Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Human dignity and cross-border migrants in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic

Dhungana, Nimesh (2020) Human dignity and cross-border migrants in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. World Development, 136. ISSN 0305-750X

[img] Text (Dhungana_Human dignity and cross-border_06082020) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (231kB)

Identification Number: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105174


The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and the resultant lock-downs and cross-border travel restrictions have reinvigorated public debates about the vulnerability of the global migrants, together with the responsibility of the States to ensure dignified treatment of migrants. Situating within the debates on capability-based development and human dignity and drawing on emerging evidence from Nepal, this opinion piece seeks to explore how returnee Nepali labour migrants from India are subject to dignity violation within the government's response to the COVID-19. The paper tentatively concludes that the Nepali government's decision to seal its border with India, and its subsequent interventions to curtail the flow of outbreak, have undermined the human dignity of Nepali migrants. In so doing, the paper raises a normative question as to whether, to what extent and for how long, poor and marginalised populations such as labour migrants should be expected to endure suffering and dignity violation in the interests of protecting the health of the population at large. The role of contextual politics in shaping the response to the intersecting nature of cross-border and public health crisis is highlighted. Attention is also drawn to the potential of political response against dignity violation, in exposing the ineptitude of the State to safeguard the well-being of its returnee migrants.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2020 16:03
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2024 02:12

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics