Symposium: Migration, Health and Integration 26 November 2020
REPORT Virtual Symposium Migration, Health and Integration
On 26 November 2020, UNU-Merit and RUNOMI organized in a joint effort a successful, virtual symposium on migration, health and integration. A group of more than 30 people from the African, American and European continents made the event a truly global encounter of NGO representatives, (mental) health professionals, academics including students and early career researchers from various disciplines. The symposium highlighted the complex intersections between migration, health and integration through discussions around both research and practice and aimed at foster collaboration on these intersections. Moreover, the event also marked the launch of the Health and Migration Collaborative Community website, a growing resource portal that provides short analytical reviews and other support materials for academics, practitioners, policy-makers, and other stakeholders interested in migration and health.
The programme consisted of three keynotes and two rounds of three parallel sessions. The composition of the keynotes delivered varied insights into the inclusive public health approaches of WHO Member States for migrants and refugees under the threat of the COVID-19 global pandemic by Dr. Santino Severoni (MD); an eye-opening view on ethnocentrism in (mental) health services and how to overcome it by Prof. dr. Mario Braakman; and a keen analysis of the interrelation between mental health and labour market integration of refugees by José Muller-Dugic.
During the parallel sessions, participants were invited to share their research and examples from practice on issues concerning migration, health and integration. The sessions were thematically divided as follows:
1a) Transcultural (mental) healthcare: Care across the lifecycle
2a) Healthcare systems, access, and outcomes: Global case studies on access and use
3a) The health/integration nexus: (Mental) Health and healthcare access
1b) Transcultural (mental) healthcare: Research and practice
2b) Healthcare systems, access, and outcomes: The role of health systems in fulfilling right to health
3b) The health/integration nexus: (Mental) Health and integration outcomes
All sessions were very rich in their diversity of participant and offered a fruitful environment for an interesting discussion across disciplines and countries.
Of course, several discussions exceeded the time limit of the sessions, but luckily there was plenty of opportunity to re-engage in stimulating conversations during the (online) networking. Although we were meeting online – we did not want to miss out on informal conversations and actually meeting the participants. Therefore, attendees were invited to join a virtual meet ‘n greet after the symposium.
The organization committee looks back to a successful event with diverse discussions on the intersection of migration, health and integration and a very rewarding interaction with attendees.