What the COVID-19 Outbreak Tells Us about Migration
This chapter looks at the impact that the recent outbreak of COVID-19 is having on asylum seekers, as well as foreign workers and residents on the European continent, with a special focus on Italy. It describes the critical situation in the refugee camps at the South-Eastern borders of the EU (i.e., the Greek-Turkish border and former Yugoslavia) and the outbreaks of xenophobia that have been reported by NGOs and international relief organizations working in and around the camps. The paper also briefly looks at the present situation of migrant workers in Italy on the basis of the currently available figures, describing the impact of the COVID-19 and the subsequent regularization introduced by the Government. The concluding remarks point out that the Coronavirus crisis puts at risk the living conditions of countless vulnerable households, and could unleash a new wave of migration of people in search for better living conditions. It is therefore necessary that both governmental policies and citizens’ attitude vis-à-vis migration adapt themselves to the global changes imposed by the pandemic.