Humanitarian Health Action

Migrant health


There are an estimated 1 billion migrants in the world today of whom 214 million international migrants and 740 million internal migrants. The collective health needs and implications of this sizeable population are considerable. Migration flows comprise a wide range of populations, such as workers, refugees, students, undocumented migrants and others, with each different health determinants, needs and levels of vulnerability.

In a globalized world defined by profound disparities, skill shortages, demographic imbalances, climate change as well as economic and political crises, natural as well as man-made disasters, migration is omnipresent. Migration is also essential for some societies to compensate for demographic trends and skill shortages and to assist home communities with remittances.

The health of migrants and health matters associated with migration are crucial public health challenges faced by governments and societies. This notion formed the basis for the Resolution on the "health of migrants" which was endorsed by the Sixty-first WHA in May 2008. WHO's work in the domain of migrant health is guided by the action points of this Resolution.

Selected publications