The two emergencies of migrant-related policies in Italy during the first wave of COVID-19: The spread of the virus and the workforce shortages

Article


Montagna, N. 2023. The two emergencies of migrant-related policies in Italy during the first wave of COVID-19: The spread of the virus and the workforce shortages. Journal of International Migration and Integration. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12134-023-01042-8
TypeArticle
TitleThe two emergencies of migrant-related policies in Italy during the first wave of COVID-19: The spread of the virus and the workforce shortages
AuthorsMontagna, N.
Abstract

Italy was the first European country touched by COVID-19 and one of the most severely affected, with a death toll that overtook China's by mid-March 2020. As a result, lockdown measures aiming to mitigate-and eventually interrupt-the spread of COVID-19 proliferated during the first wave of the pandemic. The vast majority of these concerned the resident population, regardless of their status or country of origin, and mainly involved the closure of public offices and proscrip-tion of private activities with the aim of reducing mobility and social and physical contacts. Only a few concerned the foreign population and arriving irregular migrants. This article analyses migrant-related policy measures taken by the Ital-ian government during the first wave of the pandemic that aimed to prevent infection and reduce the impact of COVID-19 among the population. These measures addressed two emergencies: the spread of COVID-19 that hit the resident population hard, regardless of origin or nationality, and the workforce shortages in some key economic sectors with a high number of irregular migrant workers. The former aimed at containing the spread of the virus (sections 4 and 5) and targeted foreigners already residing in Italy as well as irregular migrants arriving along the Mediterra-nean route; the latter aimed at addressing workforce shortages (section 6) as a result of borders that were closed to external seasonal migration. This article is a contribution to the debate on changes to migration and migrant policy, and how these impacted on migration and foreign populations during the pandemic.

KeywordsBordering; COVID-19; Irregular migration; Migration policy; Quarantine ships; Floating hotspots
Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
Research GroupSocial Policy Research Centre (SPRC)
LanguageEnglish
PublisherSpringer
JournalJournal of International Migration and Integration
ISSN1488-3473
Electronic1874-6365
Publication dates
Online06 May 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited25 May 2023
Accepted15 Apr 2023
Publisher's version
License
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s12134-023-01042-8
Web of Science identifierWOS:000982746100001
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