There are over 280 million international migrants, in which 35.5 million are children; many in irregular and precarious situations, often without full enjoyment of the right to health or access to healthcare. These inequities have been accentuated further during the pandemic.
Addressing the health needs of migrants responds to their right to health, ensures security for global public health, facilitates integration, and contributes to social and economic development. It represents an important investment because it promises benefits to both migrant and host populations. This has been encompassed in numerous international instruments, treaties and conventions, including Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals; the 2019 political declaration on Universal Health Coverage; the 2019 WHO Global Action Plan: Promoting the health of refugees and migrants 2019-2023; and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).
Although promising changes have occurred on the ground in migration health policies and actions since the GCM’s adoption, many commitments were temporary and during the pandemic. Therefore, work is needed to make them permanent and to further advance the GCM – not only objective 15, but also objectives 1, 6, 7, 10, 16 and 22 - and other political commitments.
This event at the margins of the first International Migration Review Forum, that will occur from 17-20 May 2022 in New York, has as a baseline the concept that migration and health are inextricably linked, and key to sustainable development. It will bring together Member States and key stakeholders to discuss what we can do better to progress the global health and migration agendas beyond the IMRF.