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Addressing Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants in Large Migration Flows

An Inter-Regional Roundtable Discussion

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
25 April 2016 Ayesha ISKANDER Political and Economic Department ASEF Public Health Network Public Health



Venue:
Geneva, Switzerland

Since 2011, the ASEF Public Health Network (PHN) has been promoting Asia-Europe collaboration on migrants’ health. In this endeavour, ASEF has facilitated information exchange and knowledge sharing among representatives from international organisations, governments, academia and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) through joint research and workshop series. A report, Migrants and Healthcare: Social and Economic Approaches, was published in November 2014 as an outcome of intellectual collaboration among 3 Asian and European research institutions to conduct a policy analysis on migrants’ access to healthcare in Austria, Italy, Hong Kong SAR and Singapore.

In August 2015, ASEF and IOM, as the Secretariat of the Joint UN Initiative on Migration and Health in Asia (JUNIMA), jointly launched a one day roundtable on migration and healthcare. It featured research findings by one of the authors of the report, Professor Kai Hong Phua of the National University of Singapore, and was followed a panel discussion on Thailand's health insurance policy for migrants as well as projects commissioned by the European Union to improve healthcare services for displaced populations along the Thai-Myanmar border. The roundtable also involved a panel on JUIMA’s role in contributing towards the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD)’s 2015 focus on “Strengthening Multi-sectoral Partnerships” for the improvement of migrants’ health.

Details of the roundtable proceedings can be found here.

 


The Inter-regional Roundtable Discusison took place on the theme "Addressing Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants in Large Migration Flows." It aimed at examining the management of large unprecedented migration flows occurring across Asia and Europe – namely the Andaman Sea and the European Migration Crisis. In partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, this Roundtable sought to address the health vulnerabilities of migrants as well as public health challenges and stresses faced by countries affected by the crises. The roundtable discussion provided a platform for key stakeholders on migration health across Asia and Europe to share best case practices that can address the health needs of migrants caught along transit routes during the migration process. 

Project Updates

  • The inter-regional roundtable discussion onAddressing Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants in Large Migration Flows”convened on 25 April 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. In the presence of over 40 senior government representatives from Permanent Missions across Asia and Europe, the roundtable discussed best case practices to better address health needs of migrants and refugees moving along transit nations in the European migration crisis and receiving nations in the Andaman Sea area.

    During the roundtable, there was consensus that stronger inter-sectorial collaboration and communication were needed to ensure quicker response as well as coordination in managing similar crises in the future. Three key aspects of current efforts were highlighted and assessed for discussion: technical expertise and resources, governments’ regulatory flexibility, and support from local institutions such as hospitals and non-governmental organisations.

    Dr Yiannis BASKOZOS, General Secretary of Public Health, Greece, and Dr Susheela BALASUNDARAM, Associate Programme Officer (Health), Programme Section, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, were among the expert speakers at this event.

    The roundtable discussion was co-organised by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) Public Health Network and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

  • The ASEF Public Health Network and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, are co-organising a Roundtable Addressing Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants in Large Migration Flows; An Inter-Regional Roundtable Discussion”, on Monday, 25 April 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.

    The roundtable will highlight and address the health vulnerabilities of migrants in the recent European Migration Crisis, as well as refugees caught in the Andaman Sea. It will also examine the public health challenges and stresses faced by countries affected by the unprecedented crises. By consolidating best case practices from both Asia and Europe, the co-organisers will address the health needs of migrants and refugees along these transit routes.

    The roundtable will feature expert presentations from selected Asian and European governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisations. A summary report detailing the discussions and key recommendations of the meeting will be made available for governments and development partners to consider.

    ASEF will also present its recent research publication on migration and healthcare, “Migrants and Healthcare: Social and Economic Approaches”, where inclusion of migrants in healthcare system was advocated for a greater economic growth of receiving countries. 

Partners

  • International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Sponsors

  • European Union
ASEF's contribution is with the financial support of the European Commission.