ALLEA e FEAM Statement on
Migration and Health
In a joint statement, European academy networks ALLEA and FEAM call on EU and national authorities to undertake crucial actions to support the health of migrants. This situation has become more critical as the lack of basic services and overcrowded conditions in refugee camps start to sound alarms all over Europe, especially during the coronavirus crisis.
The statement reviewed evidence showing that, in contrast to previous concerns, the transmission of communicable diseases from migrants does not appear to be a substantial problem. However, evidence also shows that migrants and other vulnerable populations are at high risk for several non-communicable and communicable diseases, including COVID-19.
Academies recommend wider and easier access to healthcare services for forced migrants, and at least basic and emergency healthcare for irregular or undocumented migrants. Early access to healthcare may also lead to cost-savings for host countries.
According to Professor Alfred Spira, a member of the French Academy of Medicine, “The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically shows that the health of migrants is being considered as a marginal matter. All international and European legal instruments recognise the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health, and all EU Member States should act to allow access to these basic human rights for everyone, including migrants and refugees.”
The coronavirus crisis has provided a global opportunity to enhance the integration of migrants while addressing shortages of healthcare workers. The recommendations within this statement, though drafted before the COVID-19 outbreak began, have acquired new relevance as several countries such as Germany, the UK, the US and Australia are incorporating refugees with foreign qualifications to address shortages in their health workforce.
The document concludes that reliable, validated and comparable data across countries and regions is the key element that will inform policies and confront myths around migration and health. Academies offer their support to lead the dialogue and scientific work to guide policies in this complex area
Follow this link to find the Report: https://allea.org/portfolio-item/statement-on-migration-and-health/