Advancing Migration in Global Health Discussions

IOM and WHO have worked in close collaboration for several decades, including through a formal MOU since 1999, which was renewed in January 2019. Upon the request of WHO Member States, IOM has collaborated closely in the development of several WHO governing body processes focused on promoting the health of migrants and refugees. This includes collaboration on the World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolution on Promoting the health of migrants and refugees, the Framework of guiding principles and priorities for promoting the health of migrants and refugees, as well as contributing to the reports on situation analysis and practices in addressing the health needs of refugees and migrants. The abovementioned WHO Framework is explicitly mentioned in the context of health-related actions and commitments in both the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). The cross-referencing of the WHO Framework in both Global Compacts is an example of policy coherence and mainstreaming of health into migration governance frameworks. Furthermore, IOM has remained engaged with WHO and Member States throughout the development of the Global Action Plan (GAP) on promoting the health of refugees and migrants and will continue to collaborate in the implementation of the GAP.  


Signature in January 2019 of the renewed Memorandum of Understanding between IOM, represented by its Director General, Mr. António Vitorino, and WHO, represented by its Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

IOM engages in numerous global initiatives such as the Migration 5 Health Working Group (M5HWG); International Platform on Health Worker Mobility; Working Group on Tuberculosis (TB) and migration at the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease; Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s (IASC); Global Health Cluster (GHC) and Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN). Furthermore, IOM participates in high-level meetings, including WHO regional committee meetings, as well as UN General Assembly meetings, such as the September 2018 High-Level Meetings (HLM) on the Fight to End Tuberculosis and Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases and the 2019 HLM on Universal Health Coverage.