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Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

Health Diplomacy and Migration

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About the course

Many different forms of migration exist and human mobility shapes global health, impacting on domestic and foreign poli­cies of sending, transition and receiving countries. The health of migrants is influenced by these different policies and legal frameworks but also by the practices surrounding migration. Yet, the act of migration alone does not cause any disease. Rather, the socioeconomic, political, cultural and environmen­tal conditions connected to the act of migration can impact on health and the vulnerability to disease. National health systems are often put under pressure to respond to large-scale movements and diplomacy comes into play to find cross-border, collective solutions. Health can serve as an entry point for these diplomatic actions and new governance mechanisms need to be negotiated to respond appropriately to migration crises.


  • Understand key migration concepts and trends in their intersections with health diplomacy and governance;
  • Gain insights into existing mechanisms and policies linked to health and migration and the impact of the changing political context related to these policies;
  • Enhance participants’ negotiation skills through a differentiated analysis of actors and their interests, as well as by immersing into a migration-related simulation; and
  • Build a network of trained health diplomats and foster peer learning


This brand-new course will seek to explore the emerging role of cities as global actors and drivers of change. The course will:

Assess the impact of migration on health and the achievement of the SDGs

Introduce and analyse the legal instruments and governance mechanisms used at the interface of health and migration, among others, the Global Compact on Migration and Human Rights

Explore the challenges involved in providing and ensuring access to health services to all migrants

Reflect on migration and health in conflict settings and its impact on the neighboring countries

Experience and learn negotiation skills through a migration-related negotiation scenario, including the challenges to reconcile different political perspectives

Who should attend

  • Migration professionals interested to focus on health
  • Health and international relations professionals in departments of international health, ministries of foreign affairs and development cooperation
  • Health attachés and diplomats with a portfolio linked to health or migration
  • Representatives from international, regional and nongovernmental organisations
  • Professionals in philanthropic organisations, the private sector and academia

Trust the experts

Michaela Told

Michaela Told is currently Executive Director of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. Prior to moving into academia, she has been working more than 10 years with the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement at local, regional and internat...


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