IOM Calls for Greater Efforts to Combat Health Inequalities for Migrants

Posted: 
09/24/09

IOM is calling for more concerted efforts in the fight against
health inequalities faced by migrants at a two-day European-wide
consultation that concludes 25 September in Lisbon.

With migrants more vulnerable to poor health and with reduced
access to health care in comparison to host populations in Europe
despite investments made by governments in their health and social
systems, national and European institutions alike will need to pay
more specific attention to migrants' health requirements.

Not leaving migrants to fall between the cracks and ensuring
they have equitable access to health and social services is
important for overall public health safety. As a result, IOM
advocates for a multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach to
avoid social exclusion and improve the health of all people
including migrants.

The consultation - "Better Health for All" - which
marks the second anniversary of a European conference on the same
issue held under the Portuguese EU Presidency in 2007, has been
organized by IOM and is hosted by the Office of the Portuguese High
Commissioner for Health. It brings together more than 100
representatives from key organizations working on health issues in
Europe, relevant ministries from EU and EU accession countries and
neighbouring states with keynote speakers from the European
Commission (EC), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and
Control (ECDC), the Council of Europe and the World Health
Organization (WHO).

The EU-Level Consultation is the culmination of an IOM-managed
and EC co-funded project "Assisting Migrants and Communities"
during which the Portuguese High Commissariat for Health and IOM
have fostered cooperation and dialogue among multi-disciplinary
actors. Beyond the Portuguese government, IOM has partnered in this
initiative with leading European universities as well as the
Spanish, Italian and Maltese governments to develop background
papers on priority issues in migrant health as the basis for the
consultation discussions.

Opened by IOM's Deputy Director-General, Laura Thompson, the
consultation is expected to develop recommendations for translation
into national and EU-level migration health policy and practice, as
well as to identify areas where more data and research would be
needed.

For further information on the EU-Level Consultation on
Migration Health - "Better Health for All", please visit class="paragraph-link-no-underline" href=
"http://www.migrant-health-europe.org" target="_blank" title=
"">www.migrant-health-europe.org  or contact:

Roumyana Benedict

E-mail: "mailto:rpetrovabenedict@iom.int" target="_blank" title=
"">rpetrovabenedict@iom.int 

or

Maria-Jose Peiro

IOM Brussels

E-mail: "mailto:mpeiro@iom.int" target="_blank" title=
"">mpeiro@iom.int

The abovementioned website is also the main platform for the
consultation of background papers, open to public
contributions.