IOM supports comprehensive care for migrant women at the regional level

Date Publish: 

Mujer, genero

San Salvador - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) presented the Guidelines for attention and protection of women in the context of migration in December 2018, which seeks to offer technical tools to the member countries of the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM) to provide attention and protection to migrant women during their migration process.

The event was chaired by Mrs. Liduvina Magarín, Deputy Minister for Salvadorans Abroad; Mrs. Mariela Vélez de García, Ambassador of the Republic of Guatemala in El Salvador; Mrs. Mónica Merino, Resident Representative ad interim of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in El Salvador and Mr. Jorge Peraza, IOM's Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. It also had the participation of the countries that make up the conference, civil society and the international organizations that are observers of this conference.

"The objective of these guidelines is to provide lines of action to assist women, from a comprehensive perspective and with a human rights approach, at any stage of the migration cycle, through effective measures to overcome the gender gap in migration," said Mr. Peraza.

The head of the IOM Mission for the countries of northern Central America also stated that "this tool responds to the commitment of the countries that make up the RCM to promote and guarantee the rights of migrant women in the region, in accordance with their international commitments and national legislation ".

These guidelines were presented during the I Regional Congress: Women in Migratory Contexts, organized by IOM within the framework of the RCM and designed as a space for discussion, dialogue and creation of conclusions based on the experience of the participating delegations on the thematic of women in the migratory context.

The RCM, as a regional consultation process and committed to the Human Rights of migrant women, has promoted various initiatives throughout its 23 years of existence. "Migrant woman" is a current issue with a very significant impact on regional migration dynamics and requires strengthening from the regional level and internally of the member countries of this conference.

The States that make up this conference have identified that the role of women in migratory dynamics is increasingly relevant and has taken different facets when migrating, since they not only undertake the journey alone, but also accompanied by their children otherwise they are established in the place of destination and then make all efforts to achieve family reunification.

These actions were carried out within the framework of the project Strengthening Public Policies to Protect and Empower Migrant Women in Mesoamerica, executed by the International Organization for Migration and financed by the IOM Development Fund, which has benefited countries that participate in the dialogue forum that is the RCM.

The initiative of this project was promoted by the government of El Salvador and is part of the efforts undertaken by this government as Presidency Pro-Témpore of the RCM during 2017, giving continuity to the theme in 2018 with the Presidency of Panama, as a transversal axis of the RCM agenda and a relevant topic within the Conference.

For more information please contact Miguel Gómez, E-mail:, Tel: +503 2521-0500 Ext. 540

It’s Time to Think Universal!

Date Publish: 
22 / 03 / 2019

Geneva – IOM´s successful Tuberculosis (TB) control efforts have surpassed their targets, benefiting communities in countries of origin and destination for migrants around the world. IOM´s successful Tuberculosis (TB) control efforts have surpassed their targets, benefiting communities in countries of origin and destination for migrants around the world. The sustained high treatment success rate is largely attributed to early detection, active case finding, directly observed treatment (DOT) and targeted patient-centred, migration-sensitive care. 

In today’s increasingly mobile and interconnected world, with about 258 million international and 760 million internal migrants[1], migration must be recognized as a social determinant of health, impacting upon every individual’s vulnerability and well-being. Migration also profoundly affects the lives of families back home, as well as people in communities of origin, transit and destination world-wide.

Despite well-established diagnosis and treatment regimens, TB remains a public health burden in many parts of the world and a leading infectious killer, with an estimated 10 million new cases andapproximately 1.3 million deaths in 2017[2], disproportionately affecting poor and marginalized populations, such as migrants. TB prevention and control efforts often do not address the specific vulnerabilities of migrants, which leads to delayed diagnosis and/or discontinued treatment.

The way in which many migrants travel, live and work, can carry risks for their physical and mental well-being.   Many work in dangerous, difficult and demeaning jobs, and live in isolation and sub-standard housing. Others may be detained in over-crowded detention facilities or live in camps as refugees or internally displaced persons. Migrants are thus among the vulnerable groups that face a particularly high level of TB risk factors.

In addition, migrants face barriers to accessing health services due to language and cultural difference, and administrative hurdles. Migrants are often excluded from social protection in health and are invisible to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programmes. As a result, many migrants pay out-of-pocket to get the health services they need, which may result in catastrophic health expenditure, delayed and substandard care.

It’s time for inclusion of migrants!  Worldwide, in 2018, IOM conducted more than 376,800 pre-departure health assessments for migrants and refugees and detected 584 active cases of TB, which translates to a TB detection rate of 155 per 100,000 health assessments. Active TB cases were either confirmed by sputum culture or diagnosed based on clinical and radiological findings. IOM works in collaboration with National TB Programs and is committed to accelerate the end of TB through the strengthening of migrant-sensitive health systems, able to assess and focus on the specific vulnerabilities and conditions of the migrant population. (see video with story from Jordan)   

It's Time to set ambitious goals for treatment success, which is possible based on the success story from IOM’s Migration Health Assessment Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, where DOT clinics surpassed targets with comprehensive care, by including active reach-out to patients and nutritional support, ensuring that neither patients nor their households suffer catastrophic costs due to TB, a key element in achieving the target 3.8 of the Sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Successful treatment of TB hinges on DOT and patient-centered, migration-sensitive care, where an individual’s specific health needs, migration related vulnerabilities and desired health outcomes are taken into consideration. Treatment of persons testing positive is a core part of IOM’s health assessments for migrants, including refugees prior to resettlement. From 2010 to 2016, IOM’s Migration Health Assessment Centre in Kenya diagnosed 426 cases of active TB, treating 363 of them at IOM Kenya’s TB DOT clinics, while the others were referred for treatment. IOM Kenya’s TB DOT clinics sustained high treatment success rates over this period, ranging from 90% to 100%.

It’s time to be accountable to the TB commitments. IOM’s experience has shown that failing to address the health of migrants has severe consequences for the well-being of millions of migrants and communities of origin, transit and destination. Migrants urgently need to be included at global, national and local prevention and control strategies to end the TB epidemic, in line with the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Resolution 70.15 of the World Health Assembly on Promoting the health of refugees and migrants (2017).

Moreover, the End TB Strategy, the Moscow Declaration and the UN High Level Meeting Declaration “United to End Tuberculosis” afford a tremendous opportunity to ensure and commit at the highest level to not leave migrants behind and promote cross-border collaboration amongst countries towards reducing TB and HIV burden. Jacqueline Weekers, Director of IOM’s Migration Health Division said: “Ending TB means addressing the intrinsic linkages between population mobility and tuberculosis as well as acknowledging that UHC is only real if high risks groups are accounted for”.

For more information please contact IOM HQ

Carlos Van der Laat, Tel +14227179459, Email: