Date Published: 
Thursday, October 6, 2016

The International Organization for Migration held a one-day workshop for members of Parliament on migrants’ right to health. The workshop, held at the treasury square in Dodoma, attracted members of Parliament who are also members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Services and the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitution and Legal Affairs. The 19 MPs were taken through key principles of migrants’ right to health, including legal obligations of the State regarding the human rights of migrants. “IOM is doing a good job. I encourage them to continue collaborating with different government departments as well as policy and decision-makers to address migration related challenges.” Najma Magiga, Vice Chairperson, Committee on Constitution and Legal Affairs.

IOM through its Partnership on Health and Mobility in East and Southern Africa (PHAMESA) programme is advocating for inclusion of migration in national and regional health policies and legislations. “Health is a basic human right and addressing the health needs of migrants, benefits migrants and host communities alike, facilitates integration and contributes to social and economic development in the region.” Pace Paola, IOM.

“Studies show that the costs of providing primary health-care services to migrants are lower than if migrants are left untreated and come to public hospitals for emergency care.” Andrew William, IOM.

At the end of the workshop, the MPs had a better understanding of migration and migrant health issues and stressed the importance of awareness activities such as this, which enable them to make better informed decisions and ultimately serve the people of Tanzania better.

“Coordination is highly needed between and among sectors to ensure the implementation of the international and regional conventions that Tanzania has ratified. IOM should continue building the capacity of stakeholders to address ensure migrant inclusive policies and legislations.” Riziki Mngwali, Member, Committee on Constitution and Legal Affairs.

This is the first sensitization and advocacy workshop IOM has held to engage with MPs of the Parliamentary Standing Committees. IOM intends to further engage the MPs through different forums and activities to promote the inclusion of migrants in the National Health Policy (2003) and Public Health Act (2009), and amend other legal instruments that are not complying with international laws. The sensitization initiative demonstrates to MPs that addressing the health needs of migrants will effectively improve health status and outcomes, prevent long-term health and social costs, contribute to social and economic development and, most importantly, protect public health and human rights.

Key expected outputs from this activity include raised awareness among MPs on migration and health; increased understanding among MPs on legal obligations of the State regarding migrants; right to health; and buy in from MPs to support the review and transformation of the above health policies, legislation and strategies to include migrants and migration.

IOM assured the MPs of its continued collaboration with relevant ministries to develop effective policies in order to maximize the benefits of migration while addressing the real challenges that host, transit and origin countries and migrants face.

For more information, please contact Andrew William, Migration Health Coordinator, IOM Dar es Salaam, email: