This qualitative study aims to shed light on the experience of Ethiopian and Eritrean migrants during the COVID-19 pandemic in The Hague, Netherlands. These include health (both physical and mental) effects, economic impact, and social consequences. Experience that were particular to women and children was also explored. Eighteen individual migrants which varied based on gender, nationality (Eritrean or Ethiopian), profession, years of stay in the Netherlands, marital status were interviewed using an in-depth interview guide. An intersectionality lens was applied to frame the complex and interconnected challenges faced by migrants. Specifically, the concepts of precarious work and gender based division of labor are used to frame findings related to financial impact and women’s experience with the pandemic, respectively. Additionally, coping mechanism undertaken by the ‘Habesha’ community and support provided by the Dutch government and non-government organizations (NGO) were identified and analyzed using the concept of solidarity. For this, four NGO working to support Ethiopian and Eritrean migrants were interviewed. Research findings revealed intersecting layers of struggle that pose challenges on the lives of these migrants based on different factors such as Employment, gender, duration of stay in the Netherlands and marital status. In the face of these difficult circumstances that were particularly worse for migrants, many were also seen to come together in unity to assist one another. The most prominent of these is a fully volunteer based organization set up by a group of migrants to support newly arrived migrants that face language and other barriers. Calamities like the COVID-19 have a way of uniting people, especially on the basis on shared characteristics and identity. This research unveils the birth of heroes, who have significantly contributed to easing the difficulties faced by migrants.

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Mullassery Sathiamma, Sreerekha
Social Justice Perspectives (SJP)
International Institute of Social Studies

Woldeyesus, Bezawit Fantu. (2020, December 18). Solidarity in the face of vulnerability: lived experiences of Ethiopian and Eritrean migrants in The Hague, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social Justice Perspectives (SJP). Retrieved from