The Human Cost of Living in Limbo: Health issues of being an irregular migrant – 17th November 2016 Oslo, Norway

24 November 2016 - As part of the IOM Norway mission’s aim to increase information and awareness on migration issues among individuals and organisations involved in working with migrants, particularly regarding migrants’ health, the seminar “the Human Cost of Living in Limbo” was organized on the 17th November 2016 in Oslo. For this purpose, IOM Norway collaborated with the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (Fagforbundet) and the Norwegian Centre for Minority Health Research (NAKMI) to co-host this seminar, aiming at further collaboration in the future.

The seminar had the overall objective to introduce and provide an in-depth presentation on the human cost of living as an irregular migrant in Norway to a variety of participants, including NGOs working in the field humanitarian action, asylum seekers and health, public authorities and health care providers as well as volunteer groups involved with various migrants issues. The meeting also aimed at enhancing participants’ awareness on core principles related to return migration (Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration - AVVR programme) and services IOM provides under this programme.

A total of 54 representatives from humanitarian organizations, civil society, academia and diaspora organizations participated at this seminar. Relevant partners such as Red Cross, Doctors without Border, Norwegian People Aid and The Norwegian Church Mission praised IOM to initiate this seminar.

IOM MHD RO Brussels contributed to the meeting to introduce IOM’s global and regional work and activities focused in the field of migration health as well as those specifically related to health of migrants in irregular situation (IMs) undertaken within the two IOM/EC DGS Equi-Health and Re-Health projects: documenting health policies and IMs within the MIPEX Health, expert consensus recommendations on provision of health care for IMs and fostering monitoring of IMs health.

IOM Helsinki Nordic Healthcare Network on Counter-trafficking final meeting followed with a panel with IOM MHD RO Brussels, WHO Euro, the Ministry of Health Finland and Norwegian NGOs representatives.

In addition to the seminar organized, IOM MHD RO Brussels in collaboration with IOM’s mission in Norway, carried out several bilateral meetings with the Norwegian Research Council, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Norwegian Centre for Minority Health Research (NAKMI) as part of the mission to further extend possible collaborations with Norwegian counterparts in the field of migrant health as well as exploring possible fund raising opportunities.