Date: 22 August 2012
Venue: Conference room 6 (NLB), United Nations Headquarters,
Social inclusion in the face of greater mobility is one of the fundamental objectives of migration management. Access to education and health services as well as other basic rights facilitates social inclusion and greatly benefits the lives of all members of society, migrants and local communities alike. Yet, in the wake of the global economic crisis, discrimination and xenophobia against migrants have increased, endangering their enjoyment of human rights and access to basic services, including health and education.
Migrant health and education is a key determinant of empowerment and protection of migrants, particularly women and children. Access to health for migrants is possible in a number of ways: as part of the universal health care in countries of destination, through bilateral or multilateral cooperation between countries, and via special programs for migrants in vulnerable situations.
Programs and policies that fail to address the specific needs and vulnerabilities of migrants inhibit social integration. Different factors such as age, gender, language or culture can create barriers for such groups. This may be exacerbated with migrants and can intervene in their effective participation in society and giving rise to potential vulnerabilities.
This half-day seminar considered the social inclusion of migrants through access to health and education services. It discussed States’ obligation to protect the basic rights of migrants, as well as its residents and citizens, and the challenges they face in providing access to basic services, as well as the effects of the difficulties migrants encounter in obtaining them. The particular challenges of vulnerable groups was also discussed.
Children, Adolescents, Youth and Migration: Access to Education and the Challenge of Social Cohesion by Brenda Haiplik, UNICEF’s Global Policy Initiative on Children, Adolescents, Youth and Migration
Overcoming challenges to social integration through access to health and education services by Rhon Reynolds, Co-Chair, African and Black Diaspora Global Network on HIV and AIDS