Promoting migration health

About migration health

What is migration health?

The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Migration health refers to the well-being of migrants, their families and communities affected by migration.

Learn more

Why is it important?

Migration-inclusive health systems improve public health at all levels. They improve global, regional, national and local health outcomes and are critical to achieving universal health coverage. They are also more cost-effective than health systems that exclude migrants.

About the Migration Health Learning Centre

The Migration Health Learning Centre is an initiative of IOM’s Migration Health Division. It builds on and expands the knowledge and information from the PHAMESA regional programme to create a knowledge platform on migration health in East and Southern Africa for the benefit of public health stakeholders in line with IOM’s vision, mission and principles concerning migration health.
Learn more

Migrants and mobile populations benefit from an improved standard of physical, mental and social well-being, which enables them to substantially contribute towards the social and economic development of their home communities and host societies.


To promote evidence-informed policies and holistic integrated preventive and curative health programmes which are beneficial, accessible, and equitable for vulnerable migrants

  • Human rights. Migrants are human beings, and have a right to health.
  • Public health. Including migrants in health systems improves public health outcomes.
  • Sustainable development. Healthy migrants contribute to positive sustainable development outcomes.

What We Do

Monitoring migrants’ health


Improving the monitoring of migrants’ health through generation of data and knowledge. This entails ensuring that information systems incorporate variables on migration and migration-related health issues and that quality migration health data and evidence to monitor migrants’ health are available.

Policy & legislation


Advocating with governments, the private sector, unions, UN agencies and international and local civil society organizations to ensure that policies and legislations make provision for the health needs of migrants and migration affected communities.

Migration-sensitive health services


Ensuring that migrants and migration affected communities have access to and use migration-sensitive health services in countries of origin, transit and destination. This includes helping strengthen community health and other services to support improved used of these services and facilitate social and behaviour change.

Partnerships & networks


Establishing and strengthening multisectoral partnerships, information sharing/communication, coordination and collaboration, with the ultimate aim of improving the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of interventions that promote and support migrants' right to health.