World Migration Report 2020: Chapter 7

Migration and Health: Current Issues, Governance and Knowledge Gaps

Number of Pages: 
Available in Spanish, French
Electronic copy only

There is a dynamic and complex relationship between migration and health. Migration can lead to greater exposure to health risks, such as those migrant workers working in conditions of precarious employment with limited access to affordable health care. Migration can also be linked to improved health – for instance, after moving from a context of persecution and fear of violence to a safe environment. This chapter examines the four key aspects of migration and health: (a) the health of individual migrants (“migrant health”); (b) the ways in which migration can affect the health of populations (“public health”); (c) healthcare systems responses; and (d) the global governance of migration and health.

The chapter starts with a brief overview of definitions and determinants. It then provides an overview of the factors that determine the health vulnerabilities and resilience factors of diverse migrant groups. Systems responses, and an overview of current approaches to the governance of migration and health, are then outlined. Key evidence gaps are highlighted, and the chapter concludes by emphasizing the importance of investing in effective migration and health governance, and how current approaches could be strengthened.