As African gov’ts, like the rest of the world, struggle with COVID-19, response should not leave behind marginalized populations. Refugees, migrants, stateless persons, IDPs & undocumented migrants, as highlighted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, have unique challenges during this crisis & risk being excluded or out-rightly neglected in the responses to COVID-19. This is because most African states have inadequate data on these categories of people. Thus they often leave them out of country-specific processes in normal times. The risk of exclusion in this time of crisis & acute pressure on existing resources is significantly magnified. Including these populations in COVID-19 response is critical not only to protect the populations themselves, but also all other populations in the region, who will inevitably be exposed to them.
Addressing the needs of these populations means including them in prevention, treatment and recovery plans. In this regard, the Coalition on the Right to a Nationality in Africa urges all African governments to take urgent action to ensure that the concerns of these groups are also addressed in their COVID-19 response plans. Full statement @