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Health of migrant workers tackled at Human Rights Council session

Posted on Tue, May-28-2013

Switzerland - IOM will co-host a Human Rights Council side event with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on 29th May 2013 on the Health of Migrant Workers - Realizing Rights and Inclusive Development. The event will take place from 3.00 to 5.00 pm in Room XXVI at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

An estimated 105 million people work in countries other than their countries of birth. They frequently do so in dangerous, difficult and demeaning conditions, experiencing discrimination, insecurity, and facing multiple health risks.

This is particularly the case for lower skilled and undocumented migrants, who travel, work and live in conditions that can carry risks for their physical and mental well-being, including lack of access to social protection in health such as sick leave and health insurance.

The focus of the discussion will be on the challenges to ensure the right to health of both documented and undocumented migrants. The panellists will highlight barriers to health for migrant workers and good practices in overcoming these barriers.

"We hope that this event will raise awareness of the importance of ensuring migrants' health from a perspective of equitable development, human rights and public health. This is an issue that needs to be addressed in global debates, including the post-2015 UN development agenda, the UN High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, and the annual Global Forum on Migration and Development," says IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson, who will moderate the panel discussion.

The event will bring together distinguished speakers including the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, François Crepeau; the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Anand Grover; Ambassador Denis Y. Lepatan from the Philippines Permanent Mission to the United Nations; Ana Iphais, Coordinator Healthy Municipalities and Communities National Programme from the Argentine Ministry of Health, and Michele LeVoy, Director of the European NGO network Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM).

For more information, please contact

Barbara Rijks
IOM HQ
Tel: +41 22 717 9270
Email: brijks@iom.int