Undocumented migrants in Europe face serious problems in gaining access to health care services. For them, a worsening of their physical and mental health is more likely to occur owing mainly to poor access to health care services and the continual fear of being discovered and expelled.
While numerous international instruments in human rights law have been ratified by EU member states and refer to the right of everyone to health care as a basic human right (regardless of one’s administrative status), the laws and practices in many European states deviate from these obligations. It is a fact that a high percentage of undocumented migrants do not access any kind of health care even if they are entitled.
PICUM's Actions on the Right to Health for Undocumented Migrants
The first aim of PICUM is to promote the respect for the basic Social Rights of undocumented migrants. One of these rights is the Right to Health Care - a fundamental human right which is key to the realisation of other rights. PICUM has led two major European projects on the issue of undocumented migrants access to health care and is involved in several ongoing initatives.
Access to Health Care for Undocumented Migrants in the European Union
PICUM’s project "Access to health care for undocumented migrants" was co-funded by the European Commission (DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities) within the framework of the Community Action Programme to Combat Social Exclusion.
Completed in 2007, this two-year project aimed to improve access to health care for undocumented migrants by developing and promoting a system of reporting on the situation regarding access to health care for undocumented migrants in eleven EU member states. PICUM's research gives visibility to the problems of marginalization facing undocumented migrants arising from their inadequate access to health.
This project also sought to mainstream the involvement of local and regional actors in the whole anti- poverty process and to bring the attention of policy-makers on the necessity of designing a Social Inclusion Strategy that encompasses one of the most socially excluded groups in Europe - undocumented migrants.
Please Click here for more information.
Project report: click here
Health Care in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and United Kingdom
In March 2001, PICUM's held an international experts seminar on the issue of health care for undocumented migrants. The immediate aim of the seminar was to exchange experience and viewpoints of medical experts working with undocumented migrants in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Please click here for more information.
As a leading expert on the topic of health care access for undocumented migrants in Europe, PICUM is actively continuing work on the issue through its advocacy and awareness raising activities. To increase collaboration with other actors, professionals and policy makers working on health care for undocumented migrants, PICUM is currently involved as an NGO partner in the following projects and initiatives: