Missing: Where are the Migrants in Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Plans?

Health & Human Rights Journal, Vol. 20, No. 1, June 2018

Posted: 9 Aug 2018

See all articles by Kolitha Wickramage

Kolitha Wickramage

International Organization for Migration (IOM) - Migration Health Division

Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown University - Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law

Eric Friedman

Georgetown University Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law

Phusit Prakongsai

International Health Policy Program (IHPP) - Thailand; International Health Policy Program (IHPP)

Rapeepong Suphanchaimat

Government of the Kingdom of Thailand, Ministry of Public Health, International Health Policy Program (IHPP)

Charles Hui

University of Ottawa - Faculty of Medicine

Patrick Duigan

Independent

Eliana Barragan

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

David R. Harper

Chatham House - Centre on Global Health Security

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

Influenza pandemics are perennial global health security threats, with novel and seasonal influenza affecting a large proportion of the world’s population, causing enormous economic and social destruction. Novel viruses such as influenza A(H7N9) continue to emerge, posing zoonotic and potential pandemic threats. Many countries have developed pandemic influenza preparedness plans (PIPPs) aimed at guiding actions and investments to respond to such outbreak events. Migrant and mobile population groups — such as migrant workers, cross-border frontier workers, refugees, asylum seekers, and other non-citizen categories residing within national boundaries — may be disproportionately affected in the event of health emergencies, with irregular/undocumented migrants experiencing even greater vulnerabilities. Because of a combination of political, sociocultural, economic, and legal barriers, many migrants have limited access to and awareness of health and welfare services, as well as their legal rights. The conditions in which migrants travel, live, and work often carry exceptional risks to their physical and mental well-being. Even if certain migrant groups have access to health services, they tend to avoid them due to fear of deportation, xenophobic and discriminatory attitudes within society, and other linguistic, cultural, and economic barriers. Evidence indicates that social stigmatization and anxieties generated by restrictive immigration policies hinder undocumented immigrants’ access to health rights and minimizes immigrants’ sense of entitlement to such rights.

Suggested Citation

Wickramage, Kolitha and Gostin, Lawrence O. and Friedman, Eric and Prakongsai, Phusit and Prakongsai, Phusit and Suphanchaimat, Rapeepong and Hui, Charles and Duigan, Patrick and Barragan, Eliana and Harper, David R., Missing: Where are the Migrants in Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Plans? (2018). Health & Human Rights Journal, Vol. 20, No. 1, June 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3218529

Kolitha Wickramage

International Organization for Migration (IOM) - Migration Health Division ( email )

Manila
Philippines

Lawrence O. Gostin (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-662-9038 (Phone)
202-662-9055 (Fax)

Eric Friedman

Georgetown University Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

Phusit Prakongsai

International Health Policy Program (IHPP) - Thailand ( email )

3rd Floor Health, Tiwanon road
Muang district
Nonthaburi, Nonthaburi province 11000
Thailand
+66 2 59052366 (Phone)
+66 2 5902385 (Fax)

International Health Policy Program (IHPP) ( email )

3rd Floor Health, Tiwanon road
Muang district
Nonthaburi, Nonthaburi province 11000
Thailand
+66 2 59052366 (Phone)
+66 2 5902385 (Fax)

Rapeepong Suphanchaimat

Government of the Kingdom of Thailand, Ministry of Public Health, International Health Policy Program (IHPP) ( email )

3rd Floor Health, Tiwanon road
Muang district
Nonthaburi 11000
Thailand

Charles Hui

University of Ottawa - Faculty of Medicine ( email )

451 Smyth Rd.
Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8M5
Canada

Patrick Duigan

Independent

Eliana Barragan

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

17, Route des Morillons
Geneva 19, 1211
Switzerland

David R. Harper

Chatham House - Centre on Global Health Security

London
United Kingdom

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