Introduction to the Symposium on COVID-19, Global Mobility and International Law (with E. Tendayi Achiume and Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, 2020)

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, international mobility all but ground to a halt by the second quarter of2020. Airline traffic dropped more than 70 percent, and thousands of grounded airplanesfilled up the runways.All over the world, travel restrictions and quarantine measures are still in place at the time of this writing, and cross-border mobility remains largely shut down for all but the most essential forms of travel. Although some countriespartially relaxed travel restrictions over the summer, there can be no question that the pandemic has fundamen-tally reconfigured global mobility and migration, even if only temporarily. Amidst these shifts, this symposiumdocuments and reflects critically on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for mobility and migrationacross international borders, on pertinent governance structures, and on thefield of global migration and mobilitylaw more broadly. A key hypothesis motivating the symposium is that COVID-19 has both laid bare and exacer-bated the discriminatory andflawed nature of current international rules related to migration and global mobility.Hence, we have invited our contributors not only to reflect on the implications of current developments, but alsoto imagine alternatives and to consider the possibility that COVID-19 might represent a kind of“Stunde Null,”anat least temporary reset, for the terms of global mobility and migration law.

The Symposium includes contributions by Guofu Liu; Frédéric Mégret; Florian Hoffmann, Isadora d’Avila Lima and Nery Gonçalves; Tesseltje de Lange, Sandra Mantu and Paul Minderhoud; Abdoulaye Hamadou; John Reynolds; and Ian Kysel and Chantal Thomas.

E. Tendayi Achiume, Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen and Thomas Spijkerboer: Introduction to the Symposium on COVID-19, Global Mobility and International Law, AJIL Unbound 114(2020) 312-316


Zehra Doğan: Kızıl Ay Tutulması 3 (Red Moon Eclipse 3). Created in 2018 in Diyarbakır prison from coffee, tea, cigarette ash, turmeric, bleach, tomato paste and pencil on the artist’s sister’s skirt. Photograph: Zehra Doğan . For more information see The Guardian 10 November 2020