International Council of Nurses

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
12.4 Promoting the health of refugees and migrants

Thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the International Council of Nurses. ICN congratulates the Secretariat on the Draft global action plan, and its efforts to build on international cooperation to promote the health of refugees and migrants.
As global numbers of displaced people rise to unprecedented levels, so does the role of nurses in responding to their complex and multidimensional health needs. Nurses are at the front line of migrant and refugee health service provision and have a key role to play in programs that increase access to care and enhance capacity to address the social determinants of health.
ICN recognises and supports efforts of countries that host MRDPs, and those governmental and non-governmental organisation programmes at the international and national levels that respect and uphold basic human rights, promote social justice and equity, and build and sustain self-reliance and resilience among MRDPs especially among vulnerable groups.
Urges that the principle of universal and equitable health coverage be applied to all individuals residing de facto in a country regardless of their legal status, as well as to MRDPs in transit, and denounces restrictive healthcare policies that limit or restrict access to healthcare services on the basis of legal status. The needs of women, children, older persons and people with disabilities must be a priority and we seek to have this strengthened in the plan.
ICN supports the use of technology to: improve monitoring and early detection of risk; improve decision-making and effective use of resources; and remove obstacles and increase access to quality and compassionate care.
Nurses play a central role in addressing the physical and mental health challenges of refugees and migrants worldwide. We encourage the WHO and governments worldwide to continue to work co-operatively with nurses in the planning, implementation and evaluation of strategies and to promote refugee and migrant health.