Migrant and Refugee Health

Despite the greatly increased numbers of migrants and refugees worldwide in recent years, insufficient attention has been paid to addressing their health needs. While a variety of international instruments assert the right to health, in practice migrants and refugees – especially those awaiting clarification of their status, such as asylum seekers and those without documentation – often fall through the cracks between service providers and humanitarian relief programs at national and regional levels.

The M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centres, Universities and National Academies has put the issue on the agenda of the World Health Summit since 2015. In 2017, the M8 Alliance held their first Expert Meeting in Rome. Attended by participants from around the world, the meeting examined the health of migrants and refugees. Results from discussions and from the literature were synthesized to develop an “agenda of solutions”. Since then annual follow-up meetings were established.

​​​​​Information on COVID-19 concerning Migrant and Refugee Health is available on the M8 Alliance COVID-19 Platform.



Events on the Focus Topic: World Health Summit

World Health Summit 2019

Panel Discussion Protecting the Mental Health of Refugees and Migrants: Program and Speakers


World Health Summit 2018

Panel Disussion Migration and Refugee Health: Program and Speakers


World Health Summit Regional Meeting 2018 - Coimbra, Portugal

Session Migration and Health: Speakers and Summary


World Health Summit 2017

Workshop Migration and Global Health Policy: Program and Speakers


World Health Summit 2016

Keynote Session Migration and Refugee Health - From Care to Policy: Program and Speakers
Workshop Tuberculosis and Migration: Program and Speakers
Workshop Migration, Cultures and Health: Program and Speakers


World Health Summit 2015

Workshop Migration and Refugee Health: Program and Speakers
Workshop Stress and the City - Flight, Migration and Mental Health: Program and Speakers


Events on the Focus Topic: Expert Meetings

2020 | Rome

M8 Alliance Expert Meeting Migrant and Refugee Health
June 5, 2020, Sapienza University of Rome

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the 4th M8 Alliance Expert Meeting had to be postponed to June 2021.

For further information please contact Prof. Luciano Saso at luciano.saso(at)uniroma1.it


2019 | Rome

M8 Alliance Expert Meeting Migrant and Refugee Health
June 7, 2019, Sapienza University of Rome

Program and Speakers


2018 | Rome

M8 Alliance Expert Meeting Migrant and Refugee Health
June 15-16, 2018, Sapienza University of Rome

Program and Speakers

Short Report

The 2nd M8 Alliance Expert Meeting on Migrant and Refugee Health drew more than 50 participants to the Sapienza University of Rome in mid-June. At it, scientists from around the world brought experience and scientific results together in a focused effort to address the broad range of public health challenges being faced and solutions being developed by health systems managing the health of migrants and refugees. In particular, the situation in different European countries such as Germany, Italy, Greece, France, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, and UK, as well as in countries in Asia such as Iran and Lebanon was presented and discussed.

Luciano Saso, Vice-Rector for European University Networks Sapienza University and Chair of the meeting, said: “The issue of mental health is key because many migrants currently reaching Europe travel for a long time and are exposed to violence and traumatic events. Their number is small compared to the total number of forcibly displaced people in the world – over 68 million according to UNHCR. The concerns of many Europeans that they might lose their job, security and cultural identity are not justified. Instead, we know that migrants have been a very significant cultural and economic resource for the EU and other regions of the world. Moreover, it is an ethical imperative to help as much as possible other human beings who are fleeing from war, hunger, and dictatorships – as happened to many Europeans not so long ago. Facing the current ‘crisis of migrants’ and favoring their integration in the EU in good mental conditions is a serious challenge, but also an opportunity to remember our history and behave according to our values, further developing the extraordinary EU project.”


2017 | Rome

M8 Alliance Expert Meeting on Migrants and Refugee Health
June 23-24, 2017, Sapienza University of Rome

Program and Speakers