On August 25, the Valdai Discussion Club presented a report, titled “International Migration in Pandemic Times: Disrupted Links, Remittances and Migrantophobia”.
The widespread closure of borders has led to a sharp restriction or cessation of global migration, including labour flows. The recipient countries are faced with a tangible shortage of the labour required for economic recovery and development. Many sectors of the economy are under threat. This has led to the fact that a number of developed countries have begun to introduce additional measures to encourage the return of labour migrants to their territories. On the other hand, the socio-economic situation in the donor countries has deteriorated significantly. The decline in remittances from migrants has led to an aggravation of poverty, and the growth of unemployment has intensified.
A separate topic has been the development of migrantophobia during the pandemic. The notion that migrants bring the virus with them has become widespread. This has led to an increase in xenophobia in many countries around the world. In the context of the growing public distrust toward the authorities in a number of countries, a contradiction was formed between the restrictive measures of governments in relation to citizens (lockdowns, vaccine passports, QR codes, etc.) and calls for the return of migrants from other countries. All this led to a sharp clash of pro-migrant and anti-migrant discourses.
Is it possible to find a balance between restrictive measures due to the pandemic and measures to eliminate labour shortages? What measures can help eradicate migrantophobia during the pandemic? The participants answered these and other questions.
Working languages: Russian, English.
- Maria Apanovich, Associate Professor, Department of Demographic and Migration Policy, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia
- Andrei Korobkov, Professor of Political Science at the Middle Tennessee State University
- Dmitry Poletaev, Leading Researcher at the Institute of Economic Forecasting of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Director of the Migration Research Centre
- Radim Žák, Regional Coordinator for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, International Centre for Migration Policy Development