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date: 19 August 2022

Health Status of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Europelocked

Health Status of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Europelocked

  • Rachel HumphrisRachel HumphrisDepartment of Social Policy, University of Birmingham
  •  and Hannah BradbyHannah BradbyDepartment of Sociology, Uppsala University

Summary

The health status of refugees and asylum seekers varies significantly across the European region. Differences are attributed to the political nature of the legal categories of “asylum seeker” and “refugee”; the wide disparities in national health services; and the diversity in individual characteristics of this population including age, gender, socioeconomic background, country of origin, ethnicity, language proficiency, migration trajectory, and legal status. Refugees are considered to be at risk of being or becoming relatively “unhealthy migrants” compared to those migrating on the basis of economic motives, who are characterized by the “healthy migrant effect.” Refugees and asylum seekers are at risk to the drivers of declining health associated with settlement such as poor diet and housing. Restricted access to health care whether from legal, economic, cultural, or language barriers is another likely cause of declining health status. There is also evidence to suggest that the “embodiment” of the experience of exclusion and marginalization that refugee and asylum seekers face in countries of resettlement significantly drives decrements in the health status of this population.

Subjects

  • Global Health
  • Health Services Administration/Management
  • Special Populations

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