Migrants’ Vulnerabilities in India During the Pandemic
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Migration promotes agglomeration of economic activity in more productive locations and improves employment opportunities for households in less developed regions, alleviating poverty and boosting shared prosperity through remittances. Most internal migrants’ livelihoods are characterised by circular mobility, mandatory physical presence at work, temporary or seasonal nature of work, and informality. Beside their temporary residential status and lack of access to government welfare schemes, most migrants are vulnerable workers. The Covid-19 pandemic made them more vulnerable due to its mobility restrictions and total shutdown of the economy during lockdown. The extent of precarity migrants faced depended on existing policies, and how agile policymakers were in responding to the crisis and introducing new policies to protect vulnerable migrants.