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SMUGGLING IN THE TIME OF COVID-19: The impact of the pandemic on human-smuggling dynamics and migrant-protection risks

Efforts to counter the COVID-19 pandemic have seen unprecedented restrictions on movement being imposed in many countries, both at borders and within countries. Some communities and policymakers have adopted increasingly hostile attitudes towards migrants, whom they perceive as contagion risks. Barriers to movement are therefore not only state-imposed but can also be community led. While these measures are reducing migration and the smuggling business in many regions in the short term, they are also heightening migrant-protection risks.