Migrant rights and COVID-19. Online Policy Dialogue


4 June 2020





Marie Arena

Member of European Parliament, Chair of Sub-Committee on Human Rights

Michele LeVoy

Director, Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)

Henrik Nielsen

Head of Asylum Unit, DG HOME, European Commission

Olivia Sundberg Diez

Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre

Jean-Louis De Brouwer

Director, European Affairs Programme, Egmont Institute

Senior Adviser on Migration, European Policy Centre (Moderator)


* Please find the video of the discussion here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/428986963570366479


The European Policy Centre and Egmont Institute are delighted to invite you to this online Policy Dialogue, which will explore the impact of COVID-19 on migrant rights across Europe and how these rights can be better protected.

Even in normal circumstances, migrants are at greater risk of their rights being violated. The implementation of COVID-19 related restrictions as of mid-March this year has only exacerbated this vulnerability with migrants’ access to asylum, basic services, health care and education affected. The lack of protection available in reception and detention facilities for asylum seekers and migrants in irregular situations has also given cause for concern. At the same time, the renewed focus on migrants’ contributions to European societies may bring about a shift in public perceptions and migration policies beyond the pandemic.

The European Commission recently published guidance on asylum, return and resettlement, calling on member states to, among other things, ensure continued access to asylum procedures. Against this background, what steps have member states taken to ensure the implementation of these guidelines? What can be done to ensure better access to health care and adequate accommodation for non-EU migrants? How should the measures taken and the growing discussion around regularisation, as seen in Italy and Portugal, be assessed? Lastly, what can be done to tackle the growing risk of discrimination and xenophobia due to COVID-19? At a time when restrictions are slowly being lifted, many questions regarding asylum and protection remain open.

Please find here the link to the EPC page

(Photo credit: Gerd Altmann, Pixabay)