In light of the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Samut Sakhon province, migrants, irrespective of their legal status, face a new set of challenges and vulnerabilities. The stringent movement restrictions and temporary disruption of incomegenerating activities pose a significant burden on migrants employed in both the formal and informal sectors. With limited or no access to technology, limited capacity to cope and adapt, little or no savings, inadequate access to social services, and uncertainty about their legal status and potential to access healthcare services, thousands of migrants find themselves facing renewed hardship as a result of both lockdown measures and possible health risks.
However, the full extent to which these challenges and vulnerabilities are affecting migrant communities in Samut Sakhon, and particularly in Mahachai sub-district – at the epicentre of the outbreak – is unknown. It is also unclear whether migrants are receiving sufficient information about COVID-19 or have access to the resources which will allow them to maintain the hygiene and sanitation standards required for effective protection. To fill this data gap and inform possible responses, IOM initiated a data collection exercise focused on: 1) Understanding the health concerns of migrant populations in Mahachai sub-district; 2) Understanding the impact of lockdown measures on migrants in Mahachai sub-district; 3) Understanding the information needs of migrants in Mahachai sub-district; and 4) Understanding the assistance received by migrants in Mahachai sub-district.
This report is the first in a series of weekly rapid assessments.
Source: International Organization for Migration