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.