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The plight of racialised minorities during a pandemic: migrants and refugees in Italy and Australia

Sarah De Nardi (School of Social Sciences, Western Sydney University, Sydney, Australia)
Melissa Phillips (School of Social Sciences, Western Sydney University, Sydney, Australia)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 9 April 2021

Issue publication date: 7 February 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to draw on data from interviews with six Italian migrant service providers and media stories in Italy and Australia to weave a comparative snapshot of the plight of precarious migrant and refugee communities in these two countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

The article draws attention to prejudicial shortcomings towards vulnerable migrant communities enacted by the states of Italy and Australia in response to COVID-19.

Findings

While the unequal ecology of the pandemic has flared up the need for the State to strengthen participation and inclusion policies, it has also provided opportunities to foreground the disadvantages vulnerable communities face that also demand policy attention and sustained funding. Governments in migrant-receiving countries like Australia and Italy need to articulate culturally sensitive and inclusive responses that foreground agencies give vulnerable migrants, asylum seekers and refugees clear, supportive messages of solidarity leading to practical solutions.

Originality/value

This paper relays preliminary data from the coalface (migrant service providers) and media as the pandemic evolved in the two countries, whose support mechanisms had never before been critically compared and evaluated through the lens of racial inequality in the face of a health and social crisis.

Keywords

Citation

De Nardi, S. and Phillips, M. (2022), "The plight of racialised minorities during a pandemic: migrants and refugees in Italy and Australia", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 41 No. 1, pp. 98-111. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-08-2020-0248

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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