in Mexico, Nepal, Qatar and Zimbabwe, have been affected by, and reacted to the pandemic.

In this article, the author gives an example for how particular policies during COVID19 in Qatar have affected the lives of migrants there, and in their countries of origin. Originally aimed at improving the conditions of migrant communities in Qatar, the Wage Protection System has further restricted the mobility of these communities.

COVID-19’s impact on migrants has now been well noted in Nepal, as well. This article starts with a discussion about whether/how the ongoing pandemic has altered trajectories and ambitions of current and aspiring migrants and their spouses who remain in Nepal. It then reflects on the pre-COVID migration policies of Nepal and analyses what policy/programme shifts might be needed to address the new situation.

In this article, the author shows how the Pandemic aggravated the already precarious conditions of migrants. When the Pandemic started in Mexico, the authorities were already upgrading their migration control measurements on several levels. Deeper coordination with the Trump Administration, suspension of asylum processes in the USA, militarization of the migration management and bureaucratic institutions in Mexico, have all been taking place simultaneously by March 2020.

For years, migrants from Zimbabwe have been undergoing xenophobic policies and discourses in South Africa and Botswana. This article demonstrates how the South African government has utilized the pandemic to further feed into these policies and discourses. From official statements to social media campaigns, the pandemic has been used as an opportunity for South Africa first discourse to grow and “coronationalism” to emerge, while depicting migrant communities, especially from Zimbabwe, as a risk to the public health.