Humanitarian Health Action

Global Forum on Migration and Development, Puerto Vallarta, 8-11 November 2010

Monthly Highlights - November 2010

As a member of the interagency Global Migration Group (GMG), WHO participated to the 4th Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) to build partnerships between governments, public and private sectors, migrants, diaspora, civil society, international organizations and others.

For the first time the GFMD integrated migration-related health issues in the discussion. In particular, health was integrated into the roundtables on “Reducing the costs of migration and maximizing human development” and “Migration, gender and family”. Some 25 governments including countries of origin and destination contributed to the debates, sharing experiences and models also with respect to health services for migrant populations.

Countries of origin focused on prevention and information for departing migrants and targeted services for returning migrants with health conditions. Some shared their experiences with contributory health insurance schemes. Some countries of destination explained their approaches to address the health of immigrants, including universal access models.

Coordinated approaches between countries of origin and destination with respect to migrants health are sparse and migrants in an irregular situation remain largely uncovered in many countries of destination.

Selected key challenges that directly linked with health issues, included:

  • access to and provision of social services to migrants in countries of destination and the provision of social services to migrants abroad by countries of origin and;
  • how to integrate a gender perspective in migration and development policies to address the specific vulnerabilities of women and child migrants.

Related outcomes included: the promotion of portability of pensions and other social rights; and assessment of cost effective health care models for various types of migration scenarios.

Rapporteurs’ reports on the various roundtable sessions will be available on the GFMD web site and detailed summary reports of proceedings will be available as of December.