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Policy brief for the Inclusion of All Migrants in Bahrain’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

GCM Objectives

GCM Guiding Principles*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Dates

2021

Type of practice

Policy (including law, public measure)

Geographic Scope

Country:

Regions:

Sub Regions:

Summary

Migrant workers and their families have been among the most affected by COVID-19 while they have been also at the forefront of the COVID-19 response. All migrants were provided free access to COVID-19-related health care, including hospitalization with issuance of temporary ID for undocumented workers and suspension of the medical consultation fee for non-residents. The vaccination programme that was rolled out included nationals and migrants on a free and equitable basis. The UN Network on Migration in Bahrain recognised the steps taken towards provision of vaccination for migrants and recognised that certain groups remain outside of the official provision and need further outreach and advocacy, this included migrants in irregular status, vulnerable domestic workers and other categories. UN agencies worked to develop a joint brief which outlined the steps taken and proposed a series of recommendations, as well as targeted support to the government of Bahrain. The brief was shared with the Office of the Prime Minister and was discussed at a subsequent meeting. The government expressed its readiness to work with UN agencies to reach out to vulnerable migrants and provide vaccination.

Collaborators

Main Implementer

UN Network on Migration

Other Organizations

United Nations Network on Migration

Partners

Migrant Forum in Asia
UN Resident Coordinators Office in Bahrain
Office of the Prime Minister - Bahrain

Benefit and Impact

An estimated 80,000 irregular status migrants reside in Bahrain and about 13,762 undocumented migrants received vaccination as of August 2021. Equal access to healthcare regardless of nationality and status and implementation of the principle that No One Is safe Until Everyone is Safe and the commitment of the Sustainable Development Goals to Leave No One Behind. Engagement is still ongoing with targeted measure to develop outreach to vulnerable groups of migrants who are still hesitant to come forward for vaccination due to worries about their immigration status.

Key Lessons

The main challenge was receiving up to date information and data in terms of vaccination of irregular migrants. Effective communication with the Office of the Prime Minister ensured such data was provided during the development of the policy brief.

Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)

Ensure transparency in following global mandated protocols set by the WHO and coordinate with Embassies of countries of origin to provide information and outreach data and serve targeted groups with vulnerabilities. Invest in provision of free and equal access to health facilities with mainstreaming health information in multiple languages across different media platforms. Establish an outreach campaign to target undocumented risk groups and other vulnerable groups by making vaccine units available to them without legal consequences.

Innovation

The practice was initiated due to COVID-19 but the impact remains in the significance of the provision of health care services indiscriminately and specific to socio-economic vulnerabilities. Current measures can be further targeted to reach marginalized and vulnerable migrants who have remained outside of the vaccination drive in the country.

Date submitted:

13 April 2022

Disclaimer: The content of this practice reflects the views of the implementers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, the United Nations Network on Migration, and its members.

 

 

Policy brief for the Inclusion of All Migrants in Bahrain’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

GCM Objectives

Dates:

2021

Type of practice:

Policy (including law, public measure)

Geographic Scope

Country:

Regions:

Sub Regions:

Summary

Migrant workers and their families have been among the most affected by COVID-19 while they have been also at the forefront of the COVID-19 response. All migrants were provided free access to COVID-19-related health care, including hospitalization with issuance of temporary ID for undocumented workers and suspension of the medical consultation fee for non-residents. The vaccination programme that was rolled out included nationals and migrants on a free and equitable basis. The UN Network on Migration in Bahrain recognised the steps taken towards provision of vaccination for migrants and recognised that certain groups remain outside of the official provision and need further outreach and advocacy, this included migrants in irregular status, vulnerable domestic workers and other categories. UN agencies worked to develop a joint brief which outlined the steps taken and proposed a series of recommendations, as well as targeted support to the government of Bahrain. The brief was shared with the Office of the Prime Minister and was discussed at a subsequent meeting. The government expressed its readiness to work with UN agencies to reach out to vulnerable migrants and provide vaccination.

Collaborators

Main Implementer:

UN Network on Migration

Other Organizations:

United Nations Network on Migration

Partners:

Migrant Forum in Asia
UN Resident Coordinators Office in Bahrain
Office of the Prime Minister - Bahrain

Benefit and Impact

An estimated 80,000 irregular status migrants reside in Bahrain and about 13,762 undocumented migrants received vaccination as of August 2021. Equal access to healthcare regardless of nationality and status and implementation of the principle that No One Is safe Until Everyone is Safe and the commitment of the Sustainable Development Goals to Leave No One Behind. Engagement is still ongoing with targeted measure to develop outreach to vulnerable groups of migrants who are still hesitant to come forward for vaccination due to worries about their immigration status.

Key Lessons

The main challenge was receiving up to date information and data in terms of vaccination of irregular migrants. Effective communication with the Office of the Prime Minister ensured such data was provided during the development of the policy brief.

Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)

Ensure transparency in following global mandated protocols set by the WHO and coordinate with Embassies of countries of origin to provide information and outreach data and serve targeted groups with vulnerabilities. Invest in provision of free and equal access to health facilities with mainstreaming health information in multiple languages across different media platforms. Establish an outreach campaign to target undocumented risk groups and other vulnerable groups by making vaccine units available to them without legal consequences.

GCM Guiding Principles*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Innovation

The practice was initiated due to COVID-19 but the impact remains in the significance of the provision of health care services indiscriminately and specific to socio-economic vulnerabilities. Current measures can be further targeted to reach marginalized and vulnerable migrants who have remained outside of the vaccination drive in the country.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Date submitted:

13 April 2022

Disclaimer: The content of this practice reflects the views of the implementers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, the United Nations Network on Migration, and its members.

 

 

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).