The picture of migration seen by many people is a bleak one. Boatloads of migrants travelling across the Mediterranean Sea bound for an uncertain future. A million Syrian refugees in Lebanon caught between a brutal war at home and mounting pressure to leave their place of refuge. The defiant caravan of Hondurans seeking asylum in the USA despite cruel threats of retaliation. These images portray a fractured world on the move. They also show that while globalisation and mobility have allowed unprecedented connectedness over space and time, they have not united us.
The UCL–Lancet Commission on Migration and Healthsteps into this divided debate to provide evidence for cooperation and action on what is one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century. Its foundation is that migration and health are inextricably linked—and key to sustainable development. The Commission provides a framework of migration as a dynamic process, providing evidence of the multiple factors that could be beneficial or detrimental to individuals and systems along the migration journey—at origin, transit, destination, and return. It documents the devastating impacts of forced migration, especially on girls and women, and the overall benefits to the health of individuals and populations that migration generates.