Access to Preventive Health Care for Undocumented Migrants: A Comparative Study of Germany, the Netherlands and Spain from a Human Rights Perspective

Veronika Flegar, María Dalli, Brigit Toebes

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Abstract

The present study analyzes the preventive health care provisions for nationals and undocumented migrants in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain in light of four indicators derived from the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ General Comment 14 (GC 14). These indicators are (i) immunization; (ii) education and information; (iii) regular screening programs; and (iv) the promotion of the underlying determinants of health. It aims to answer the question of what preventive health care services for undocumented migrants are provided for in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain and how this should be evaluated from a human rights perspective. The study reveals that the access to preventive health care for undocumented migrants is largely insufficient in all three countries but most extensive in the Netherlands and least extensive in Germany. The paper concludes that a human rights-based approach to health law and policy can help to refine and concretize the individual rights and state obligations for the preventive health care of undocumented migrants. While the human rights framework is still insufficiently clear in some respects, the research concedes the added value of a rights-based approach as an evaluation tool, advocacy framework and moral principle to keep in mind when adopting or evaluating state policies in the health sector.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Number of pages22
JournalLaws
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • preventive health care; undocumented migrants; right to health; human rights indicators; underlying determinants of health

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