UN: Millions of Migrant Workers Head Home

Millions of migrant workers who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 are expected to return home only to face unemployment and poverty, according to the United Nations.

Governments should include returning workers in their social protection measures and reintegrate them into national labor markets, the UN’s International Labor Organization said.

Manuela Tomei, ILO director of conditions of work and equality, said, “This is a potential crisis within a crisis. Millions of migrant workers…have lost their jobs and are now expected to return home to countries that are already grappling with weak economies and rising unemployment.”

The ILO estimated there were 164 million migrant workers worldwide, nearly half of them women, comprising 4.7 percent of the global labor force. Many worked in health care, transport, domestic work and agriculture.

Nearly a million migrant workers have returned to South Asia alone.

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