11 July 2018

Read more to find out their motives for joining and what they hope to achieve by being a UHC2030 member.

The International Organization for Migration joins UHC2030

UHC2030 welcomes IOM as a new signatory to the UHC2030 Global Compact for progress towards universal health coverage. Here, IOM shares its own perspective about being part of the global partnership to accelerate progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), established in 1951, is a UN related agency, and the leading organization in the field of migration. Working closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners, IOM has 169 Member States and 8 Observer states. In 2018, 1,223 IOM staff members in 101 IOM country offices will be implementing 128 health-related projects. Within its Migration Health Division (MHD), IOM delivers and promotes comprehensive, preventive and curative health programmes which are beneficial, accessible, and equitable for migrants and mobile populations. 

IOM, as the leading organization in the field of migration, is committed to supporting the global movement towards universal health coverage. Ensuring migrants and mobile populations are included in national and global health policies is crucial in ensuring equitable access to high quality health services. If migrants are not reached, universal health coverage will ultimately not be achieved. IOM stands ready to work with UHC2030 to make universal health coverage a reality.

IOM’s work in the field of migration health is aligned with the World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolutions 61.17 on the health of migrants and 70.15 on promoting the health of refugees and migrants, as well as the WHO Framework of guiding principles and priorities to promote the health of refugees and migrants. Through the 2nd Global Consultation on Migrant Health, IOM and WHO, in partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka, offered governments and partners a meaningful platform for multi-sectoral dialogue and political commitment to enhance the health of migrants. Furthermore, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration presents a significant opportunity to improve the governance on migration and to strengthen the contribution of migrants and migration to sustainable development, including towards achieving UHC.

Through its global network regional and country offices, technical and operational staff, and in collaboration with Member States and partners across sectors, IOM addresses the social determinants of health in support of migration for the benefit of all. By increasing national capacity to manage health issues associated with migration and population mobility, and facilitating access to health services for all migrants irrespective of their legal status, IOM is aligned with the human rights and public health principles and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) provide an opportunity for the international community to address migration health issues, particularly through targets 3.8 (Universal Health Coverage) and 10.7 (Orderly and safe migration through well-managed migration policies), illustrating the clear link between universal health coverage (UHC) and the inclusion of migrants in health services. To do so, multi-level partnerships towards achieving the SDGs are essential, and the UHC2030 partnership is one forum whereby IOM is prepared to actively engage and support. 

UHC is only achievable if the health of migrants is accounted for, and partnerships are a crucial component to achieving this success. Similarly, orderly and safe migration through well managed migration policies requires the mainstreaming of migration health in all phases of the migration process, and this will only be achieved through a solid foundation of partnerships. 

IOM congratulates the UHC2030 partnership on the first steps towards creating a movement for accelerating equitable and sustainable progress towards UHC, and commits to supporting this partnership through active participation, advocacy and technical assistance across its global action in migration health.  

Jacqueline Weekers is the Director of the Migration Health Division at IOM. For further information or to contact IOM: mhddpt@iom.int. 

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