Welcome to the Health and Migration Collaborative Community, a growing resource for practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and other readers interested in the links between migration and health.
Migration is all around us—in the form of students who leave their countries of origin to follow higher education elsewhere, in healthcare practitioners who perform specialised health services in countries outside of their birth and training, in asylum seekers and refugees seeking international protection, and in many other forms. Migration interacts with health in complex and varied ways across different contexts. We can imagine that individuals who move may face health-related challenges in the migration process given the sometimes difficult conditions faced along the migration journey. On the flip side, migrants may bring distinct health advantages with them when they move, as migrants may be healthier than the non-migrant population. We can also imagine situations where people move directly for health-related reasons, for example, to seek specialised treatment, higher treatment standards, or even to provide health services, in the case of mobile health workers. Such examples are few among many and illustrate how intertwined migration and health can be.
The many ways in which migration and health interact are complex, and this complexity challenges clear and effective communication about migration and health issues. This website therefore has a deceptively simple goal: to help different audiences understand how migration and health interact. This goal reflects the era in which we live. We strongly believe in the role of evidence in guiding practice, yet we live in a time where evidence is often contested, politicised, incorrectly reported, and co-opted to support specific discourses and agendas. Challenges around the creation and use of evidence call upon us, members of the scientific community, to act as better translators of evidence so different stakeholders can make optimal use of the evidence available.
To support the goal of helping different audiences better understand the nuances of migration and health topics, this website has several objectives:
To provide short summaries of migration and health topics that break down the complexity of a topic to key messages;
To assess the quality of information provided on migration and health, and to provide information on a topic that reflects robust and contemporary evidence;
To identify where knowledge and evidence on specific topics are missing, and to explain how this missing information affects migrants and the communities to which they are connected;
To provide public policy professionals, health practitioners, academics, advocates, migrants, and other stakeholders information and resources that can support better decision making and future research.
Migration influences health and health influence migration at multiple levels—on the micro level of the individual, the meso level of institutions and communities, and on the macro level of systems and policies. These linkages are examined in the contributions posted to this website.
This website features a collection of migration and health short reviews, brief introductions to specific migration and health topics. Each review offers the reader a snap-shot view of a migration and health topic, fully referenced to contemporary evidence. In order to highlight interactions on micro, meso, and macro level, the reviews generally follow a common format. Most examine health outcomes and profiles (including prevalence of focus health conditions), health behaviours (including risk and protective factors relating to specific conditions), and health systems (including issues around access to and quality of care). Each of the short reviews is accompanied by an extensive reading list, which reflects contemporary and high-quality evidence on the given topic.
The resource section provides links to other sources of information, including international organisations such as the World Health Organisation and the International Organisation for Migration, which have mandates related to migrant health. It will also include links to migration and health statistics portals and to meta-data/raw data that contains migration and health indicators. The resource list will be updated and expanded regularly to reflect the changing landscape of migration and health information.
The about us section provides more information on the team behind healthandmigration.org, and it includes information on how to contact and connect with us.
The healthandmigration.org platform is a young resource, and we expect it to grow over the coming weeks and months. Planned future features include blog and opinion features, interviews with migration and health experts, announcements for upcoming events (like conferences, calls for papers, public events, etc.), and other means of connecting our readers to the content. Is there a feature you would like to see? Let us know!
Healthandmigration.org is hosted by the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, part of Maastricht University and the United Nations University-MERIT. As a public policy graduate school, the institution is committed to providing high-quality evidence to inform the public and to support better public policy. We can only realise this task through our network of collaborators, researchers and practitioners from different institutions. Each of the migration and health short reviews has been written by a specific collaborator, whose profiles can be found in the about us section.