About the Commission


Migration is a crucial issue for public health, with currently nearly a quarter of a billion international migrants and more than three times this number migrating within their home country. Migration is not a new phenomenon, however there has been an upward trend in both voluntary and forced migration over recent years. Health outcomes in migrant populations are influenced by a multitude of factors, with diverse physical, psychological, cultural, socioeconomic and political factors directly influencing health. Unprecedented levels of forced migration have been seen over recent years, with over sixty-five million people currently forcibly displaced due to war or persecution. A well-considered and humane policy direction offers significant opportunities to make major gains in health, wellbeing and livelihoods for these populations. This commission explores the effects of migration on the health of individuals and populations, and provides evidence based approaches to inform public discourse and policy, to advance the health of migrants and to enable secured livelihoods for migrants.

The Commission   

The UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health, to be published 5th December 2018, addresses one of the defining issues of our time. The Commission presents evidence based approaches to inform public discourse and policy to address migration as a global health priority, and proposes recommendations for maximising the health of all people on the move. The Commission is an independent group of academics, policymakers, and health system experts with experience across the world to review current knowledge and producing new empirical work and policy recommendations on the role of migration on health.  The report takes an inter-disciplinary approach to the appraisal of information and data and the presentation of recommendations including sociological, political, legal, epidemiological, humanitarian and anthropological perspectives.



The UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health encourages analysis of the global narrative of migration and health by viewing population mobility as an asset to global health. Through addressing the research and policy gaps in the most important topics in migration and health we have produced recommendations on improving the health and livelihoods of migrants.  We believe that this is a unique opportunity to address the important topic of migration and health, not only from a public health perspective but using a broader public policy lens in order to truly have long term impact on the many of the broader determinants of migrant health. 


The Commission’s overall aims were to:

1. Obtain, appraise and present evidence on current issues in migration and health.

2. Investigate and improve data on migration and health including health outcomes.

3. Identify gaps in evidence and recommend areas for further research.

4. Bring attention to wider migrant health challenges and where possible utilize evidence to advocate for better policy on migration and health, without stigmatising individuals.

5. Articulate evidence-based approaches to inform public discourse and policy.

6. Provide the foundation for policy makers, advocates, international agencies, health-care systems, and communities to maximise the benefits and reduce the costs of migration on health locally and globally.

The Commission’s work was divided into the following categories, each conducted by a working group:

1. Data and Health Outcomes (Leads: Dr Robert Aldridge and Professor Stephen Tollman)

2. Forced Migration and Crises (Leads: Dr Miriam Orcutt and Dr Fouad M Fouad)

3. Vulnerabilities (Lead: Dr Delan Devakumar)

4. Law, Human Rights and Politics (Leads: Professor Leonard Rubenstein and Professor Terry McGovern)

5. Socio-Cultural Factors and Identity (Leads: Professor Nora Groce and Professor Bernadette Kumar)

6. Health Systems (Leads: Professor Ibrahim Abubakar and Dr Kabir Sheikh)

7. Labour Migration (Lead: Dr Cathy Zimmerman)

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© 2018 UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health