SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

Improving outcomes for migrant athletes and trafficking victims during Covid-19 and beyond

Baroness Young of Hornsey OBE, Kirsty Burrows (Sports Rights Solutions), Nick Sore (UNHCR), Laurent de Boeck (IOM Egypt). Moderators: Yann Coelenbier (Mission 89), Dr J Simon Rofe (SOAS)

Date: 29 June 2020Time: 12:00 PM

Finishes: 29 June 2020Time: 1:30 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Virtual Event

The scourge of human trafficking manifests itself in various forms, whether by way of sport, in the form of ‘football trafficking’, or through any other number of exploitative practices that rob young victims of their freedom and wellbeing. These practices create a vulnerable community of irregular migrants worldwide, who are often unable to find gainful employment and unable to return home.

The plight of these trafficked youths has been further exacerbated by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to COVID-19, trafficked youths who were in breach of their condition of entry were one of the most vulnerable demographics in Europe, relying on non-contractual ad-hoc work to sustain themselves. They are typically ineligible to receive unemployment or other social benefits in the countries they are trafficked to; they may struggle to find food and accommodation; and they lack access to basic sanitary supplies or personal protective equipment such as facemasks. Government agencies, civil society organisations, and the private sector have stepped up their responses to the COVID-19 crisis. But how effective have these measures been and what role can sport play as part of a coordinated local, regional and global response?

The short-term response to the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 is essential in ensuring the safety and security of society’s most vulnerable, yet the long-term solution to issues of disempowerment and lack of opportunities are arguably even more important.

In light of this, Mission 89 is bringing together a range of experts from the field of labour migration, academia and sport, to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the lives of victims of human trafficking and irregular migration, and the role that local and global organizations are playing in mitigating these short term obstacles, as well as the long term issues associated with trafficking.

Please register here for this event.

Organiser: Mission 89, SOAS

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