On 26th November 2020, the 1st Symposium on Migration, Health and Integration will take place. The symposium, a collaboration between the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance/UNU-MERIT (with the Maastricht Centre for Global Health and the Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development) and the Radboud University Network on Migrant Inclusion (RUNOMI) in Nijmegen, will highlight the complex intersections between migration, health and integration through discussions around both research and practise. The symposium will bring together academics, including students and early career researchers, health professionals, policymakers and representatives of civil society to discuss issues related to migrant health. The event will also mark the official launch of the Health and Migration Collaborative Community website, a growing resource portal that provides short analytical reviews and other support materials for academics, practitioners, policymakers, and other stakeholders interested in issues related to migration and health.
Deadline for submission: 04/09/2020
To be presented on: 26/11/2020
We invite submissions that cover a range of migrant health-related topics (e.g. access to care, health promotion, noncommunicable and communicable diseases, mental health, climate change…). We invite reflection from practice as well as academic research (e.g. completed research, ongoing projects, conceptual and methodological challenges).
Please send your extended abstract (max. 700 words) as a Word file to e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include 3-5 keywords, the names and titles of all the contributing authors, and the institution affiliation of all authors.
Abstracts will be reviewed by the symposium organisers, and the decision on abstracts will be communicated by the 20th September 2020.
Mapping Moral Experience in Health Services for Migrants
June 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th 2020, 7 am – 9 am Eastern Standard Time
First convened in 2017, Resisting Borders: Refugee and Migrant Health and Responsibilities is a no travel, online, no fee conference aimed at discussing ethical issues surrounding responsibilities for the health of refugees, asylum-seekers, and other migrant and displaced people.
As before, we will convene for a few hours during each of the four days. The theme of the 2020 Resisting Borders conference will be Caring on the Landscape of Displacement: Mapping Moral Experience in Health Services for Migrants.
Submissions on any topic concerning migrant health and responsibility are welcome, but we are especially interested in contributions – be they academic research presentations, or narratives – that reflect the moral experience of professionals (e.g. scholars, practitioners, advocates, or policy-makers) whose work concerns the care of migrants at any point of their journey and settlement, as well as the ethical issues that arise in providing this care. We are also interested in experiences of those engaging with the care of migrants indirectly through the development of policy, journalism, or artistic creations. Presentations might, for example, address ethical issues regarding constraints in the provision of health or other services, the identification of remains, involvement in medical exams linked to the processing of asylum claims, provision of care in detention facilities or other morally compromised/compromising settings, problems of dual or confused loyalties.
The organizers will assemble selected essays and artistic submissions for publication, in addition to an online and traveling art and storytelling exhibition.
Submission before March 31rst , 2020.
Please send abstracts of no longer than 500 words via our abstract submission page.
Please include the following information:
Name and affiliation of presenter
Title of presentation
Type of presentation: experiential; research; artistic
Call for Papers: Psychosocial Perspectives on Migration and Health
Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck, University of London.
1st May 2020
Seminar convenors: Anna Shadrina (Birkbeck) and Ayelen Hamity (IoE-UCL)
Seminar sponsorship: Birkbeck/Wellcome Trust ISSF
This session seeks to provide a psychosocial reflection into migration and health. Migration is traditionally associated with the loss of cultural capital, social networks and professional identities which have to be re-established in a new place, causing feelings of disconnectedness and loneliness, and physical distress. Against the tendency to individualise and depoliticise suffering and distress associated with migration; we explore migration as a collective phenomenon and a constitutive force of our contemporary world.
We set out by interrogating the very foundations from which the category ‘migration’ emerges by challenging the notion of place as static. Places do not exist outside of the histories of human movement which differentiate them. It is by thinking through the transhistorical quality of human movement and its relation to place that we may approach the contemporary paradox of an increasingly interconnected world being met with oftentimes violent attempts at strengthening borders.
From this perspective, the migrant is not conceptualised as an anomaly or an alien, but it is rather place which may be alienating to those who move, those who stay, as well as those who have never thought of leaving. This conceptual provocation does not minimise the psychological and physical distress that may be associated with human movement, but it does de-pathologize ‘the migrant’ and forces us to think politically and empathetically about the distinctive psychosocial experiences associated with migration.
The seminar will address migration from a range of perspectives as a desirable and undesirable experience, and how it intersects with gender, race, class, age and health. The session seeks to think about migration and health as both the experiences that disconnect from others and can serve as a source for solidarity and social change. We welcome (but not exclusively) submissions that explore:
• Migration and mental health as an issue of social inequality;
• Notions about ‘the responsible patient’ and how/whether they change as people move;
• ‘Moral panics’ and ‘new’ diseases associated with human movement;
We are living in turbulent times within which the issue of forced migration and the subject of ‘the refugee’ have become deeply symbolic of broader processes of political, economic and social change. This is reflected in the politicization of migration by countries in both the Global North and South. Against this backdrop, scholars and advocates working with and for refugees and other forced migrants, as well as refugees themselves, are increasingly struggling to get their voices heard and to mobilise effectively. Whilst there are many initiatives globally these have struggled to become more than the sum of their parts. Moreover whilst the objective of decolonising forced migration research remains an important project, it faces significant new challenges, not least the unequal power relations associated with funding made available via the institutions of the Global North for research and practice in the Global South, much of which is orientated towards containment agendas. The current migration research landscape is heavily skewed towards the Global North where existing research is largely designed and led, and where governments and international organisations increasingly fund research to inform policy development. The Global North’s interests shape dominant research themes, producing a disproportionate focus on South-North migration (SNM) and categories of migrant defined in law and policy to make sense of – and increasingly contain – migration flows. Epistemic communities concerned with migration are largely produced and reproduced in and by the Global North: while ODA-recipient countries host a growing number of research centres, most researchers are trained in the Global North. The resulting echo chamber constrains the capacity of many of the poorest countries to analyse the migration issues that affect their communities without outside technical assistance and expertise. This requires us to ask ourselves challenging questions about the focus of our academic endeavours, the ways in which we work together and our engagement with those we want to influence, most notably policy makers, politicians and a wide range of publics.
The title of IASFM18 – ‘Disrupting Theory, Unsettling Practice: Towards Transformative Forced Migration Scholarship and Policy’ – represents an attempt to engage forced migration scholars and others directly in addressing these questions. The conference will be organised around a number of key underpinning principles which will shape the content of the programme, the nature of the contributions and a range of other activities taking place before and after the conference to ensure that IASFM18 is part of a process rather than a time-limited event:
Key note and plenary sessions will include the voices and perspectives of scholars, policy makers, artists and displaced people working in the Global South;
Space will be created within the programme for new and emerging scholars to be heard and for their work to be supported;
Refugees and other displaced populations will be directly involved in the programme design and delivery as scholars, artists and people directly affected by the issues under discussion, including through activities that will be developed with local refugee communities in the period leading up, and beyond IASFM18; and
The format of the conference will allow for a wide range of contributions to be fully included: creative and artistic representations, debates and discussions as well as more ‘traditional’ academic papers.
The conference will run over three and a half days and will consist of four keynotes, three plenary discussions and thirty parallel sessions, providing an opportunity for a wide range of contribution and participants from different backgrounds and geographical contexts. Part of the conference programme will be organised and run by Liberian refugees living in the nearby Buduburam camp. A full conference programme will be available shortly.
The Organising Committee for IASFM18 invite contributions that address the cross-cutting themes of knowledge production, category construction and representation. Contributions should critically engage with dominant conceptualisations of forced migration/refugees as a ‘problem’ to be solved by global elites, instead developing approaches that fuse the critical and the creative and which integrate theoretical rigor and policy concerns with refugees’ rich and complicated experiences. We are particularly interested in contributions that examine the dynamics of knowledge production in relation to issues of forced migration and concomitant methodological challenges including/reflecting relationships between researchers and the researched, between researchers from the Global South and North, and between researchers and policy-makers. Case studies/examples from the Global South of the ways in which scholars and practitioners from the Global South are able to shape research and policy agendas, are particularly welcome. Examples of topics that may be explored in relationship to the conference themes include:
Representations of ‘the refugee’;
The political economy and ethics of knowledge production in forced migration research;
Innovative and inclusive methodologies in researching displacement and belonging;
The legacy and implications of the Global Compact on Refugees;
Regional responses to displacement in Africa;
Refugee protection in countries that are not signatories to the 1951 Refugee Convention;
The protection of refugees in Europe;
The relationship between forced migration and inequality;
The relationship between development programs, refugee protection and removal;
(Re)conceptualising internal displacement; and
Forced migration and environmental change.
CONFERENCE FACILITIES AND SUPPORT
Ghana provides visa free access for all those travelling from other West African countries and a few countries outside West Africa, including Kenya and Singapore. Citizens of African Union countries (except Morocco) and many countries outside Africa are able to obtain a 30 day visa for Ghana upon arrival for a fee $150. Further information about visas to Ghana can be found here. The Centre for Migration Studies will provide letters of invitation where required to enable speakers and participants to travel to Ghana.
Funding for travel subsidies will be very limited and will be restricted to those who will be presenting at the conference. We strongly encourage participants to look for funding support from other sources. The application is available online: http://tinyurl.com/y3auqurb
The Organising Committee welcomes contributions to IASFM18 which fit the overarching conferences themes. Whilst we will accept individual papers, our preference is for panel sessions of 1.5 hours. The slot allocated for a panel session time can be used in any way you choose e.g. paper presentations, panel discussion, roundtables, workshops, open debate, performance – or indeed a combination! If you would like our assistance in devising a panel, please contact the ESPMI Network at email@example.com who will endeavour to connect you with others who are interested in contributing on a similar theme/issue in order that you can develop your collective panel proposal.
You will receive a decision about whether your contribution has been accepted by the end of February 2020.
Please note that decisions about the final conference programme will be underpinned by equality principles, ensuring opportunities for a wide range of speakers and participants from different backgrounds provided that their proposed contribution is consistent with the conference objectives and reaches a minimum quality threshold. Particular care will be taken to ensure that early career researchers, scholars working in the Global South and those working across a range of geographical and organisational contexts are able to participate.
Held under the auspices of the ICOH Scientific Committee, History of Prevention of Occupational and Environmental Diseases, the planning for the ICOH History Conference for 2020 has already begun in earnest! Scheduled for 27-29 May 2020 in Durban, South Africa, we are planning for an exciting event, for the first time on the African continent
The scientific programme will focus on the migration of workers in various time periods, the interconnections of empires, public health in post-colonial periods, and the role of trade unions and other social movements in occupational and environmental health. The evolution of occupational and environmental health especially in Africa, as well as globally, will be addressed.
The conference is intended to promote interconnections among historians, social scientists and occupational and environmental practitioners/researchers. Leading historians in occupational and environmental health have been invited to give keynote lectures. In addition, there will be an open call for abstracts for oral and poster presentations and a pre-conference methods training workshop.
All conference and programme updates, registration process, fees and the submission of abstracts information will be available at the conference website at icohhistory2020.ukzn.ac.za.
Regional Symposium on Gender, Migration, Health and Public Policy & South African Launch of the UCL-Lancet Commission Report on Migration and Health
This report captures a two-day programme of presentations, panel discussions and group discussions at the regional symposium on gender, migration, health and public policy. The aim of day one was to discuss a number of migration-related topics including: health and universal health care (UHC) in Southern Africa, researching migration and health, associated ethical and methodological challenges, and reflecting on the politics and practice of migration and health research. Day one also included the launch of the UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health in South Africa.
Day 2 of the symposium focussed on ‘Gender, Migration, Health and Public Policy: Improving gendered responses to migration and health across the Southern African Development Community (SADC)’. The aim was to present feedback from a research report on gender, migration and health and to develop a joint plan of action amongst stakeholders and participants for improving gendered responses to migration and health in SADC.
MHADRI member Dr Roomi Aziz reflects on her participation in a week’s worth of migration and health events, co-hosted by MHADRI, that took place at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg at the end of July 2019. This post was originally published here.
Just got some time to review and recap the last week of July 2019, which was everything Gender and Migration and South Africa, beginning with a research workshop, having the privilege of being on an all-female panel on decolonizing global migration and health research, weaving a high level policy dialogue, closing with the UCL-Lancet Commission Launch of report on Migration and Health, and a symposium on gender, migration, health and public policy at the dynamic University of the Witwatersrand and the African Centre for Migration & Society.
We also went through some existential questions, of what does it even mean to be a migrant? What does health access imply? Especially since health often gets short-handed for the biomedical healthcare system, and this understanding is one of the many structural determinants leading to health inequities. For example, health insurance is not universal health coverage, but one of the many factors contributing to it. At the end of it, what stayed with me was the birth-right of a human, to live a meaningful life, and create a home.
Just want to record my five key Points-to-Ponder from the week, one for each day:
P1 | CHANGE THE PERSPECTIVE: It is important to step outside the box we live and operate in, to understand and grasp a broader, ‘helicopter’ vantage point of the situation and the context. Unlearn. Couldn’t be more truer for migration and health, and their bidirectional journey. There was a lot of discussion on the need to look at both systems response and global governance, and be conscious of the rhetoric of migrants’ health. Current public health policies do not engage with migration or mobility of populations, which raised some pertinent questions, on whether the local conversations are reflective of global realities? And about the drivers of policy-making? Is it fear or rights-based approach? Then again, as long as health is discussed in humanitarian paradigm where migration is discussed in securitization paradigm, challenges will continue to grow. We must remember Ellis Island. Exceptionalism in policy frameworks can further hurt a cause. #Mobility is the new normal. It is time that we accept it. We also need to know what we do not know, to truly understand and learn. It is important that we acknowledge the lack of evidence, rather than pretending that we have all the answers/ solutions. We need more data, better data to feed into politics and decisions, and understand the issue enough to take action.
P2 | WHO HOLDS THE POWER: Are we aware of what the rights-based arguments may drive away, and what are the most effective ways to make our case on policy tables? We have limited orientation as to who holds the power in the global discourse. Who has the loudest voice and who is determining the global or the national agenda? While we are continuously dealing with complexities, we must find levers of change within the system that are on our side, and learn to influence them. We must also not forget the key role of national treasury, which can make or break our comprehensive action plans. We religiously talk of evidence-informed decision making, when we also need to remember that sometimes this evidence is not politically correct, and sometimes lack of evidence is desirable for scape-goat-ing. More importantly, how do we make sure that the research generated is responding to the evidence need and who needs it. In either case, we need to be cognizant of our complicity and role in this system of control, and our responsibility towards challenging the global narrative.
P3 | AFFILIATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: We are very trigger-happy when it comes to the use of adjectives like ‘vulnerable’ and ‘marginalized’, but are we aware of the implications that assignment of such adjectives has? We speak of biometrics and blockchain, without realizing the cost to personal security and implications for non-nationals as well as nationals. These discussions are critical today, when we are still grappling with the idea of profiling people on the basis of their looks, professions, languages, socio-economic status, beliefs and nationalities.
P4 | STAYING AWARE: By virtue of things beyond our control, like the country we were born in, the family we were born into, the skin color we inherited, we hold unequal power and privilege. It is critical that we do not centralize our agenda or usurp the central stage and remember the ‘invisible’. That is the crux of the bone of contention we have with Eurocentric understanding of migration and health and inequalities vis-à-vis Global South being reinstated. This goes back to the ‘changing the perspective’ point, where we must endeavor to visibilize the invisible, profile them to understand what can be done for them, since they cannot be passive actors in the society, lest they are left behind. We must remain acutely aware of the danger of propagating a single narrative, recognize the associated complexities and contestations associated with it.
P5 | CREATE OPPORTUNITIES: Not always there is a demand and supply match. Sometimes one must push and manipulate situations and strategize for interest. There are important advocacy windows all around us. There is a need to identify these strategic windows, the sticking points, and realize the power of our personal networks, to push forward our agendas. There is no time to wait for tailor-made opportunities.
Last week, the Lancet Commission on Migration and Health’s Report – The health of a world on the move – was formerly launched in South Africa at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). Using the attention drawn by this event, the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS), alongside colleagues in Demography and Public Health, held a series of events for those of us working on migration and health in the region – to come together, reflect on current realities, and think about the way forward.
Reflecting global trends, issues of migration and health, including whether cross-border nationals should have access to health care in host countries, are incredibly contentious in South and southern Africa. Although countries across both the global North and South have committed to implementing and realizing Universal Health Coverage (UHC), many are reticent to include cross-border migrant populations in their plans. Which, as I have argued in an IHP blog post before, will undermine attempts to realize UHC and meet other global health targets, including UNAIDS 90:90:90.
To give you a broad sense of the migration and health landscape in the region, there are four things worth highlighting.
Current public health responses are not migration-aware or mobility-competent. In other words, health systems don’t acknowledge and engage with the reality that people move both within and across borders, with implications for continuity of care and communicable disease control; and, finally,
Within this context, across all four of the events last week three key themes emerged.
The first, which I believe will surprise no frequent reader of this blog, is that the development and implementation of schemes in the name of UHC, in the South African case the National Health Insurance (NHI), do not necessarily mean that UHC will be realized. The exclusion of non-nationals from the NHI is a clear example of this in South Africa. Rather than being a comprehensive system of coverage, the NHI threatens to be one in which a select package is offered to select categories of people.
The second theme was around the increasing securitization of health as a consequence of concerns about migration. The use of healthcare service providers and healthcare facilities as immigration control needs to be guarded against. While communicable disease control and monitoring remain important, these efforts will in fact be undermined if the accessibility of healthcare to non-nationals is further limited and if non-nationals actively avoid healthcare facilities over fears of arrest and deportation.
The third emergent theme was that a rights-based argument for ensuring that non-nationals have equitable access to healthcare does not seem to be working in South Africa, or globally for that matter. Alternatives have been suggested, a global public goods approach that argues that limiting the access to healthcare and wellbeing for non-nationals will ultimately undermine the health and wellbeing of nationals, for example. Increasingly efforts have also been made to recognise the economic benefit that migration and migrants have for their host communities. Whether such arguments will work where the rights-based argument has failed and whether it is desirable to be making these kinds of arguments is however up for debate.
Ways forward and one caveat
Given the particularly depressing nature of these conversations, important questions were asked about the way forward. An obvious point of departure for those of us in South Africa is the need to work to improve the NHI prior to its roll out and once it has been implemented; to ensure that UHC is realized through the scheme, and that key populations are not left behind.
In addition, improved responses are needed for key populations that have traditionally been left behind by the healthcare system, as well as ignored by researchers. Although, as Loren Landau argued, a key example of the latter are in fact policy makers. Researching migration does not simply mean researching migrants and their lived experiences, but also the mechanisms for governing migration and the people who are involved in their development and implementation.
Here, the potential for bibliometrics to illuminate gaps in our research and knowledge, and as such, direct future research emerges. As we know, while most migration happens within the global South, most of the research and literature on migration has been focused on, or at least written, in the global North.
However, while there is a tendency to lament the fact that we need more data, a key tension emerges between the fact that there is this need, but that the data that is already available is often used nefariously and to further anti-migration mechanisms. Making invisible populations visible, quantifying and qualifying migrants, opening up the black box around the mechanisms that migrants use to circumnavigate increasingly restrictive bureaucratic structures may not be in the best interests of those who migrate, and may simply be strengthening the hand of those who are trying to put a stop to migration.
Not a particularly positive note on which to end things, but, given the state of the world, fairly inevitable. As researchers and practitioners, the need to be rigorous and rigorously ethical – to ensure confidentiality and anonymity; to push back against entities that seek to fund work that would improve their efforts at securitization; and to improve research collaborations and partnerships so that research produced reflects local realities rather than a global agenda – in our work has never been more imperative.
January 20th: call is announced
May 15th: deadline for abstracts
June 15th: Decisions regarding selection of abstracts
September 1st: registration
September 15th: the full program is announced
October 9th: Deadline for submission of full papers
General call for papers – specific calls under each Sub-theme Growth in international migration has prompted a diversity of efforts to manage global migratory flows as well as improve and streamline the economic, social and political integration of migrants into the host countries. Migration and integration today involve a myriad of actors such as international and regional bodies, state agencies and municipalities, companies, interest groups, community-embedded, civil society organizations as well as individuals, including migrants, who design, implement reproduce, participate in, and replicate individual or collaborative initiatives aimed at facilitating migration and integration. Some efforts are planned and involve years of preparation and the engagement of large coalition of actors; others are ephemeral and ad hoc, emerging from one day to the next only to disappear again quickly. Some efforts aim at facilitating transnational migration others at improving migrants’ health, at supporting migrants’ inclusion into the host countries’ education system or the labour market, at preventing radicalization, or securing migrants’ civic, social and legal inclusion in the new country. From a coordination and organizing perspective, this myriad of actors and activities separated in time and space poses not only far-reaching challenges, but also great opportunities.
These challenges and opportunities demand novel and critical research and interdisciplinary approaches from a range of disciplines, such as anthropology, educational sciences, health sciences, information technology, international studies, law and human rights, management and organization studies, migration studies, political science, social work and sociology. This to rethink how migration shapes and produces inclusion and exclusion around the world – from welfare states in the Global North to the states of the Global South.
Health, risk, and resilience: Transcending the biological, the psychological, the social, and the structural in migration and integration
Josephine T. V. Greenbrook Health is more than pulse and blood pressure; it transcends the biological, the psychological, the social, and the structural. Health, in all its existential complexity, is fundamental to the enjoyment of all human rights. Due to the syndemic nature of migration, substantial impacts on health can occur through exposure to cumulative risk factors relating to disparity, structural violence, and social condition. Migrating populations have largely suffered interpersonal and structural trauma, such as having been exposed to conflicts of war and extreme poverty, having lost family and close relations, and having suffered bodily harm, sexual violence, and torture, as well as oppression, neglect, and maltreatment. Beyond other social vulnerabilities, harsh living circumstances involved in pre, during, and post-migration, also contribute to a number of health-related issues in all those affected. Notwithstanding this, substantial barriers in seeking health care exist for migrants, and discrimination, neglect, and prejudicial attitudes amongst health care practitioners have been reported. Clinicians have also been found to struggle with a variety of difficulties, ethical dilemmas, and other conflicts in transcultural health care encounters. Cultural stigma, low health literacy, and low healthcare utilization amongst migrant populations further compound existing problems.
This stream aims to highlight health as it relates to migration, as well as the fundamental role of health in integration. The objective is to present empirical research and critical academic debate exploring risk and resilience in migrant health and transcultural care, in theory, policy, and practice. We warmly welcome contributions from a wide variety of disciplines, as well as multi-disciplinary work.
This will include, and is not limited to, topics covering:
• The foundational role of health in integration
• Upholding health as a human right in the context of migration
• Migration and healthcare barriers
• Migrant health rights and health equity in applied settings
• Syndemics and migration
• Health and intersectionality in relation to migration
• Mental health and belonging in migration and integration
• Clinical and organisational challenges to care delivery
• Transcultural health care encounters
• Ethical considerations related to transcultural care provision
• Community health engagement
• NGO and other outreach practices
• Other related topics