Pre-conference: Forced migration in Europe – aspects of work, social security and health 

Wednesday 20 November, 09:00 - 17:00, Room Endoume 5

Organised by:

EUPHA Section Social security, work and health


Many countries in Europe have experienced dramatic demographic changes due to increasing global migration and have become multicultural societies in the new millennium. While some fifty years ago, predominantly individuals with an European background formed the bulk of the workforce immigrants, the last thirty years have seen increasing migration from refugees and non-European migrants with a more diverse cultural and ethnic origin than the respective host populations. In summary, this development puts issues of public health, social security and labour market integration of migrants on the agenda. Here, a transcultural perspective in research and practice is warranted and will be the focus of this preconference. 

More specifically, migrants particularly refugees i.e. individuals subject to forced migration, often show worse health status, particularly mental health, than individuals in the host population. Differences in culture might further affect potential discrepancies in health care needs and help seeking behaviour in immigrants/refugees compared to individuals in the host population. Poor health in turn might hinder the entrance into the labour market, which might trigger a downward spiral of worsening health and marginalisation. In this context, national regulations regarding migration, social security, labour market and access to health care also affect the social and health situation of migrants/refugees.


The preconference will deal with forced migration, the post-resettlement context of refugees’ health with a specific focus on mental health, social security and work aspects, Moreover, hindering and facilitating effects of laws and policies in the area of social security regarding the entrance into employment for migrants will be discussed. Other topics of the preconference include policies regarding access to health care, selection of migrants into fields of low paid and/or precarious jobs and the effect of this on health and work participation. Finally, recent findings on the risk of sickness absence and disability pension in migrants will be presented.

Main messages

The preconference will therefore cover essential aspects to better understand processes affecting health and work participation as well as social security coverage among migrants in Europe. All presenters of the preconference are internationally renowned experts in the respective fields.


Download the programme here.

09.00-9.15 Welcome and introduction
Gunnel Hensing, President, EUPHA SSWH, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Ellenor Mittendorfer-Rutz, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
09.15-10.00 Health and integration of migrants
Allan Krasnik, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
10.00-10.30 Coffee/tea break with group discussion
10.30-11.15 Social benefits and employment among refugees in Finland – the role of laws and policies
Maili Malin, Migration Institute of Finland, Finland
11.15-12.30 Trouble-shooting seminar: Group work and discussion
Nadav Davidovitch, Professor Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel 
12.30-13.30 Lunch
13.30-14.15 Migrants access to health services, Mipex Health strand
David Ingleby, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
14.15-15.00 Selection of migrants into fields of low paid and/or precarious jobs 
Nadav Davidovitch, Professor Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
15.00-15.30 Coffee/tea break with group discussion
15.30-16.15 Trouble-shooting seminarGroup work and group discussion
16.15-16.45 Sickness absence and disability pension in migrants
Ellenor Mittendorfer-Rutz, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
 16.45-17.00 Summing up of the day: What did we learn and how can we develop assessments to improve research and knowledge for public health? 
Ellenor Mittendorfer-RutzKarolinska Institutet, Sweden
 17.00 End of programme
 18.00 Joint pre-conference dinner and continued discussion and networking

Registration fee

The registration fee is € 140 which includes networking lunch and refreshments.