Myths about migration and health – including that migrants are disease carriers and are a burden on services – are pervasive and harmful to individuals and society. The normalization of these myths in popular discourse has allowed governments to introduce hostile and restrictive policies in many countries around the world – including denying the rights of millions of migrants and refugees of access to healthcare.
Public health protection and cost savings are often used as reasons to restrict migrants’ access to health care, or to deny them entry. Yet, as the new University College London (UCL)-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health lays out with new international data and analysis, the most common myths about migration and health are not supported by the available evidence.
As a main academic and research institution in the region, and a key contributor in knowledge production, dissemination and translation in the field of public health, the American University of Beirut (AUB) Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) organized the regional launch of the UCL-Lancet Commission report.
The event was held on Friday February 8th at AUB, and brought together more than 50 participants, including representatives from AUB, the UCL-Lancet Commission, UN agencies, local and international NGOs, diplomats, as well as senior Lebanese officials, and international experts and actors in the various social, political, and public health fields.