Refugees, asylum seekers unfairly blamed for COVID-19

September 03, 2020

CSD's Dr. Ozge Karadag Caman was interviewed by Turkish state-run news group, Anadolu Agency on refugees, asylum seeker, and COVID-19.

"Refugees and asylum seekers who have falsely been blamed for spreading coronavirus face stigma and discrimination while the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc across the globe, according to experts. 

The disease knows no boundaries or race, affecting everyone throughout the world, including refugees and asylum seekers.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), over 80% of refugees and almost all of the internally displaced people worldwide are taking shelter in low- and middle-income countries.

“They frequently face specific challenges and vulnerabilities that must be taken into consideration in COVID-19 readiness and response operations,” according to the UN body.

By the end of 2019, global displacement reached 79.5 million people, including 26 million refugees and 4.2 million asylum seekers across the world, said the UNHCR.

“Even though it has no scientific basis, refugees and asylum seekers are held responsible for spreading the virus in many countries during the pandemic. Increased stigma and discrimination towards refugees and asylum seekers emerge as a problem which affects the internal peace of many societies,” Dr. Ozge Karadag Caman, a public health researcher at the Center for Sustainable Development of Columbia University, said."

Read the full article from Anadolu Agency here.