Migration and Health

Inadequate access to health services and unfavourable conditions many migrants live and work in make them subject to a variety of health risks. This concerns in particular vulnerable groups, such as irregular migrant workers, victims of trafficking and exploitation, IDPs and representatives of ethnic minorities, such as the Roma. Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections are increasingly prevalent among migrants in many parts of the region, rapidly making the issue of migrant health a priority. Mitigating health risks of migration and ensuring equitable access to health services for migrants and their families are important aspects of migration management. These measures are needed to improve the health status and overall well-being of migrants, reduce migrant vulnerability, protect global public health, facilitate integration and contribute to social and economic development.

IOM’s objective in this area is to mitigate the negative impact of migration on the health of migrants, their families and societies.

IOM, together with a wide range of partners, works to ensure migrants’ health across the whole migration cycle – at pre-departure, during transit and travel, at destination and upon return home. IOM promotes inclusive rather than exclusive approaches to health care that are based on multi-country and multi-cultural collaboration and focus on reduction of health inequalities and enhanced social protection in health. Its strategic approach to migration health is based on the 2008 World Health Assembly Resolution (WHA61.17) on Health of Migrants, and includes four pillars:

  1. Research and information dissemination
  2. Advocacy for policy development
  3. Health service delivery and capacity building
  4. Strengthening inter-country coordination and partnership