With one billion people on the move or having moved in 2018, migration is a global reality, which has also become a political lightning rod. Although estimates indicate that the majority of global migration occurs within low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), the most prominent dialogue focuses almost exclusively on migration from LMICs to high-income countries (HICs). Nowadays, populist discourse demonises the very same individuals who uphold economies, bolster social services, and contribute to health services in both origin and destination locations. Those in positions of political and economic power continue to restrict or publicly condemn migration to promote their own interests. Meanwhile nationalist movements assert so-called cultural sovereignty by delineating an us versus them rhetoric, creating a moral emergency.
In response to these issues, the UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health was convened to articulate evidence-based approaches to inform public discourse and policy. The Commission undertook analyses and consulted widely, with diverse international evidence and expertise spanning sociology, politics, public health science, law, humanitarianism, and anthropology. The result of this work is a report that aims to be a call to action for civil society, health leaders, academics, and policy makers to maximise the benefits and reduce the costs of migration on health locally and globally. The outputs of our work relate to five overarching goals that we thread throughout the report.