The impact of COVID-19 on victims of modern slavery and vulnerable workers is dire. The COVID-19 pandemic is far from an all-in-the-same-boat situation. Its impact on the poor is and will continue to be, far greater than on the rich. Modern slavery victims are in danger of infection through unsafe accommodation, at the mercy of ‘employers’ who no longer need their labour because of supply chain disruption, or in the case of domestic workers made invisible to the outside world through lockdowns and isolation. For survivors there’s the prospect of shelters closing, support drying up, government offices shut. For refugees and migrant workers there are all the problems of crowded accommodation and lack of facilities as well as demonization and exclusion as ‘virus spreaders’. For women in the sex industry the closure of brothels in the lockdown leaves many without an income, stigmatized by their work and excluded from support services. Children are falling victim to child labour or sexual predators and teenage girls are at risk of early marriage as struggling families strive to reduce the number of mouths to feed. Below we draw on the work of NGOs, global organizations and the media to illustrate some of the issues in this shifting landscape. Our aim is to help inform a debate on the systemic flaws in global supply of goods and services and what can be done about them.

Modern Slavery and COVID-19: Are we really all in the same (life)boat? - OAASIS, 2020 DOWNLOAD














Exposing the Hidden Victims of COVID-19
COVID-19 resourcesGuidancePublications

The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing just how fragile the protection and prevention framework on modern slavery is, despite progress in recent years resulting from a new focus, marked particularly by a drive toward national anti-slavery legislation. ...Read More

COVID-19 Impacts on the Labour Migration and Mobility of Young Women and Girls in South-East Asia and the Pacific
COVID-19 resources

The IOM project “Supporting Brighter Futures: Young Women and Girls and Labour Migration in South-East Asia and the Pacific” resulted in a 2019 publication of the same name. Six experts contributed papers exploring issues that ranged from the ro...Read More

COVID-19: Guidance for Labour Recruiters to Enhance Migrant Worker Protection during the Current Health Crisis
COVID-19 resourcesGuidance

During the current global health crisis, labour recruiters play an essential role in protecting migrant workers and ensuring essential services have the staff they need to provide elevated levels of care. Recruitment agencies are also on the frontli...Read More

Human Trafficking and the Impact of COVID-19 Webinar
COVID-19 resourcesVideos

Domestic and sexual violence agencies have long been acknowledged as a vital pathway to support survivors of human trafficking. Therefore, requests for increased training on how to identify and meet the needs of these survivors are ongoing. With inc...Read More