Migrants’ Civic Freedom and COVID-19


Although COVID-19 has been called the “great equalizer,” its trajectory through our communities and countries has hit certain populations with disproportionate force. Migrant groups, in particular, are being physically and economically devastated by the coronavirus. While experts have warned of a dire humanitarian crisis if governments do not take swift action to protect vulnerable populations, little consideration has been given to the long-term effects that COVID-19 could have on migrants’ civic freedoms, particularly freedoms of expression, association, and assembly. This article examines the likely impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the civic freedoms of migrants and groups that provide services to migrants, especially migrant-allied civil society organizations and stresses the importance of putting into place policies that safeguard migrants’ basic rights.