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The Right to Health, Vol. 54

Joanne Csete

27 Oct 2021

Among the “14 Principles” for protection of migrants, refugees and displaced persons in the COVID-19 pandemic is that all persons have a right to health, which, in essence, means an equal right to basic health services. In more than a year of COVID-19 challenges, it has become clear that migrants, refugees and displaced persons are easily left behind in access to basic health services. Stigma and entrenched discrimination, regulatory exclusions from health services based on immigration status, and lack of access to user-friendly information about COVID-19 services have impeded migrants’ ability to enjoy health rights in the current emergency. States must make special efforts to overcome these barriers. . . .


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Joanne Csete, Ph.D, is an Associate Professor in the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health of the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. She was the founding director of the Health and Human Rights Division at Human Rights Watch and the executive director of the HIV Legal Network in Toronto. Her research has focused on health services for criminalized persons and rights-based reform of policy on illicit drugs.