COVID-19 and the Risk of Displacement of Migrant Workers: An Analysis of Media Framing in the Indian State of Kerala

Vishnu Muraleedharan, Thomas Andrew Bryer


Migration and migrant movement are a global scenario, in which one of the main drivers, which facilitates migrant movement, is the search for better living conditions. One of the most vulnerable communities in this regard is migrant workers, especially in the developing world, who conduct cross-country migration. Labour migration is a significant national phenomenon in India in which the workers migrate across the states, which were facilitated by the interstate movement. The recent outbreak of pandemic COVID-19 poses the greatest challenge to the migrant workers who face the challenge of displacement due to the restriction of movement and public perception. One of the significant actors facilitating public discourse is the media, which explores the migrant scenario through framing. This article analyzes how the Indian newspaper portrays the plight of the migrant workers in Kerala through media framing using qualitative case analysis. The study reveals that the media frames portray the plight of the migrant workers during the pandemic situation, and the result could be helpful for policy developers on immigrant’s integration.


migrant workers, pandemic, media policy, media framing, public policy

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"Public Policy and Administration" ISSN online 2029-2872 / ISSN print 1648-2603