IFMSA and IPSF on the Health of Migrants and Refugees

Endorsed Content

ifmsa-logo-horizontal-1

(IFMSA, 2017)

ipsf-38-logo-voorkant

(IPSF, 2017)

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) and the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) are deeply concerned about the conditions migrants and refugees face around Europe, particularly in Greece and the Balkans. Thousands of migrants and refugees are trapped in freezing conditions in inadequate and unhealthy camps and shelters.

Several deaths due to hypothermia were reported in Bulgaria and Greece by humanitarian organizations working in the region[1]. Adding to this, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has reported several cases of frostbite and hypothermia from a number of European countries[2][3]. However, these examples are not the first ones – already in November 2016, a woman and child were killed in a tragic fire that erupted in the Moria hotspot on Lesvos, Greece, when a gas canister attached to a hot plate exploded inside their small nylon tent[4]. Today, almost two months after this deadly incident, many people have no other choice but to continue to live in tents and heat them in the same way.

In many Balkan countries, migrants and refugees live in abandoned buildings without access to water, hygiene and sanitation facilities, trying to survive in temperatures as low as -20°C in improvised shelters or snow-filled streets. Even in many official camps, accommodation facilities are not adapted for the winter conditions and people are forced to look for desperate solutions on how to fight the freezing reality. In some cases, authorities have placed restrictions on humanitarian organizations to provide assistance to these people, only tolerating basic distribution of blankets and food[1]. In some European countries, there are even reports of state authorities confiscating blankets and destroying migrants’ shelters[5],which we consider a direct violation of the human right to adequate standard of living.

Two groups that are exceptionally vulnerable during this winter period are women and children. Children continue to live in these squalid, unsafe camps, at risk of disease; unable

to continue their education and exposed to abuse and exploitation. This violates their rights under the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – their right to basic needs and support to reach their potential. Women face violence, assault and exploitation in these conditions. Pregnant women have no access to healthcare, which invariably affects them and their unborn child. Without basic healthcare and supplies, many of these women and children will not survive the winter.

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations, the world’s largest federation of medical students, and the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF), the leading international advocacy organization for pharmacy students, believe that their members have a global responsibility to respond to the refugee crisis. We repeatedly call all responsible actors to give urgent attention to the suffering of asylum seekers and refugees.

We immediately call governments to fulfil their obligations under international human rights law, European Convention on Human Rights, and the 1951 Refugee Convention and its’ additional 1967 protocol, to ensure the right to health, a right that is closely and inextricably linked to the rights to life, human dignity, non-discrimination and equality, is upheld. We remind governments of the commitments they made during the United Nations High-Level Political Meeting on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, in particular their commitment to ensure that all refugees and migrants will live in safety and dignity.

We consider it most important to call for:

Governments to:

• Provide immediate assistance to all migrants and refugees to ensure that every person is housed in dignified, safe and warm living conditions;

• Ensure full access to health and social services for migrants and refugees in need;

• Adhere to international human rights and humanitarian laws by ensuring that the rights of migrants and refugees are respected and that they are treated with dignity and without discrimination;

• Collaborate with other countries as well as international non-governmental organizations, UN agencies, and other relevant actors in order to create and implement a refugee-handling plan that is equitable and takes into account the capacity of countries to accept refugees;

• Create and promote safe, legal routes that people needing protection can use in order to apply for asylum without endangering their lives;

• Establish programs to enable a continuation of basic education in and outside of official camps;

• Prevent the risk of statelessness amongst child refugees by ensuring that they have identification documentation thus reducing the risk of trafficking and exploitation.

Health Sector (including Medical and Pharmaceutical Students) to:

• Take active roles in advocating for the rights of migrants and refugees in their country;

• Start and support projects, activities, and initiatives that encourage social cohesion between refugees and the general population, and promote the integration of refugees into the hosting community;

• Advocate for a sustainable expansion of accessible services in the health systems of hosting countries, guaranteeing dignifying and non-discriminatory care for migrants and refugees;

• Engage different stakeholders (e.g., governments, NGOs) to implement a plan of action to ensure the wellbeing of migrants and refugees;

• Promote research on the physical, psychosocial and public health aspects of migrants’ and refugees’ health;

• Advocate for migrant’s health education to be part of the medical curricula;

• Raise public awareness around the inequities in health as well as the prejudice faced by migrants and refugees.

References:

IFMSA’s policy statement on Asylum Seeker and Refugee’s Health

[1] “Migration: Thousands Trapped In Freezing Temperatures In Greece And The Balkans”. Médecins Sans

Frontières (MSF) International. N.p., 2017. Web. 9 Jan. 2017; available at:

http://www.msf.org/en/article/migration-thousands-trapped-freezing-temperatures-greece-and-balkans

[2] Eliza Mackintosh, CNN. “Conditions Worsen For Europe’s Refugees As Temperatures Plummet”. CNN. N.p.,

2017. Web. 13 Jan. 2017; available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/09/europe/refugees-suffer-europe-coldsnap/

[3] “Thousands Of Refugees At Risk Of Hypothermia And Frostbite Living In -20C In Serbia”. ITV News. N.p.,

2017. Web. 10 Jan. 2017; available at: http://www.itv.com/news/2017-01-10/thousands-of-refugees-at-risk-ofhypothermia-

and-frostbite-living-in-20c-in-serbia/

[4] Dearden, Lizzie. “Woman And Child Killed In Fire At Refugee Detention Camp”. The Independent. N.p., 2017.

Web. 25 Nov. 2016; available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/refugee-crisis-woman-childboy-killed-moria-camp-lesbos-centre-greek-island-cooking-gas-a7438171.html

[5] Pasha-Robinson, Lucy. “French Police ‘Stealing Blankets From Migrants’ Forced To Sleep Rough In Freezing

Conditions”. The Independent. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Jan. 2017; available at:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/french-police-stealing-blankets-migrants-paris-msfa7516171.html

The International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) envisions a world in which medical students unite for global health and are equipped with the knowledge, skills and values to take on health leadership roles locally and globally. Founded in 1951, it is one of the world’s oldest and largest student-run organizations. It represents, connects and engages every day with an inspiring and engaging network of 1.3 million medical students from 130 national member organizations in 122 countries around the globe.

The International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) was founded in 1949 by eight pharmacy student associations in London. The Federation now represents approximately 350,000 pharmacy students and recent graduates across 81 countries worldwide. IPSF is the leading international advocacy organization for pharmacy students promoting improved public health through provision of information, education, networking, and a range of publications and professional activities.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Draghi tells the EU Parliament his relaxed policies are here to stay

5 things you need to know about water

More women and girls needed in the sciences to solve world’s biggest challenges

EU imposes provisional anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese solar panels

Radioactive nuclear waste is a global threat. These scientists may have a new solution

Huawei answers allegations about its selling prices

Scientists have created the world’s ‘first psychopath AI’

‘End the ongoing atrocities’ against people with albinism in Malawi, say UN rights experts

South Korea: A cherished partner for the EU

More children killed by unsafe water, than bullets, says UNICEF chief

Japan’s holiest shrine is pulled down and rebuilt every 20 years – on purpose

Future EU farm policy: Agriculture MEPs urge fair funding, no renationalisation

To realise the full potential of AI, we must regulate it differently

GSMA Mobile 360 Series – Europe – 14 June 2016

Idea of ‘homogenous’ Polish culture is a myth: UN human rights expert

Athens searches frantically for a new compromise between politics and economic reality

The 27 EU leaders did nothing to help May unlock the Brexit talks

Google once more under EU crossfire from a possible record fine and new Right to be forgotten case

How the tech world could make nonprofits a more powerful force

Europe faces economic turmoil as Italy gets closer to the Excessive Debt Procedure

Myanmar: New UN envoy offers to serve ‘as a bridge’, recognizes ‘positive steps’ over Rakhine state

Refugee crisis update: EU still lacks solidarity as Hungary and Slovakia refuse to accept EU Court’s decision

The world wide web is 30 years old. What better time to fight for its future?

It’s time for the circular economy to go global – and you can help

More billions needed to help Eurozone recover; ECB sidesteps German objections about QE

3 ways governments and carmakers can keep up with the future of transport

Companies have a new skill to master – innovation

The Venezuelan exodus to Roraima and its repercussions

Don’t compare data to oil – digitization needs a new mindset

Bugged Europe accepts US demands and blocks Morales plane

Africa is creating one of the world’s largest single markets. What does this mean for entrepreneurs?

JADE President opens JADE Spring Meeting 2014

These are the world’s best universities

Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2019

Will Brexit shatter the EU or is it still too early to predict?

EU Budget: InvestEU Programme to support jobs, growth and innovation in Europe

Libyan authorities must shoulder the burden to support country’s ‘vulnerable’ south

Can big events really go plastic-free? A water capsule made from seaweed may be the answer

At last some rules on banks

Costa Rica has doubled its tropical rainforests in just a few decades. Here’s how

‘Answer the call of Afghans’ to reduce impact of conflict, UN urges all parties amid increase in civilian airstrike deaths

South Eurozone needs some…inflation and liquidity

Europe, US and Russia haggle over Ukraine’s convulsing body; Russians and Americans press on for an all out civil war

Parliament approves EU rules requiring life-saving technologies in vehicles

3 ways to use digital identity systems in global supply chains

Is the EU’s enlargement over-stretched?

Entrepreneurial leadership: what does it take to become a leader?

UN chief condemns attack in south-west Iran which killed dozens

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Hunger crisis in DR Congo, Swine Fever in Asia, Venezuela death investigation call, updates on Eritrea and Syria

Global economy to see ‘steady’ growth of three per cent in 2019 despite risks, says UN

MEPs propose more transparent legislative drafting and use of allowances

China and UK relations post Brexit as EU addresses Chinese takeovers

Commission reports on progress in risk reduction in the Banking Union and calls for faster progress on Capital Markets Union ahead of EU Leaders’ meetings

The Europe we want: Just, Sustainable, Democratic and Inclusive

Inclusion, equality a must for ‘long-lasting peace and sustainable development’, UN official tells high-level event in Baku

The 5 things you need to make your teams more effective, according to Google

How we can win the war against antibiotic resistance

Cameroon: Clear ‘window of opportunity’ to solve crises rooted in violence – Bachelet

The European Parliament x-rays the troika’s doings

2016 crisis update: the year of the Red Fire Monkey burns the world’s markets down

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s