IOM Will Conduct Study on Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants to Southern Africa

Posted: 
09/03/12

IOM South Africa is to conduct a study to analyse the health
vulnerability of men, women and children migrating from East
Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region to Southern
Africa.

The study which begins in September will be led by Lawry
Research Associates International and is expected to be completed
by July 2013. It will provide basis for evidence-based policy
making among countries affected by mixed migration flows along this
route in order to comprehensively respond to challenges brought by
these mixed and irregular migration flows.

This study is a response to the recommendations of the 2010
Regional Conference on Refugee Protection and International
Migration hosted in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where delegates from
the East and Horn of Africa, the Great Lakes region and southern
Africa agreed to work more closely in responding to the challenges
of mixed migratory flows in the region.

Increasing mixed and irregular migration from the East and Horn
of Africa and the Great Lakes regions to Southern Africa is causing
concern among sending, transit and destination countries.

Migrants encounter different forms of protection and health
vulnerability en route to their destination countries. These range
from abuse, exploitation, detention, physical and sexual violence
to basic needs such as clothing, shelter, and food, all of which
contribute to poor health including communicable and
non-communicable diseases.

Health is a factor that impacts on the vulnerability of migrants
during their journey. Conditions under which many migrants are
transported or detained pose serious health risks to the
migrants.

“Inter-state cooperation is very important among countries
affected by these migratory flows, we believe the study will
provide a basis for evidence-based policy making and improve
policies and programmes that address the health and protection of
these vulnerable migrants,” says Dr. Erick Ventura, IOM South
Africa Regional Migration Health Coordinator and Acting Chief of
Mission

This study will also trace the route and means of transportation
used by migrants towards Southern Africa, estimated numbers, modus
operandi of smugglers, estimate of income generated to criminal
groups and/or how the trip is financed, types of abuse and
exploitation faced by migrants and protection issues in transit and
destination countries among others.   

The study builds upon the 2009 IOM Study, “In Pursuit of
the Southern Dream: Victims of Necessity” which examined the
extent of human trafficking taking place and also documented the
reasons, methods and characteristics of large-scale movement of men
from East Africa and the Horn toward South Africa. 

While no such trafficking was identified, the research found
large-scale smuggling of men, which also involved severe human
rights violations, abuse and exploitation. The research revealed
that men from Somalia and Ethiopia traveling south to South Africa
are pushed by factors such as poverty and political
instability.

The study is part of the Partnership on Health and Mobility in
East and Southern Africa (PHAMESA) funded by the Swedish
International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the
Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

For more information please contact 

Gaone Dixon

IOM Pretoria

Tel. +27 82 815 5161

Email: gdixon@iom.int

A 15-year-old assisted by IOM and a local charitable organization. IOM South Africa is to conduct a study to analyse the health vulnerability of men, women and children migrating from East Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region to Southern Africa. © IOM 2011 (Photos: Celeste Hibbert)