Health as a Migration Priority
Health inequities within and between countries of the region exist because of an unequal distribution of resources and opportunities, because of discrimination and marginalization, and as a result of unequal access to education, employment, and social and health services.
Migrants are particularly vulnerable to health inequities in part due to inadequate and excluding policies, as well as the circumstances in which they migrate and their precarious living and working conditions, both in places of destination and upon return to their communities of origin.
Migration is a social determinant of the health of migrants and therefore needs to be adequately addressed in public policies and translated into specific and multi-sectoral programs.
Because of this, IOM’s Migration Health Division offers support to governments in the design and implementation of comprehensive, accessible and equitable programs, both preventive and curative, for migrants and mobile populations. By doing this, IOM promotes the physical, mental and social well-being of migrants and thus encourages the social and economic development of migrants and that of their receiving communities.
In Central America, North America and the Caribbean, IOM’s strategy in migration and health will focus on actions that strengthen the governments’ and the public’s knowledge of the determinants of migrants’ health in the region via research and information dissemination necessary for design and implementation of evidenced based health and migration programs and policies. IOM will also continue to focus on the promotion of migrant-inclusive health policies and guiding the development of programs and regulations that promote and protect the health of migrants.