Migration: A Social Determinant of the Health of Migrants

Author/s: Anita Davies, Anna Basten, Chiara Frattini
Language: English
Publication Type: Background/ Discussion paper(External)

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This paper examines the relationship between migration and health from a human-rights and social equity based perspective. It discussed how migrationcan itself be seen as a determinant of migrants' health. Migrants are affected by social inequalities and are likely to go through several experiences during the migration process which puts their physical, mental and social well-being at risk. Migrants often face poverty and social exclusion, which has negative influences on health, especially in countries of transit and destination. Migrants' health is also, to a large extent, determined by the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of services in the host environment. 


  • Key concepts
  • The migration process and health outcomes: health hazards during the migration journey, health hazards in European destination countries, access to health and social services, change of lifestyle and infuences on migration health 
  • Approaches to realizing migrants' health: institutional framework, migrants' health as aan empowerment issue, medical pluralism 
  • Conclusions 

This paper was developed within the framework of the IOM project "Assisting Migrants and Communities (AMAC): Analysis of Social Determinants of Health and Health Ineualities". Co-funded by the European Commission DG Heath and Consumers' HEalth Programme, the office of the POrtuguese High Commissioner for Health and IOM..


Region/Country (by coverage)
International Organization for Migration