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Abstract

Refugees and migrants have been disproportionately affected by both the direct effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictive migration measures put in place, which, in turn, have hampered coordinated and consistent public health responses. This report maps how the needs of refugee and migrant have been addressed in COVID-19 responses across countries and how these have varied considerably from inclusive policies to discriminatory practices. Many countries ensured access to health care for refugees and migrants regardless of migration status, and several countries also suspended forced returns and prioritized alternatives to immigration detention. An integrated approach to migration and public health policies covering protection-sensitive access to territories, a flexible approach to migration status and non-discriminatory access to health care is suggested as a policy consideration to uphold international conventions protecting the right to health without discrimination for refugees and migrants.

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