Migration is one of the most important public health issues facing the world today. International and internal migration is increasing, triggered by displacement of large numbers of people due to conflict, natural disasters, search for safety, and economic opportunities. A well considered and humane policy course offers extraordinary opportunities to make major gains in health and wellbeing.
The mental and physical health effects of migration are many and varied and health might improve or substantially worsen. Women and child migrants are at particular risk and migration can pose heightened risks for vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities. In addition to the migrants themselves, migration also affects the host population, the population of origin, and future generations.
The Lancet-UCL Commission on Migration and Health will provide evidence on current issues in migration in the many groups it affects by taking a multidisciplinary approach including a historical, sociological, political, epidemiological, and anthropological perspective. The Commission will articulate evidence-based approaches to inform public discourse and policy, and identify areas for further research to ensure the highest attainable standards of health.
It is our hope that the work of this Commission will provide the foundation for policy makers, advocates, international agencies, health-care systems, and communities to maximise the benefits and reduce the costs of migration on health locally and globally.
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