International Federation of Medical Students' Associations

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Meeting: 
144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
6.4 Promoting the health of refugees and migrants
Statement: 

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations, supported by the International Association of Dental Students, supports the WHO’s Global Action Plan on Refugee and Migrant Health. We emphasize the neutrality of health and the need to uphold the ethical principles that are central to our education and that foster respect for human rights and dignity. With increased numbers of people on the move and the emergence of new drivers of migration, refugee and migrant health must not be politicized. We see the need for action to overcome anti-refugee and anti-migrant rhetoric and commitment to abide by existing frameworks and conventions safeguarding refugee and migrant health, especially the Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees. While political responsibility is necessary, we call for robust and transparent monitoring frameworks and reporting mechanisms that ensure accountability in fulfilling the health objectives of these Compacts and adhering to their policy principles and implementation components.

We affirm that every individual, regardless of legal status, has a right to the highest attainable standard of health without experiencing discrimination or financial hardship. We pledge to contribute to achieving UHC and addressing refugee and migrant health as a part of the response to the overall population’s health needs. We call for strengthening health information systems to better understand refugees’ and migrants’ health needs and the challenges encountered during their migratory journey, thus enabling the training of healthcare professionals to better deliver inclusive refugee and migrant-sensitive health services. This must be coupled with adequate social protection, especially to those most vulnerable.

To keep true to the 2030 agenda to ensure health for all and leave no one behind, we must recognize migration as a core determinant of health and tackle refugee and migrant health needs as a global health priority.