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In a life full of risks, COVID-19 makes little difference

Marieke Heemskerk, François-Michel Le Tourneau, Helene Hiwat, Hedley Cairo, Pierre Pratley

Responses to COVID-19 among mobile migrants in gold mining areas in Suriname and French Guiana

Worldwide, the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 disproportionally affect vulnerable groups in society. This paper assesses responses to, and impacts of, the pandemic among mobile migrant populations who work in Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) in Suriname and French Guiana. These populations are characterized by poverty, informal or illegal status, and limited access to health care and information. Field research in Suriname (November 2020–January 2021) and French Guiana (January, May, June 2021) included qualitative interviews, informal conversations and observations, and a quantitative survey with 361 men and women in ASGM communities.