What has been the impact of Covid-19 on migrant workers in Goa? Survey Findings and Analysis

We did a rapid assesssement of the challenges migrant workers are facing due to COVID19, in partnership with the Goa Humanitarian Helpline and other CSOs.

Migrant workers in Goa have been hugely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. With the full closure of the lucrative tourism industry and a pause on construction projects in the state, many lost their livelihoods overnight. Workers from all over India and Nepal found themselves seeking food and cash relief as they tried to decide whether to attempt to return home or wait out the lockdown in Goa. The situation for migrant workers remains extremely challenging as the state begins to open up and restart in a 'new normal'.

Tandem Research, alongside the Goa Humanitarian Helpline and other CSOs, undertook a survey to understand the challenges facing migrant workers. This report is based on the findings of this survey and outlines the problems migrants faced around accessing relief measures, receiving information from the state government and their plans for returning home or staying in Goa. We then put forward policy recommendations for the short, mid and long-term, underpinned by the need to rebuild Goa as an environmentally and socially sustainable state.

Authors

Zothan Mawii

Zothan Mawii is a Research Fellow at Tandem Research. Her research interests lie at the intersection of technology, work, and gender in the global south. She is currently working on a project exploring Indian women’s experiences of working in the digital economy. She has also been working closely with civil society organisations and gig workers’ unions to advocate for better labour protections and working standards. Her past work examines the impact of digital labour platforms in emerging economies and involved extensive fieldwork in India, South Africa, and Myanmar. She holds a MA in Digital Culture and Society from King's College London and a BA (Hons) in English from St. Stephen's College, DU.

Iona Eckstein

Iona Eckstein works on the Future of Work & Learning initiative at Tandem. Her work mainly focuses on the intersection between technology and labour, specifically; the evolution of the platform economy, digital labour, workplace surveillance, and more recently, the impact of Covid-19 on workers. She is also passionate about feminist perspectives on the future of work, and how women and other marginalised groups can benefit from technological advances. She has conducted fieldwork in India, Nepal, Tanzania and Denmark, and has a B.Sc in Sociology from the University of Bristol and an M.Sc in Global Development from the University of Copenhagen.