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25th November, 2021

Dr Ella Parry-Davies and Kanlungan Filipino Consortium release new report into the impact of COVID-19 on irregular migrant communities


Central’s Dr Ella Parry-Davies and the Kanlungan Filipino Consortium have announced the launch of a new report and accompanying creative zine which reveal the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis on undocumented workers on the frontline. 

‘Essential and Invisible: Filipino irregular migrants in the extended COVID crisis’ was authored by Dr Parry-Davies following a research project which she led, was published by the Kanlungan Filipino Consortium and was launched on 14 November at Stratford Library, east London.  

Published alongside this report is “Hear Our Voices” – a zine created by irregular Filipino migrants that foregrounds the makers’ own modes of self-expression and artwork – representing their hopes for social change and justice. 

The report draws primarily on fourteen interviews conducted with Filipino irregular migrants who undertook ‘frontline’ service work in the UK during the pandemic. The report evidences that many irregular migrants on the frontline – such as care workers – are still on the brink of destitution and are afraid to seek healthcare or access COVID vaccines for fear of deportation.  Amongst the reports many findings were a lack of clarity that treatment and vaccination for coronavirus is free and available to all regardless of immigration status, difficulties with accessing healthcare services, and widespread financial concerns amidst overcrowded housing situations and exploitative ‘no work, no pay’ jobs.  The report also recognised the importance of community-level organisations who support migrants while government initiatives fail to reach them, recommending further support for community-led responses to the pandemic. 

The report follows a previous collaboration between Dr Parry-Davies, Kanlungan and the Refugee and Asylum Seeker Participatory Action Research charity (RAPAR).  ‘A Chance to Feel Safe: Precarious Filipino Migrants amid the UK’s Coronavirus Outbreak’ was published on 24 June 2020 and surveyed 79 Filipino migrants, the majority living without legal status in the UK, about the impact of the global pandemic on their lives.  

Dr Ella Parry-Davies is Central’s British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow and a BBC/ AHRC New Generation Thinker.  The report publications follow on from Dr Parry-Davies’ previous research into transnational migration and, most recently, the collaborative creation (with Filipina domestic and care workers living in the UK and Lebanon) of a series of soundwalks about migration, domestic labour and the lived experiences of individuals who work “behind closed doors”.  Visit the Home Makers website to listen to soundwalks created by Dr Parry-Davies in collaboration with migrant domestic and care workers. 

You can read the full report (‘Essential and Invisible: Filipino irregular migrants in the extended COVID crisis’) and access the accompanying zine (“Hear our Voices”) by visiting the Kanlungan website

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