ILO Policy brief: Protecting the rights at work of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons during the COVID-19 pandemic - June 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold worldwide, with direct effects on peoples’ health and deepening socio-economic impacts. A number of countries have begun lifting lockdown and containment measures but these continue to affect large numbers of workers, significantly reducing economic activity and working time.

Refugees3 and other forcibly displaced persons4 are facing many of the same challenges as national workers in providing for themselves and their families. But they also experience additional challenges linked to their precarious legal status, the associated restrictions on their mobility, and the physical and mental distress stemming from forced displacement from their home countries. This makes it more difficult for them to obtain and maintain a job that is decent, let alone benefit from social protection.

These factors exacerbate the effects of the pandemic on them, while reducing their access to the coping strategies that may be available to nationals.