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Health, migration and border management: analysis and capacity-building at Europe’s borders



Three key elements were analysed in Hungary, Poland and Slovakia as a basis for strengthening the capacity of staff and structures related to health, migration and border management: public health concerns linked to migration, health needs and rights of migrants and the occupational health of staff.


This IOM project was implemented through an in-depth situation analysis as well as the development of training modules and public health guidelines.


Findings indicate a paucity of existing data, gaps in the health care for migrants and few existing tools for border officials and health professionals. Sets of training modules were developed for each of these groups, including common modules on migration and the right to health and intercultural communication, as well as targeted health modules. The guidelines promote good practices in the context of border management and detention.


The EU is working towards a common immigration policy and integrated border management; however, a harmonized approach to migration and health is still lacking. Further research and piloting of the developed materials is needed to fully establish an adaptable, common toolkit.

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This article was developed within the framework of the “Increasing Public Health Safety alongside the New Eastern European Border Line” project (PHBLM) implemented by the International Organization for Migration under Grant Agreement No 2006206 by the European Union’s Health Programme 2006, with the financial support from the Hungarian Ministry of Health and the Regional Ministry of Health of Andalusia. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission, the Hungarian Ministry of Health, the Regional Ministry of Health of Andalusia, or IOM. The sole responsibility for this publication therefore lies with the authors, and the European Commission, the Hungarian Ministry of Health and IOM are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Mariya Samuilova.

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Hollings, J., Samuilova, M. & Petrova-Benedict, R. Health, migration and border management: analysis and capacity-building at Europe’s borders. Int J Public Health 57, 363–369 (2012).

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  • Migrant health
  • Public health
  • Occupational health
  • European Union
  • Border management
  • Detention