The migrant crisis across Asia that followed the pandemic was not just a failure of governments to understand migrant lives or public policy’s disconnect with their reality. It was a failure of public imagination about productive life and national economies. Despite most Asian nations resting on the precarious labour of scores of migrant workers, their lives continue to remain invisible. Obscuring migrant workers’ lives denies them social security and access to basic human rights. The continued regulation of borders and restrictions on mobility due to the ongoing pandemic has meant that migrant workers, from coastal spaces across Indian Ocean countries have remained vulnerable to being stranded far from their coastal homes, often without any way of getting paid labour and with practically no access to any kind of social security or even their usual extended family networks of support.
Capitalism has fueled the rate and pace of migration, often framed as ‘illegitimate bodies’.This erasure of their existence outside this “crisis” mode is dehumanizing and alienating and needs wider public understanding. Locating itself against this stark ignorance, Migration Diaries became, and is, a space for migrants to contribute their own stories which are sometimes co-created with their consent, and at other times,curated here. The site runs on the active engagement of our extended peer community of migrant workers and support organizations.