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IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON MIGRATION

Updated: Oct 29

Author: Shivansh Gaurav, II year of B.Com.,LL.B.(Hons.) from CMR University, School of Legal Studies, Bengaluru


INTRODUCTION

Since March 2020, India has been under lockdown. At this time, operations that did not lead to the production and delivery of critical goods and services were suspended in full or in part. The lockdown also badly affected refugees, many of whom lost their jobs due to the closure of factories and were trapped outside their native places wanting to return. Commuter trains and flights were suspended. The government has since announced humanitarian initiatives for refugees and made plans for migrants to return to their country of origin. Recognizing the problems facing refugees trapped in various parts of the country, the Supreme Court of India investigated transportation and relief.


Due to the fear of recession lakhs of migrant workers were in fear that they will be left unemployed for the coming days. Many left the city and returned to their home town or villages and still many are left who are waiting for the end of the lockdown. Their risk of being unemployed increases in an unorganised sector where they do not have access to a written legal contract of employment. Hence we can conclude that a major Lee people working in the unorganised sector or on a contract basis or more affected by this prolonged lockdown in the country amid COVID-19.


What we can see on the other faces this lock down and all the system of social distancing measures proved to be a curse for jobs and businesses in various sectors of the economy. Every sector whether it is the transportation sector, supply chain, logistics, agriculture, hospitality et cetera are deeply affected by the lockdown. This has stressed the already depriving economy of our country has no income of people will shoot down and as a result of that the already rampant malnutrition, and security of food will become more vulnerable.


MIGRATION AND EMPLOYMENT CONDITION

The situation at the destination usually deducted the number of refugees, reduces money transfers and disrupts migration networks in 2016. The 2017-2018 Economic Survey reported that more than 95 lakh people migrate throughout the world yearly, and deaths from such migration are for work or schooling. Though Delhi is the most preferred place for migrants, preceded by Mumbai, most people migrate to cities in the southern states, such as Bangalore, Chennai, etc. The biggest proportion of such settlers came from Bihar, UP, Bengal and Assam states.



As per the census of 2011 a large part of migrant workers teams from within the districts and the other districts within the states. It is estimated that around one-fourth of the workers are from the other states, this migration Is from rural areas to the urban areas because their people have more employment opportunities and a better lifestyle in comparison to the rural areas of the country.


In India, the insecurity of labour migrants has expressed itself in drastic ways, emphasising the drawbacks of employment, nationality and migratory status.

In the newspapers, civil society groups and scholars such as the Stranded Workers Action Network have described their plight well. Because when the government has declared the lockdown, urban labour migrants found themselves in the vacuum of losing their jobs, often their homes, and their income in vast numbers of cases. There was no choice for many of them but to head to their hometowns, as part of the lockout, travel was cancelled, mostly on foot, vulnerable to starvation and the risk of illness, and abuse.


Migratory theoretical models appear to ignore the complexities of mobility dynamics, reinforcing information gaps on the degree and effect of population mobility, often of special significance for more disadvantaged communities. The absence of consistent evidence seems to represent, and even perpetuate, the ambivalent representation of migrants in the public debates. In particular, migrants and labour migration have never been completely embraced as part of India's strategy, as in other nations, such as China during its years of miraculous economic development and institutionalised in its scheme, representing ambivalent views worldwide on the role of immigrants. Recent migration hypotheses say that options to travel or remain and the general trends of travel are directly linked to economic circumstances in places of destination and origin, relationships that bind people through waypoints and the cumulative interactions between people and members of their society at locations (Haas, 2012). Data from the Global Financial Crisis and the Global Economic Crisis suggests that the combined experiences of migrants and mutual migrant connections may impact migrants' tendency to return to origin after an economic tremor


Predicted global recession

As we can see a sudden spread of over 19 and the world economy faces the threat of serious recession. All the major economies of the world are affected by Covid 19 lockdown. All different major sectors of the economy like transportation logistic hospitality all suffered major losses as no mobility took place in these periods. This causes the rise of fear among people regarding the upcoming global recession.


There was a gradual decline in GDP is of every developed and developing nation. For Our country, the danger of recession is especially significant, as the pandemic arrived at a time when the economic downturn was already an issue for the region. Early government projections say that GDP would reach 0.3-0.5 per cent in the next fiscal year, and growth could be as poor as 4-4.5 per cent in the first two quarters of the next fiscal year (Economic Times, 2020, March 17). Industries such as travel, aviation, hospitality and commerce will be severely impacted and will be the first to face the effects of these industries. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and the service industry may be included in the list of industries.


Global Crisis of wage

The pay crisis faced by the population of India at the lockout was not a special situation triggered by the economic shutdown, but an emphasises on the importance of the urban economy of India. The Economic Survey (2019) has shown that even minimum salaries are not paid by one in three employees. Seasonal, circular migrants at the crossroads of many drawbacks are the large segment of these workers, coming from traditionally disadvantaged groups such as Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes and religious minorities, and shaping people in rural areas facing subjugation of their native homelands, water and woodlands homes and lives. Not being able to achieve better access to paid jobs throughout their lifespan, bottom-of-the-heap jobs remain limited in the lowest strata of urban labour markets, with very high barriers to economic advancement to elevated sections of the job market where living wages are an alternative. Low salaries that do not encourage wealth accumulation or savings formation have driven migrant workers and their households to the verge of survival during the pandemic.


Remedies

An outbreak is an issue that challenges a nation's ability to efficiently defend its people, minimise human losses, save the economy, and plan disaster response plans for the federal and state governments. It was also recommended to make these disadvantaged groups aware of the government's actions, including the procurement of free food grains and other vital commodities through the Public Distribution System (PDS), and to streamline the procedures. A section of mobilised workers who could lose their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic is expecting to be given jobless benefits by the Union government. Even so, given the severity of the situation, these interventions are not adequate. To protect the population and economy, even more, should be done by the government.


Of unprecedented, extreme confusion, the coronavirus outbreak has arrived. It is impossible to predict the duration and magnitude of the effects of the outbreak on the lives of individuals and the country's economy. To cope with this crisis, the government has to come up with a well-crafted plan. More cooperation amongst government departments separately responsible for migration and health directives is required at the state scale. It is also important to rethink national migration policies setting up robust food systems that could alleviate food poverty and the burden on refugees to return to their origins. Further research on the effect of health problems on mobility is needed, particularly in separating health from all other motives. The defence of sufficient minimum wages by the state for the rate of pay workers of India had stayed contentious. It has been suggested that considering considerable contradictory evidence, rising incomes would contribute to the shutdown of companies and the lack of jobs. The government's surveys by the State Bank of India (2019) and the Reserve Bank of India (2018), including the Economic Survey, highlight the fact that stagnation in real wages has harmed the poor's spending power, contributing to the economy's slowdown.



Citation

Business Today. (2020, April 2). Coronavirus impact: Fitch cuts India’s GDP growth outlook to 30-year lo.

https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/coronavirus-impact-fitch-cuts-india-gdp-growth-outlook30-year-low-2-for-fy21/story/400099.html


Carter, E. D. (2016, July 7). When outbreaks go global: Migration and public health in a time of Zika. Migration Information

Source.https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/when-outbreaks-go-global-migrationand-public-health-time-zika


Legal Sarcasm, (2021, March 1), Mukul Rohatgi: In Disha Ravi’s case, the sedition charge wrong… To curb dissent with such tactics not authorized by Constitution

https://legalsarcasm.com/news-blogs/mukul-rohatgi-in-disha-ravis-case-the-sedition-charge-wrong-to-curb-dissent-with-such-tactics-not-authorized-by-constitution/