UNHCR/ S. Baldwin
Eight-year-old Aya, on the right, walks home along a dusty road in Dalhamiyeh with her sister, Labiba. The two are best friends. They live in an informal settlement for Syrian refugees.
© Credits

Refugee and migrant health


    在线观看|影视免费观看vipMore people are on the move now than ever before. There are an estimated 1 billion migrants in the world today of whom 272 million are international migrants and 763 million internal migrants – one in seven of the world’s population. An estimated 70.8 million of the world’s internal and international migrants are forcibly displaced today.

    Globalization, conflict, poverty, climate change, urbanization, inequality and poor job prospects are among the reasons that compel people to leave their homes in search of a better future. Despite the many benefits of migration, migrants themselves remain among the most vulnerable members of society.

    在线观看|影视免费观看vipRefugees and migrants contribute positively to but they cannot contribute at their full potential unless they are in good health. Those in vulnerable situations (particularly during the migratory process) are at risk of having poor health conditions including mental health . This isdue to  lack of access to health care, interrupted care and poor living and working conditions. Addressing health needs of refugees and migrants early on through preventive and primary care lowers costs for the health care system in the long run. Governments face the challenge of integrating the health needs of refugees and migrants into national plans, policies and strategies so that all people can access quality and affordable health care when they need it.

    Global Action Plan

    At the World Health Assembly in 2019 Members States agreed a five-year global action plan to promote the health of refugees and migrants. The plan focuses on achieving universal health coverage - and the highest attainable standard of health - for refugees and migrants and for host populations.

    The plan includes short and long-term steps to mainstream refugee and migrant health care; enhance partnerships;  strengthen health monitoring and information systems and counter misperceptions about migrant and refugee health.

    Global Action Plan priorities

    • Priority 1. Reduce mortality and morbidity among refugees and migrants through short- and long-term health interventions
    • Priority 2. Promote continuity and quality of care; developing, reinforcing and implementing occupational health and safety measures
    • Priority 3. Mainstreaming refugee and migrant health into national, regional and global health policies; and health & well-being of refugee and migrant women, children and adolescents; and promote partnership and intersectoral, intercountry and interagency collaboration
    • Priority 4. Enhance the capacity to tackle the social determinants of health and accelerate progress towards achieving the SDGs, including UHC
    • Priority 5. Support measures to improve communication and counter xenophobia
    • Priority 6. Strengthen health monitoring and health information systems
    WHO's Role

    The WHO Constitution states that everyone has the right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and ratified international human rights standards and conventions exist to protect the rights of refugees and migrants  including their right to health. The access of refugees and migrants to quality, essential health services is of paramount importance to rights-based health systems, global health security and to public efforts aimed at reducing health inequities and achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We cannot achieve SDG 3.8 on universal health coverage unless the health needs of refugees and migrants are addressed.

    在线观看|影视免费观看vipWHO has primary responsibility for promoting the health of refugees and migrants and and achieving universal health coverage. WHO’s priorities for 2020-2021 include:

    1. Provide global leadership, high level advocacy and dialog to raise awareness and political commitments, coordination and policy development on health and migration
    2. Set norms and standards on health and migration including co-development of guidance and tools and promote a research agenda aimed at generating evidence- based information to support decision making and global guidance for new tools and strategies on health and migration.
    3. Monitor trends, strengthen health information system, develop accountability framework and indicators for progress monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the Global Action Plan ‘Promoting the health of Refugees and Migrants’
    4. Provide specialized technical assistance, response and capacity building support to Member States, WHO Technical departments, Regional and Country Offices and partners in addressing public health challenges that are associated with human mobility wherever needed nationally and transnationally.
    5. Promote multi-lateral action, inter- country, inter- regional and global collaboration for continuity of care and coherent and integrated actions, and to accelerate progress through working across United Nations Systems including the UN Network on Migration and other intergovernmental and non-governmental mechanisms.

    1 billion

    migrants globally

    There are an estimated 1 billion migrants in the world today - 1 in 7 of the world's population

    68.5 million

    forcibly displaced

    Globally, there are an estimated 68.5 million people forcibly displaced from their home.

    Find out more

    85% hosted by

    developing countries

    85% of refugees globally are hosted in developing countries

    Find out more


    All →

    This technical guidance outlines current best practice, evidence and knowledge in order to support policy and programme development for vaccination of...

    Promoting the health of refugees and migrants: draft global action plan, 2019–2023

    在线观看|影视免费观看vipAt its 140th session in January 2017 the Executive Board in decision EB140(9) on promoting the health of refugees and migrants requested the Director-General,...

    Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases in refugees and migrant

    This technical guidance outlines current best practice, evidence and knowledge in order to inform policy and programme development in the area of noncommunicable...

    Health evidence network synthesis report: What are the roles of intercultural mediators in health care

    在线观看|影视免费观看vipIntercultural mediators are employed to resolve linguistic and cultural barriers in a variety of health-care contexts. This report examines the main roles...

    Related Links

    Refugee and migrant health around the world


    Our partners



    Diane Abad-Vergara


    在线观看|影视免费观看vipCommunications Officer