Policy Brief: COVID-19 and Women Migrant Workers in ASEAN

ILO and UN Women

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, countries in the ASEAN region have implemented measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic, including lockdowns, quarantines, and border closures. Policy responses related to migrant workers have varies from facilitating visa extensions, to, in a single country, immigration raids and detention. Throughout the region, many businesses and other organizations (including migrant and women support services) have had to cease operations or reduce working hours. In May, at the time of drafting this brief, some countries in the region have eased restrictions, through the way of secondary waves of infection as crowded migrant dormitories, other accommodations and detention centres have been prone to outbreaks.

This brief explores the multi-dimensional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women migrant workers in and from the ASEAN region. While women migrant workers in the ASEAN region strive to protect their livelihoods and their health, COVID-19 has presented them with a health crisis, compounded by detrimental impacts on freedom from violence and harassment, employment, income, social protection, access to services, and access to justice. This brief outlines the critical programmatic and policy responses needed. ILO-UN Women Safe and Fair Programme, as part of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, is committed to ensuring women migrant workers’ rights are protected and they receive support when and where they need it.

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Bibliographic information

Geographic coverage: Asia and the Pacific
Resource type(s): Briefs Policy papers
Publication year
Number of pages