Impact of COVID-19 on protection risks for refugees and migrants (Update #2)

Covid 19 Global Thematic Update

This is the second in a series of global thematic updates on 4Mi data collected remotely by MMC about the impact of COVID-19 on refugees and migrants travelling along mixed migration routes in Africa, Asia and Latin America. After the initial roll-out of our adapted 4Mi survey focusing on the immediate impact of the pandemic in April, we moved into a new data collection phase in July, further zooming in on the impact of the pandemic on mixed migration, including migrant smuggling, drivers of mixed migration and movement decision-making, and protection. This second update focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on the protection risks faced during the journey – whether refugees and migrants perceive an increase in risks. It looks at the data collected in each region, but also at differences according to legal status and gender. 

The Mixed Migration Monitoring Mechanism Initiative (4Mi) is the Mixed Migration Centre’s flagship primary data collection system, an innovative approach that helps fill knowledge gaps, and inform policy and response regarding the nature of mixed migratory movements. Normally, the recruitment of respondents and interviews take place face-to-face. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face recruitment and data collection has been suspended in all countries. 

MMC has responded to the COVID-19 crisis by changing the data it collects and the way it collects it. Respondents are recruited through a number of remote or third-party mechanisms; sampling is through a mixture of purposive and snowball approaches. A new survey focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on refugees and migrants, and the surveys are administered by telephone, by the 4Mi monitors in West Africa, East Africa, North Africa, Asia and Latin America. Findings derived from the surveyed sample should not be used to make inferences about the total population of refugees and migrants, as the sample is not representative. The switch to remote recruitment and data collection results in additional potential bias and risks, which cannot be completely avoided. Further measures have been put in place to check and – to the extent possible – control for bias and to protect personal data. 

You can also find the first report below:

COVID-19 Global Thematic Update #1 - Impact of COVID-19 on migrant smuggling


Impact of COVID-19 on protection risks for refugees and migrants


Mixed Migration Centre


Mixed Migration Centre

Date of Publication:




Africa South America Asia




COVID-19 Refugee