COVID has ‘radically altered’ world mobility

covid_has_lradically_alteredr_world_mobility.jpg / The United Nations migration agency says the coronavirus pandemic appears to have accelerated “hostile rhetoric” against migrants in the world and “radically altered” mobility, projecting in a new report that travel and other COVID-19-fighting restrictions could dampen migration worldwide as long as they remain in effect.

On Wednesday, the International Organization for Migration, IOM, released its World Migration Report 2022 , a vast compendium of the latest trends in human movement of all types – from people fleeing war to workers seeking jobs abroad – and a recap of the last two years of mobility. It cited the impact, for example, of a plunge in air travel last year as the pandemic was raging.

IOM pointed to a “dramatic increase” in internal displacement – movement within countries – caused by natural disasters, conflict and violence just as COVID-19 restrictions have sporadically shut borders across the globe since the pandemic emerged and spread over the last two years.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered immobility worldwide to an extent unseen in recent history, slowing the pace of human mobility and migration,” said Ugochi Daniels, IOM’s deputy director general for operations, at a meeting of its member states. “The pandemic is estimated to have negatively impacted the total growth of international migrants by 2 million.”

IOM Director General Antonio Vitorino said “the pandemic also seems to have accelerated the hostile rhetoric toward migrants that has been growing in the last decade”.

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