Migration: a core public health ethics issue

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Public Health, 2018, 158 pp. 66 - 70
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© 2018 The Royal Society for Public Health Objectives: In this article, we outline the link between migration, public health and ethics. Study design: Discussing relevant arguments about migration from the perspective of public health and public health ethics. Methods: Critical review of theories and frameworks, case-based analysis and systematic identification and discussion of challenges. Results: Migration is a core issue of public health ethics and must take a case-based approach: seeking to identify the specific ethical dimensions and vulnerabilities in each particular context. Public health as a practice, built upon the core value of justice, requires the protection and promotion of migrants' well-being (even if this produces tension with immigration services). Ethical analysis should take all phases of migration into account: before, during and after transit. We argue that migration policies, at least as they relate to migrants' well-being, should be founded upon a shared humanity, respect for human rights and on the idea that effective public health cannot and should not be confined within the borders and to the citizens of any host country. Conclusions: We make the case for migration to be seen as a core issue of public health ethics.
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