World Health Organisation report: "No public health without refugee and migrant health"


"The Report on the Health of Refugees and Migrants in the WHO European Region is the first WHO report of its kind, creating an evidence base with the aim of supporting evidence-informed policy-making to meet the health needs of refugees and migrants and the health needs of the host populations."

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See: Report on the health of refugees and migrants in the WHO European Region: No PUBLIC HEALTH without REFUGEE and MIGRANT HEALTH (pdf)

Amongst many other issues, the report notes of detention (emphasis added):

"Studies across the Region from 2009 to 2016 have reported limited availability of health services and lack of access to health care in detention facilities. Most frequently reported barriers to health care in detention are lack of interpretation services, lack of access to information and limited human resources."

"Detained migrants usually exhibit a disease profile similar to that of the country’s refugee and migrant population but detention can aggravate or initiate ill health, particularly mental ill health. Detention can be a particular issue for vulnerable unaccompanied minors.

Children (particularly if separated from their families), torture victims and pregnant women are vulnerable groups in detention, but specific procedures and/or facilities are not always available for them. Numerous international and regional human rights mechanisms have repeatedly insisted that children must not be detained for migration-related reasons and in most countries detention of children is against policy. However, in practice, minors are often detained, sometimes simply because of lack of alternatives. Evidence clearly indicates that the experience of detention, even for a brief period, has a detrimental effect on the mental and physical health of children."

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