The 3rd Global Consultation on Refugee and Migrant Health opened in Rabat this Tuesday, with the aim of taking stock of progress made in promoting migrants’ rights and access to primary healthcare.
The three-day consultation, an initiative of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Health Organization (WHO), brings together officials, experts and policy-makers from a wide range of backgrounds.
The focus is on progress made in promoting the rights of migrants and refugees, solutions and policies established in relation to emerging and ongoing challenges in access to primary healthcare, and developing effective and efficient policies in this field.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of Health and Social Protection Khalid Ait Taleb stressed that this initiative provides an opportunity to shed light on Morocco’s efforts to consolidate the position of migrants and refugees in the country, in addition to guaranteeing them access to healthcare, and smoothing their membership of social protection systems and programs.
Since 2013, the Kingdom has adopted an integrated and sustainable national policy on migrants and refugees, which highlights the humanitarian, economic and legal dimensions of these categories, he noted, with a view to guaranteeing their rights and facilitating their integration into Moroccan society, in line with international conventions and charters, in coordination with government departments and public institutions, and in partnership with civil society associations.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reported that over 100 million people worldwide are forced to move for a variety of reasons, including conflict, persecution, and humanitarian crises.
Displaced people around the world are looking for better opportunities and dignified living conditions, he said in a video shown on the occasion. He also highlighted the health risks and challenges they face in accessing basic healthcare, noting that protecting migrants during their perilous journeys is a matter of respecting human rights and human dignity.