Immigrants’ health protection: political, institutional and social perspectives at international and Italian level
The issue of “immigrants’ health” has been the subject of increasing interest in recent years, both in scientific literature and in the declarations of international health institutions. Specifically, the Resolution of the 61st World Health Assembly (2008), and the Report of the European Parliament on the reduction of the inequalities in health within EU (2010) are worth highlighting.
There is a clear convergence in the orientations recommended to local Governments regarding the health policies and interventions to be adopted in this sector. It may be stated that the health policies adopted in Italy in the 1980s have been pioneering in both European and international contexts. Enhanced by the unconditional recognition of the right to health, which is stated in the Italian Constitution, these orientations have been strongly suggested to the policymakers through effective lobbying efforts. Alongside ethical-legal recognition of the right to healthcare, the technical-scientific debate has also developed, especially following the publication of the WHO Report “Closing the gap in a generation” (2008). This has enabled the acknowledgement of the relevant role played by the socio-economic conditions which distinguish the different groups of immigrants.
Moreover, the proposal of inter-sectorial policies and of an approach aimed at the empowerment of the community has become increasingly significant. In future, health protection for immigrants will be not only a priority as imposed by the recognition of health as a human right, but will also be more closely connected to capacities for the planning and support, at local level, of health promotion initiatives.
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