World Health Students’ Alliance

presents you with

Migration and Youth
Policy Brief

Introduction

The World Health Students’ Alliance advocates for increased meaningful
youth participation and considers the 2nd Global Consultation on Migrant
Health as an opportunity to express its opinion on migration and health, to
harness the power of collaboration between students worldwide and to
encourage youth involvement in Global Health. We are honored to present
you this policy brief about Migration and Youth.

The World Health Students’ Alliance (WHSA) is the largest interprofessional
healthcare alliance. The current Alliance is a partnership between the
following organizations: the International Federation of Medical Students’
Associations (IFMSA), the International Association of Dental Students
(IADS), the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) and
the International Veterinary Students’ Association (IVSA). WHSA was
established to bring together all healthcare students to share their
experiences and to better address health challenges faced in society today.
The partner organizations believe that as a very active part of society,
students have the will and power to make the world a better place

Migration and Health
The World Health Students’ Alliance partners, the leading international advocacy organizations for
healthcare students, reaffirm the principle stated in WHO's constitution: the enjoyment of the highest
attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without any
distinction. But even though this principle is widely recognized, migrants are still exposed to
circumstances which greatly impair their health. The health of migrants is a growing challenge, as they
are more vulnerable to physical and mental health threats, and they have a limited access to health
services.
Human rights-based approach should be the integral part of any migration policy, with particular focus
on access to basic social services, including healthcare, education, legal recognition and safe and
legal travel routes. Today, there are around 244 million migrants in the world, composed of a diverse
mosaic of individuals with different age, gender, background and social status. Women, girls, children
and youth, elderly, migrants, asylum seekers, refugees, stateless people, LGBTQI people, disabled
people, people with connections to particular political or social movements or ethnic minorities - these
are just some of the population groups which often remain neglected and suffering, without access to
health services. Each of these minorities face specific challenges during the migration process, and
have specific health and social needs to be addressed.
The Alliance's role in helping and supporting Migrants
International Federation of Medical Students’ International Association of Dental
Association (IFMSA) Students (IADS)
IFMSA believes that its members have a global One of the main goals of IADS is to enhance global
responsibility to respond to the needs of migrants and awareness of oral diseases and ensure a high standard
refugees and actively advocate and work to ensure the of dental care for all. Our association organizes various
best attainable standard of health for all. Through various volunteering projects, dental camps and global
programs, projects and workshops, IFMSA builds the campaigns destined to provide education and healthcare
capacity of future health professionals and equips them to all inhabitants on a non-discriminatory basis. We
with skills, tools and abilities to provide dignified, non- strongly imply raising awareness among our students
discriminatory and migrants-inclusive health care. We about migration-related topics and issues in the world.
raise the voice of medical students about migration and Active work is being done to improve the standard of
related topics, actively advocating for migrants' rights and health for migrants globally and tackle various issues via
health in the international global health arena. campaigning for basic human rights.

International Pharmaceutical Students’ International Veterinary Students’
Federation (IPSF) Association (IVSA)

IPSF values the human dignity and made of its mission to In our pursuit of benefiting the animals and humans of
advocate for improvements to health systems and the world, IVSA believes in equal opportunities and
respond to global challenges in health. We believe and advocating for the rights of all animals and humans. We
strongly make a call that health for migrants and refugees pursue all our aims without discrimination, and strongly
should get more and focused attention. Our current Policy believe in using our veterinary knowledge and abilities to
work is framed around the need for further investment provide good healthcare, improve veterinary education
needed to strengthen health systems aiming to respond globally, and support education, particularly where
to not only the physical needs but also the mental needs education is less accessible. To that end, we work on
of adolescents migrants subject to psychological trauma collaborations with other health students to ensure equal
consequently affecting their ability to integrate into rights and accessibility for all people.
societies and reducing their quality of life.

Call for Action
Youth migrants are usually affected the most by various consequences of migration. Despite the specific
challenges they face during migration process, young people are the most powerful actors of change within
their communities.

The World Health Students’ Alliance reinforces the call of youth migrants by adding the voices of health
students all over the world, committed to voice the stance of health students on migration and health
related topic. Young people from all regions around the world are committed to fight for human rights,
equality and access to health care.

The four student organizations in this alliance are committed to advocate for the best attainable standard of
healthcare for migrants, to improve the culture and practices related to provision of health care and to
facilitate meaningful youth participation in related activities. Youth participation in processes leading up to
Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and a Global Compact for Refugees is an integral
part of a constructive and sustainable approach towards these challenges.

This Global Consultation and upcoming processes present important milestones and unique opportunities
to incorporate and involve youth actors on the health of migrants. WHSA wishes to advance migrant-
inclusive policy development, promote and support implementation of relevant instruments, build the
capacity of health students to learn best practices and culturally sensitive provision of health care, and by
all these means to create a better future for all migrants around the world.

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