The distress migration which is underway due to draconian lockdown in response to COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity to bring the adverse realities of migration and migrants’ lives at the centre stage in the public discourse. For long their existence and plight have been on the periphery.
Migrants can be classified into two major categories-
1. Permanent/semi-permanent and
2. Seasonal/circular/temporary migration.
The circular/seasonal/ temporary migrants are more vulnerable in the pandemic-driven migration. It is essentially a case of forced migration. Their vulnerability is multi-dimensional in nature. The major reasons of their vulnerability include:
1. Occupational vulnerability- Majority of the circular migrants are engaged in informal sector-out of which a major chunk is of daily wage workers. Unmindful of the 3-D jobs-Difficult, Dangerous and Demeaning they do for their livelihood, the migrant woekers have been excluded from social security benefits.