Health Impact of Migration Interception

PLoS Medicine
(Accessed 19 June 2011: database unavailable)

Global Protection and the Health Impact of Migration Interception
Zachary Steel, Belinda J. Liddell, Catherine R. Bateman-Steel, Anthony B. Zwi Policy Forum, published 14 Jun 2011

Summary Points
– The volume of international travel and irregular migration places pressure on states to maintain orderly migration programs. Interception strategies are increasingly used by states to halt the movement of irregular migrants, including asylum seekers.

– ome strategies, such as immigration detention, pose a serious threat to health and mental health. Others, such as the use of visa restrictions or other pre-emptive interception measures, have a potentially large impact on migrants’ health and welfare by forcing people to remain in settings where they face the chance of persecution.

– Interception can also promote humanitarian outcomes. Refugee camps, for example, address immediate protection, safety, and service needs of forcibly displaced persons, but they have limits as long-term solutions.

– Migration interception practices are a major global determinant of health and mental health. Health professionals must remain engaged in discussions about migration and humanitarian protection to ensure a broader consideration of the health impact of these practices.