Health needs of newly arrived forced migrants: ethical, legal, and policy considerations
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Ben Gurion University, Israel
University of Crete, Greece
UK Health Security Agency, United Kingdom
Lancet Migration European Hub, United Kingdom
University College London, United Kingdom
UK Faculty of Public Health, United Kingdom
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1420
According to the UNHCR, there are 89 million forced migrants, of whom 36 million are displaced to other countries. Most are displaced to neighboring regions, but some make perilous journeys to distant counties in the hope of finding safety. Forced migration is recognised as a major global public health issue, particularly in relation to the care of newly arrived forced migrants. Forced migrants represent a heterogeneous group with a range of trajectories, stress exposures, and health needs, ultimately leading to highly divergent outcomes. Sadly, not all forced migrants are treated equally. For example, in the UK and other European countries Ukrainian refugees are offered a temporary protection directive giving them the ability to work whilst other forced migrants must enter a slow asylum process which can leave them in a state of limbo which further exacerbates previous trauma. In some countries newly arrived migrants face harmful and unethical detention with poor access to health care. They are met with hostility and suspicion, and in some cases moved to remote locations which can have long term impacts on their mental and physical health. This raises questions as to the public health impact of the handling of newly arrived migrants around the world. This is a joint roundtable workshop organized by the UK Faculty of Public Health, the EUPHA Migration and Health, and the EUPHA Ethics in Public Health Sections, including Lancet Migration. It brings together a multidisciplinary team of senior public health practitioners, ethicists, policymakers, and scholars working on migration, ethics, and public health.

The workshop will explore the ethical, legal, and health consequences of the handling of newly arrived forced migrants. It is hoped this will enable participants to apply the learning from these contexts to their settings to safeguard the wellbeing of newly arrived migrants across the world.

Component Parts:
Summary of international best practice guidance and regulations for safeguarding the health and welfare of newly arrived forced migrants.Current barriers and facilitators to ensuring the welfare of newly arrived forced migrants through the presentation of results of a recent systematic review.Case studies from various countries responding to an influx of forced migrants.A panel discussion with questions from the audience to further explore the case studies and to consider the ethical, legal, and healthcare dimensions of these issues.

Key Questions:
What are the legal and ethical considerations surrounding healthcare for newly arrived forced migrants, and how can an integrated approach be promoted?What are existing recommendations for ensuring access to primary care, public health services, routine health and social care for newly arrived migrants?How can health protection and infectious disease control be managed in an ethical and respectful manner for newly arrived migrants?How is mental health to be promoted and assessed for newly arrived migrants?How can human rights and the safeguarding of children and other groups with additional needs be upheld in initial accommodation centers?

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