UN: pandemic seems to have accelerated “hostile rhetoric” against migrants

The United Nations Migration Agency has said the ongoing coronavirus pandemic appears to have accelerated “hostile rhetoric” against migrants around the world and “radically altered” mobility.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) World Migration Report 2022 published to Wednesday detailed that travel and other restrictions related to COVID-19 have created migration problems around the world.

IOM Director General Antonio Vitorino said that “the pandemic also appears to have accelerated the hostile rhetoric towards migrants that has developed over the past decade,” said IOM Director General, Antonio Vitorino, according to the Associated Press.

“We have therefore devoted, in this report, a chapter on disinformation on migration”, he added. “Our research shows that debunking the myth, along with pre-bunking strategies, can help mitigate or prevent damage from nefarious actors, who seek to undermine balanced discussions about migration. “

The report highlighted the “dramatic increase” in internal displacement as migrant movements within countries due to conflict over natural disasters, violence, including COVID-related restrictions, closed borders across the world since the start of the pandemic and have spread over the past two years.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered immobility around the world to an extent unprecedented in recent history, slowing the rate of human mobility and migration,” said Ugochi Daniels, deputy general manager of operations at IOM, in a meeting, according to the AP.. “The pandemic is estimated to have had a negative impact of 2 million on the total growth of international migrants. “

The new report also says there are around 281 million migrants worldwide in its latest full tally in 2020, representing 3.6% of the world’s population.

IOM also underlined “a major event of migration and displacement” with the past two years comprising conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan and political and economic instability in Venezuela. and Afghanistan, according to the report.

It comes as the agency also noted that migration between highly developed countries is increasing, and not just migration from poor countries to richer ones.

The report notes that around 3,900 migrants died or went missing in 2020, up from 5,400 in 2019.

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