Migrant workers in Poland disproportionately affected by COVID-19 lockdown measures

Author: Magdalena Chodownik, Euronews, Published on: 9 April 2020

"Coronavirus in Europe: Migrants in Poland being hit hardest by life on lockdown", 6 April 2020

Poland is home to nearly two million migrant workers. Most come from neighbouring countries like Ukraine and Belarus, and some come from faraway places like Bangladesh.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate was at a historic low of 2.9 per cent. The economy in the country has been growing, but thousands of Poles have already left in search of employment elsewhere in Europe.

That picture is now changing — like nearly everywhere else in Europe, Poland has been on lockdown since mid-March, when the government closed all but essential businesses. And it's migrant workers, more likely to be in the services industry, who are being hit hardest...

Hassan, a worker from Bangladesh who also lost his job, says he estimates around 75 per cent of migrant workers have lost their jobs...

Like millions of others worldwide, sudden unemployment has left them with a host of very immediate problems...

[F]or some Georgians, losing work also means losing their home — their employers are often the ones who provide their accommodations. Now, some can't even afford food...

There have been long lineups at the border crossings that remain open..., as people queue to return home.

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