State and Public Organizations in Belarus Enhance Capacity to Provide Medical Care to Migrants

Migration provides significant social, economic, and cultural advantages to our society. To unlock the potential of migration in ensuring the well-being of the population, it is necessary to establish effective mechanisms for the integration of migrants into all structures and processes of society, including the healthcare system. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) collaborates with States and other partners worldwide to ensure migrants' free access to healthcare systems and eliminate health inequalities. IOM emphasizes that discussions on migrant health issues should be based on factual data, best practices, and national migration characteristics.  

To study existing practices and international experiences in expanding migrants' access to healthcare and developing ways to improve coordination between state and public organizations in the field of health and migration, IOM held a two-day seminar "Improving Migrants' Access to Medical Care: International Experience and Approaches in the Republic of Belarus." The seminar was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the State Border Committee, as well as public associations and the academic community. 

On the first day, participants familiarized themselves with key international UN documents and international principles on migrants' access to medical care, such as the UN General Assembly Declaration on Universal Health Coverage and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration regarding migrants' access to medical care, as well as the WHO Global Action Plan in order to promote health rights of refugees and migrants.  Participants also had the opportunity to learn about IOM's experience in expanding migrants' access to healthcare in CIS countries and examples of effective cooperation between state and public structures in addressing migrant health issues.  

On the second day, seminar participants applied the gained knowledge to develop proposals for improving mechanisms for migrants' access to medical care and social support in Belarus. With consultative support from IOM staff and an invited international expert, work continued on developing a set of measures for implementing an effective, equitable, and fair access of migrants to medical care. These proposals will be complemented and improved at subsequent seminars and roundtable discussions and will form the basis of the project's final document. 

The seminar was held within the framework of the project "Supporting National Capacities in Migration Health Focusing on Communicable Diseases", which is implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Belarus in cooperation with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus with the financial support of the IOM Development Fund. 

SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals