Archived: WMA Resolution on Migration

Adopted by the 69th WMA General Assembly, Reykjavik, Iceland, October 2018
and rescinded and archived by the 72nd WMA General Assembly (online), London, United Kingdom, October 2021

Nowadays, we are facing increased migration trends globally. This situation, far from being resolved, has worsened over the last months, exacerbated by political, social and economic events, with serious impacts on the population deteriorating the quality of life and in some cases putting people in mortal danger. This violates their fundamental right to health and in many cases forces them to abandon their countries to search for a better life.

International migration is a global phenomenon, caused by multiple factors, including demographic and economic inequalities among countries, in addition to war, hunger and natural disasters. Migration policies adopted by the majority of receiving countries are becoming more and more restrictive towards economic migrants.

The World Medical Association (WMA) considers that health is a basic need, a human right and one of the essential drivers of economic and social development. Increased migration is a phenomenon linked to progress and to the trends of the 21st century.

The WMA reaffirms its Resolution on Refugees and Migrants adopted in October 2016.

The WMA, its constituent members and the international health community should advocate for:

  1. Strong continued engagement of physicians in the defense of human rights and dignity of all people worldwide, as well as combatting suffering, pain and illness;
  2. The prioritization of the care of human beings above any other consideration or interest;
  3. Providing the necessary healthcare, through international cooperation, directed to countries that welcome and receive large number of migrants.
  4. Governments to reach political agreements to obtain the necessary health resources to deliver care in an adequate and coordinated manner to the migrant population.

The WMA emphasizes the role of physicians to actively support and promote the rights of all people to medical care based solely on clinical necessity, and protest against legislation and practices contrary to this fundamental right.

Migration, Refugees