Border Security Specialist, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS)
Well intended measures to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19, such as border closures, restrictions of internal movement of people, lockdowns, travel bans, and social distancing have posed challenges to the normal patterns of migration and mobility in CARICOM Member States. Temporally, we face a moment of reduced migration and mobility globally and in the Region due to the Pandemic. While migration flows have fallen significantly, the UNHCR notes that migrants may be particularly vulnerable to stigma and discrimination and may be excluded from access to public health and national responses to the COVID-19 (UNHCR, 2020). The illegal entrance of citizens through unofficial channels is also a major concern and particularly, a health threat insofar as transmission of the COVID-19 virus from neighboring countries. But some countries are also granting extensions to migrants and implemented arrangements where the involuntary return of migrants was suspended.
The COVID-19 Pandemic may challenge the way we think about mobility and migration and may have long term implications for migration and human mobility policy. COVID-19 has also brought attention to regional free movement regimes such as the free movement of CARICOM and OECS Nationals.
This mixed panel of practitioners will examine critical questions on migration and mobility, including-
How have CARICOM Member States responded to issues of migration and mobility?
How migration and mobility will be impacted in the long-term due to COVID-19 related economic downturn?
What are the implications for Migration policy and free movement regimes?
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) was established by the Twenty Seventh Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in July 2006, in Bird Rock, St Kitts and Nevis, as the implementation arm of a new Regional Architecture to manage CARICOM’s action agenda on crime and security.