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Health Security in the Context of Forced Migration

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Health Policy and Systems Responses to Forced Migration

Abstract

This chapter describes the consequences of securitising health in the context of forced migration. To begin with, we outline the evolution of the concept of health security and its narrow focus on cross-border infectious disease control. The concept of universal health coverage and the right to health are introduced and differences between global health security and universal health coverage illustrated. We then describe how forced migrants’ health has been securitised, using examples from various countries and time periods, and elaborate negative and positive consequences of the securitisation process, especially with respect to forced migrants’ access to universal health coverage. Despite fundamental and essential differences between health security and universal health coverage, there is potential for a synergetic approach that would benefit both host populations and migrant’s health. Necessary conceptual shifts include a mutual foundation of the right to health and a more comprehensive understanding of global health security. We further call for the de-securitisation of migrants’ health, for inclusive health-care systems and effective and cost-effective approaches to infectious disease control.

Maike Voss and Katharina Wahedi: Joint first authorship.

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Abbreviations

ECDC:

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

GHS:

Global health security

HIV/AIDS:

Human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome

IHR:

International health regulations

NCD:

Non-communicable disease

SDG:

Sustainable Development Goal

UHC:

Universal health coverage

UK:

United Kingdom

UNDP:

United Nations Development Program

US:

United States

WHA:

World Health Assembly

WHO:

World Health Organization

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Voss, M., Wahedi, K., Bozorgmehr, K. (2020). Health Security in the Context of Forced Migration. In: Bozorgmehr, K., Roberts, B., Razum, O., Biddle, L. (eds) Health Policy and Systems Responses to Forced Migration. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-33812-1_7

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