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The current approach to migration, through externalization policies and continued violent expulsions and rejections at borders, has resulted in a context in which migration has become increasingly dangerous. In the absence of safe ways to migrate, many people are forced to embark on long and risky journeys.

These exclusionary policies are a major determinant of the physical and mental health of refugees and migrants, ranging from physical violence at the border, experience of traumatic events, or mental health problems – such as depression or anxiety resulting from detention and deportation – to a lack of or delayed healthcare. All of these issues will increase in the coming years due to the increasingly restrictive regulations that continue to be implemented at the global and European level.

At Salud por Derecho, we work to denounce this drift in migration policies and defend that all people, regardless of their place of residence, origin, economic capacity, or personal situation, can exercise their right to health and access to quality public healthcare when and where they need it. Also in Spain.


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At the European level, we work together with other international organizations to address the worrying impact on human rights that the new European Union Pact on Migration and Asylum will have. The pact focuses on arbitrary detentions and forced returns, and provides scarce guarantees for migrants and asylum seekers.

In Spain, we are working to ensure that the public health system serves all migrants. Since 2012, when a royal decree ended the universality of healthcare, some progress has been made, but there are still obstacles to accessing our National Health System for many migrants.

Our objectives are as follows:

The government should adopt the necessary measures to guarantee healthcare to all persons, regardless of their administrative status.

Europe should slow down the development of the new EU Pact on Migration and Asylum and put the human rights of migrants, especially the right to health, at the center of migration policies.

National, regional, and international health policies should adopt a migration approach. Migration policies should be analyzed for their impact on the mental and physical health of people.


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We are part of the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM), a network of organizations working to ensure social justice and human rights for undocumented migrants. This network represents more than 160 organizations that work with undocumented migrants in over 30 countries, seeking to influence legislative bodies and institutions of the European Union, the Council of Europe, and the United Nations.

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More than twenty social, health and professional organisations have come together to form this alliance to demand that the political establishment (national and regional governments and political parties) adopt the political and budgetary measures that are needed to strengthen the healthcare system and reinforce its capacity to face the challenges that COVID-19 has exposed.

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Alianza Más Sanidad Pública y Universal (More Public and Universal Health Care Alliance):

We belong to REDER (Network of Denunciation and Resistance to the RDL 16/2012), an alliance of collectives, movements, organisations and people involved in the defence of universal access to health care in Spain and the condemnation of non-compliance.

REDER boasts more than 300 organisations and is coordinated by a steering committee which includes our organisation and others like ARI-PERU, la Federación de Asociaciones para la Defensa de la Sanidad Púbica (FADSP), Médicos del Mundo, la Plataforma per una Atenció Sanitària Universal a Catalunya (PASUCAT), Salud por Derecho, la Sociedad Española de Medicina de Familia y Comunitaria (semFYC) y la Sociedad Española de Salud Pública y Administración Sanitaria (SESPAS).