Migration and Coronavirus in Southern Africa Coordination Group (MiCoSA)

Migration and Coronavirus in Southern Africa Coordination Group

The Migration and Coronavirus in Southern Africa Coordination Group (MiCoSA) is hosted by the Migration and Health Project Southern Africa (maHp) at the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS), Wits University, Johannesburg. MiCoSA is an informal network of migrant-led organisations, non-governmental organisations, international organisations, civil society, activists, lawyers, researchers, government officials and policy advisors. Through an online platform and virtual meetings, MiCoSA brings together national and SADC regional partners who are concerned with the health and well-being of asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants during the current Coronavirus pandemic. To date, MiCoSA has over 150 members; to join this network, please email coronavirus-migration+join@googlegroups.com. While these webinars are held under Chatham House Rules this page will feature some of the discussion summaries.

MiCoSA updates

VIDEO: Framing migration during the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa: a 12-month media monitoring project

At the International Journal of Press/Politics Virtual Conference (13-16 September 2021), maHp/African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS, Wits University) postdoctoral fellow Thea de Gruchy presented a paper (co-authored with Thulie Zikhali, Jo Vearey and Johanna Hanefeld) titled: ‘Framing migration during the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa: a 12-month media monitoring project’.

Global Health (in)Security and Immigration Governance in Africa : pandemics, panics, politics and public health planning

Join us for the Global Health (in)Security and Immigration Governance in Africa: pandemics, panics, politics and public health planning online workshop taking place on Friday 19th November 2021, as part of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Third Biennial Conference on ‘Global Public Health Challenges: Facing them in Africa’.

MiCoSA Issue Brief #4 – Migration and Covid-19: New and continuing concerns with South Africa’s response to the pandemic

This is the fourth in a series of issue briefs that explores the implications of Covid-19 and the South African response to the pandemic on migration and for migrant and mobile communities in South Africa.

Behind the Masks: Mental health, marginalisation and Covid-19

maHp/ACMS researchers Rebecca Walker and Jo Vearey discuss how Covid-19 is impacting mental health and existing inequalities in South Africa.

Lifeline to LGBTQI+ migrants, refugees and asylum seekers

The African LGBTQI+ Migration Research Network (ALMN) and the Gala Queer Archive, both located at Wits, joined forces at the onset of Covid-19 to establish an emergency relief fund to mitigate the adverse effects of the virus on the LGBTQI+ community. For their work, these organisations received nominations as Wits Heroes for going beyond the call of duty.

Five key take home messages from the high-level dialogue on Covid-19 vaccine access for migrant and mobile populations in South Africa

The Migration and Coronavirus in Southern Africa Coordination Group (MiCoSA) recently (on 25th August) held a high-level dialogue on the access of the Covid-19 vaccine for migrant and mobile populations in South Africa.

PODCAST: Vaccination of undocumented migrants

Human rights groups and activists are calling on the country’s acting Minister of Health Mmamoloko Kubayi to follow international guidelines by making sure that the Covid-19 vaccination programme is inclusive. ACMS director Professor Jo Vearey has added her voice to the call. Find out why this is important by listening to her SAfm interview here.

TV INTERVIEW: Jabs for asylum seekers and undocumented migrants

African Centre for Migration and Society (ACMS) director Professor Jo Vearey was recently (27 July 2021) interviewed by eNCA about the call by local scholars, community leaders and activists for the South African government to include undocumented persons in the country’s Covid-19 vaccine roll-out strategy. Watch her interview here.

PODCAST: Calls for Covid-19 vaccination of undocumented

Experts call on the government to address the vaccination of undocumented persons. African Centre for Migration and Society (ACMS) director Professor Jo Vearey adds her voice to this call. Listen to her interview on the SAfm Sunrise radio show from earlier this week (28 July 2021).

TV INTERVIEW: Vaccination of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers

Leaders of social, legal, and academic organisations have come together to call on the South African government to leave no one behind when it comes to the Covid-19 vaccination. The concern is that undocumented migrants are not able to access it. Director of the African Centre for Migration and Society (ACMS) Professor Jo Vearey was recently (on 27 July 2021) interviewed by SABC News about this. Watch the news insert here: About the Author Latest PostsAbout Jo VeareyJo Vearey is an Associate Professor and the

OP-ED: Leave No One Behind: We must urgently address vaccination of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers

South Africa’s civil society and the research community call on Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi to do the right thing and follow international guidelines to ensure the Covid-19 vaccination programme is inclusive.

The call for vaccines for undocumented migrants

Earlier this week Lester Kiewit of Cape Talk’s ‘The Morning Review’ show spoke to Professor Jo Vearey about the call for Covid-19 vaccines for undocumented migrants.

Covid-19 and People on the Move in Africa

This week’s issue of ACCORD’s Covid-19 Conflict and Resilience Monitor features a piece from ACMS. The article reflects on the impact of Covid-19 on marginalised populations which include migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people (IDPs), who have been some of the worst affected during the pandemic.

Covid-19 and Migration Governance in Africa

This is the second in a series of occasional papers that explore the implications of Covid-19 and responses to the pandemic on migration and for migrant and mobile communities on the African continent.

MiCoSA Issue Brief #3 – Migration and Disability in South Africa: Considering the impacts of Covid-19

This is the third in a series of issue briefs that explores the implications of Covid-19 and the South African response to the pandemic on migration and for migrant and mobile communities in South Africa.

Migrants and the Covid-19 Vaccine Roll-out in Africa: Hesitancy and Exclusion

This occasional paper examines the current state of the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out in Africa (as of June 2021), with a particular focus on the attitude and behaviour of states and other key stakeholders towards the inclusion of international migrants.

VIDEO: Ensuring the Covid-19 Vaccine Reaches Undocumented Migrants

maHp/ACMS director Professor Jo Vearey recently presented at this M8 Alliance expert meeting titled, ‘Ensuring the Covid-19 Vaccine Reaches Undocumented Migrants’, which forms part of a webinar series leading up to the upcoming World Health Summit (October 24-26, 2021). Watch the full webinar here.

OP-ED: No country for poor people – South African government must act on its motto of ‘saving lives and protecting livelihoods’

In this Daily Maverick op-ed, maHp/ACMS postdoctoral fellow Elsa Oliveira and research associate Rebecca Walker argue that, “government must support and protect all who live here, including foreign-born migrants”.

VIDEO: Healthcare In Transit webinar

ACMS and MSF – in collaboration with MiCoSA – recently hosted a webinar titled ‘Healthcare In Transit: Quantifying the health needs of migrants across the Limpopo’. Download the research report and watch the online discussion here.

WEBINAR INVITATION: The “covidisation” of migration and health research – Southern African consultation

The African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) in collaboration with the Migration and Coronavirus in Southern Africa Coordination Group (MiCoSA) would like to invite you to attend the Southern African consultation on the “covidisation” of migration and health research.

WEBINAR INVITE: Ensuring the Covid-19 Vaccine Reaches Undocumented Migrants

maHp/ACMS director Professor Jo Vearey will be taking part in this M8 Alliance webinar on 30 March titled, ‘Ensuring the Covid-19 Vaccine Reaches Undocumented Migrants’, which is co-organised with the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM).

Refugees and migrants are vulnerable to ‘vaccine nationalism’ as host nations put their own citizens first

African Center for Migration and Society (ACMS) director, Professor Jo Vearey was recently quoted in this Thomson Reuters Foundation New’s article expressing her concern over possible “formal or de facto discrimination against undocumented migrants when it comes to vaccine access”.

OP-ED: Vaccine nationalism and migration: Implications for the (mis)management of Covid-19 in South Africa

As countries begin to roll out Covid-19 vaccination programmes, maHp/ACMS director Professor Jo Vearey argues there is no place for ‘vaccine nationalism’; that the principle of equity in global health access must be at the fore.

PODCAST: Minister Aaron Motsoaledi hits back at border posts closure critics

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced the closure of 20 land borders in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus. In this 702fm conversation with Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Professor Jo Vearey explains why shutting borders is not a helpful response to Covid-19.

VIDEO: How the governments can deal with immigration during the Covid-19 pandemic?

maHp/ACMS Associate Professor Jo Vearey recently appeared on Newzroom Afrika urging African governments to deal with immigration during the Covid-19 pandemic collaboratively.

PODCAST: Bietbridge humanitarian crisis

On the Beitbridge border posts hundreds of Zimbabweans have been captured waiting for days in the line to escape the thirty day hard lockdown that was recently implemented. maHp/ACMS director Professor Jo Vearey spoke to Channel Africa about this humanitarian crises.

OP-ED: Drones, dinghies and an army helicopter – why the state’s new toys won’t help South Africa’s response to Covid-19

According to CMS/maHp director Jo Vearey, Sally Gandar, Rebecca Walker and Francois Venter, the government’s decision to focus on tracking, detaining and deporting migrants as they cross into South Africa is at the expense of the many systemic challenges faced in accessing documentation – including Covid certificates.

How migration-aware was South Africa’s initial response to Covid-19?

UoE student and ACMS/maHp intern Robin Arendse shares a summary of her MSc in Global Health Policy dissertation, which asked the question, ‘How migration-aware was South Africa’s initial response to Covid-19?’.

Statement on Covid-19 and Migration Governance in Africa

Associate Professor Jo Vearey recently presented at the 67th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). Watch and read the full submission here.

Virtual Engagement and Knowledge in Context: Migration Health Research Communications in South Africa during Covid-19

UoE student and maHp intern Rachel Benavides gives a synopsis of her MSc International Development research project titled ‘Virtual Engagement and Knowledge in Context: Migration Health Research Communications in South Africa during Covid-19’, which she conducted as part of her internship at the ACMS.

OP-ED: Johannesburg cannot police its future

South Africa’s biggest city is ground zero for debates about the long-term effectiveness and constitutionality of militarized urban policing and how we imagine the post-Covid city. maHp/ACMS writing fellow Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon leans in on the discussions.

WEBINAR: Migrants and Vulnerabilities during the Covid-19 Pandemic

The University of the Witwatersrand’s Humanities Graduate Centre and the RReal Covid Project will be hosting this webinar titled Migrants and Vulnerabilities during the Covid-19 Pandemic on Monday, 12 October 2020, 14:00-15:30 SAST.

Wits Pandemic Pangolin webinar: Human Rights and Fighting Discrimination during Epidemics

The Wits Pandemic Pangolin webinar series returns tomorrow, Wednesday 30 September, at 13:00 – 14:00 SAST. This week’s dialogue titled Human Rights and Fighting Discrimination during Epidemics takes up the way that Covid-19 has acted as a transmission belt of wider social anxieties around justice, equity and prejudice.

MiCoSA Issue Brief #2 – Migration and Covid-19: A review of South Africa’s policy response to the pandemic

This is the second in a series of issue briefs that explores the implications of Covid-19 and the South African response to the pandemic on migration and for migrant and mobile communities in South Africa.

MiCoSA Issue Brief #1 – Migration and Covid-19: Emerging concerns with South Africa’s response to the pandemic

This is the first in a series of issue briefs that explores the implications of Covid-19 and the South African response to the pandemic on migration and for migrant and mobile communities in South Africa. 

PODCAST: Why are migrants being excluded from SA’s response to Covid-19?

ACMS director Professor Jo Vearey chats to Radio 702’s Eusebius McKaiser. 

Services for refugees and migrants in Covid-19 lockdown

Do you need legal or psycho-social assistance during the national Covid-19 lockdown and ongoing pandemic? See this infographic and list of services for refugees and migrants during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Migration Health Evidence Portal for COVID-19

The IOM Migration Health Research Portal has established an interactive, open-source, searchable, repository of research publications on COVID-19 in relation to migrants, migration, and human mobility.

Coronavirus: APO Group to support African governments in the fight against COVID-19

APO Group, the leading pan-African communications and business consultancy, recently announced they will support the dissemination of coronavirus-related information from African governments to the press and public.

VIDEO: Coronavirus amid a vulnerable populace

Last night (14 April 2020) ACMS Professor Jo Vearey was interviewed by Godfred Akoto Boafo of Citi TV’s current affairs show ‘Face to Face’, about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on migrants.

Refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in SA know your rights during Covid-19

LHR and CoRMSA recently tweeted an information sheet about the rights that refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in South Africa have during this Covid-19 national lockdown.

BLOG: An apple a day… The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the livelihoods of informal food traders – a case of Mangaung

ACMS Masters student Sinoyolo Godongwana blogs about the plight of informal food traders in Mangaung, amid this unfolding global pandemic – Covid-19.

Wits COVID-19 dashboard goes continental

Wits University’s COVID-19 dashboard has grown with new data features, including snapshot views of how the pandemic is spreading in Africa, as well as statistics showing world trends, being added.

Report Xenophobia in Times of COVID-19

Have you experienced any form of discrimination in relation to COVID-19 because of where you come from, your nationality and/or ethnicity? Then report your experiences to Xenowatch.

How is the Corona pandemic affecting the lives of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in South Africa and Canada? Two Protect researchers share their insights.

This is one of two blog posts where Protect researchers reflect upon how the Corona pandemic is affecting people on the move across the world. In this post, Professor Jo Vearey from Wits University and Professor Idil Atak from Ryerson University share their insights from South Africa and Canada.

COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal

The South African government has set up an online resource portal to specifically share information about the Covid-19 / coronavirus pandemic, as it relates to the country.

Scalabrini Centre COVID-19 Information Sheets

The Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town, a non-governmental organisation that offers development and welfare programmes to the migrant and local communities of Cape Town, has recently produced information sheets about Covid-19 and the 21-day national lockdown regulations in multiple languages (namely Swahili, Shona, French, Lingala, Portuguese and English).

OP-ED: Covid-19 lockdown needs to protect inner-city communities

ACMS/maHp associate researcher Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon, and the general secretary of the Inner-City Federation Siyabonga Mahlangu argue that it is critical the police and army deployment for the Covid-19 lockdown not result in the persecution of residents of unlawful occupations.

OP-ED: Why xenophobia is bad for the health of all in South Africa

South Africa mustn’t forget the public — and that includes migrants and refugees — in its public health response to COVID-19, writes ACMS director, Associate Professor Jo Vearey.

OP-ED: Border walls don’t stop viruses. But this might

Both the United States and South Africa have punted increased border security as a way to curb the coronavirus outbreak. Here’s why South Africa should be thinking less about walls and more about amnesty as cases mount.

As the middle-class posts lockdown selfies, how are the poor coping?

ACMS Masters student Shireen Mukadam speaks to the poor about the impact of the coronavirus and the national lockdown on their lives.

OP-ED: Foreign migrants must be included in Covid-19 response

International solidarity, travel restrictions and the right to remain: why South Africa needs to actively engage all foreign migrants in its response to Covid-19.

PODCAST: Winter is coming

ACMS director, Associate Professor Jo Vearey discusses South Africa’s responses to the Covid-19 pandemic on the ‘Monday Morning Meetings on Migration’ show.

OP-ED: Hypocrisy in the time of Covid-19

ACMS director, Associate Professor Jo Vearey explains how the sanctimony of moving from blaming foreign migrants to now rendering them invisible in a critical public health moment will have implications for our response to Covid-19.

VIDEO: Unfiltered: Coronavirus

ACMS Associate Professor Jo Vearey was recently part of an interview panel on the SABC News Unfiltered talk show that discussed migration and Covid-19 in South Africa.

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