ICC-IOM Guidance on Protection for Migrant Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • 10 August 2020

ICC-IOM Guidance on Protection for Migrant Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic

All workers should be treated with equality, dignity, and respect — irrespective of their gender and migration status. This guide outlines key steps employers can take in regards to protecting migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Migrant workers are a crucial part of the work force in many sectors, including those ensuring essential services during the pandemic and industries hit especially hard by the crisis. In addition, many micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, in particular, rely on the migrant workforce to operate.

Migrant workers have specific concerns — as they are generally far from their families and communities — including facing language and/or cultural barriers, as well as potential discrimination, and often do not benefit from social protections and safety nets enjoyed by local workers. The economic impact on migrant workers affects not only the workers themselves but also those who depend on their remittances for survival in their communities of origin.

The private sector can play an important role in helping mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on workers in their supply chains, including those that are migrant workers. This guidance is adapted from the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) COVID-19 guidance for employers and business to enhance migrant worker protection during the current health crisis and should be read in conjunction with recommendations by ICC and World Health Organization (WHO) on general health and safety measures for employees.