Health and Migration (2004)

9-11 June 2004
International Conference Center Geneva, CICG, Geneva, Switzerland

The International Organization for Migration held the Seminar on Health and Migration at the International Conference Center Geneva, on 9-11 June 2004. The seminar was co-sponsored by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This seminar brought together for the first time health and migration officials for an exchange of views on health and migration policy concerns, with a particular focus on the public health implications of increasingly mobile populations. Its primary goals were to build capacity and to enhance understanding of the complex relationship between health and population mobility by providing a forum where policy makers, practitioners and other stakeholders from governments, intergovernmental agencies and nongovernmental organisations can meet and exchange perspectives and

Conference Registration Form and Conference Arrangements


The agenda maintained a balance between health and migration topics in an effort to inform both health and migration policy participants of the key issues and challenges at stake in each of the domains.
The first session set the context by exploring the relationship between migration and health both in its importance as a health issue and the issues it raises from the perspective of migration practitioners.

The second session explored issues related to the management of migratory movement in relation to emerging and re-emerging communicable diseases such as SARS, including through consideration of the lessons learned from specific case studies of effective approaches to address migrant health concerns.

The third session focused on existing national and international migration and health policies, and what we can learn from these in addressing the public health implications of contemporary population mobility. A separate session under this agenda item addressed the migration of health care workers, which has become a significant policy concern globally.

The last session explored ways to increase policy coordination between migration and health policy makers in view of the shared aim of promoting healthier migrants and healthier societies.

Session I: Health and Migration Challenges

  • Migration perspective
  • Health perspective
  • Bridging health and migration

Session II: Public Health and Migration

  • Population mobility and public health
    • Globalization of communicable diseases
    • The case of SARS: lessons learnt
  • Managing global public health …Partnerships and developing bridging public health programs
    • Investing in mental health in post-conflict rehabilitation
    • Health as a tool for integration
    • US/Mexico tuberculosis (TB) border health card: Bilateral TB referral & treatment initiative
    • Public health and trafficking: When migration goes amok

Session III: Migration and Health Policies

  • Investing in migration health
    • The International Health Regulations: Updates and perspectives
    • National migration health policies: Shifting the paradigm from exclusion to inclusion
    • Health and irregular migration
    • Health and return migration
  • Migration of health care workers
    • Global overview of migration of health care workers
    • Using bilateral arrangements to manage migration of health care workers
      The case of South Africa
    • The case of the United Kingdom
    • Using the Diaspora to strengthen health workforce capacity
    • Exporting health workers to overseas markets

Session IV: The Way Forward

  • What is foreseen in the future?
    • Population mobility and health crisis in conflict situations
    • Possible solutions to manage migrants' health: Thailand's perspective
    • HIV/AIDS and population mobility - Where to go from here
  • Where can we go from here?
    • Closing remarks on the theme of " benefits of investing in migration health"

Action Points