The UCL–Lancet Commission on Migration and Health: the health of a world on the move

The UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health has published a report on ‘the health of the world on the move’ on 5th December 2018.

We are proud that a research paper written by HealthServe volunteers and staff has been referenced (refer to footnote 125).

One of the world’s top medical journals, the Lancet Commissions are a global authority on whatever topic on health and medicine they report on.

We encourage you to check out this report in order to understand the bigger picture of health and migration worldwide!

Executive Summary

With one billion people on the move or having moved in 2018, migration is a global reality. International migration has increased to 258 million, and the numbers of refugees and people displaced by conflict, natural disasters, and climate change are at their highest levels: 22 and 40 million, respectively. Despite negative political narratives, migration is not overwhelming high-income countries—instead, it takes place mostly between low-income and middle-income countries and most people are migrating for work. By and large, migration is a positive and diverse experience. But migration has also become a political lightning rod. 

The UCL–Lancet Commission on Migration and Health steps into this political debate to provide evidence for cooperation and action on what is one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century. The Commission’s foundation is that migration and health are inextricably linked—and key to sustainable development. It provides a framework of migration as a dynamic process, providing evidence of the multiple factors that could be beneficial or detrimental to individuals and systems along the migration journey—at origin, transit, destination, and return. It documents the devastating impacts of forced migration, especially on girls and women, but also the overall benefits to the health of individuals and populations that migration generates. It lays out a research agenda to better ensure the health of migrants. Using the lens of health the Commission shows that migration policies can be both ethical and feasible—calling for governments, international agencies, and professionals to promote health in global mobility.


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