WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 107-110

Migration health research and policy in south and south-east Asia: mapping the gaps and advancing a collaborative agenda

1 University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom
2 International Organization for Migration, Manila, Philippines
3 Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, World Health Organization Regional Office for South-East Asia, New Delhi, India
4 Disha Foundation, Gurugram, Haryana, India
5 Nepal Institute of Development Studies, Kathmandu, Nepal
6 University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Anuj Kapilashrami
University of Essex, Colchester
United Kingdom
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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.294303

PMID: 32978342

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Migrant health has been the subject of various international agreements in recent years. In parallel, there has been a growth in academic research in this area. However, this increase in focus at international level has not necessarily strengthened the capacity to drive evidence-informed national policy and action in many low- and middle-income countries. The Migration Health South Asia (MiHSA) network aims to challenge some of the barriers to progress in the region. Examples include the bias towards institutions in high-income countries for research funding and agenda-setting and the overall lack of policy-focused research in the region. MiHSA will engage researchers, funders and policy-makers in collectively identifying the most pressing, yet feasible, research questions that could help strengthen migrant and refugee health relevant to the region’s national contexts. In addition, policies and provisions for different migrant populations in the region will be reviewed from the health and rights perspectives, to identify opportunities to strategically align research agendas with the questions being asked by policy-makers. The convergence of migration policy with other areas such as health and labour at global level has created a growing imperative for policy-makers in the region to engage in cross-sector dialogue to align priorities and coordinate responses. Such responses must go beyond narrow public health interventions and embrace rights-based approaches to address the complex patterns of migration in the region, as well as migrants’ precarity, vulnerabilities and agency.

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