18 December – International Migrants Day

18 December 2017

Brussels 18 December 2017

Migrants with diabetes must be protected

Whether it is forced movement of refugees or internally displaced people, millions of people move within Europe and into Europe every year. An unprecedented number of refugees and migrants arrived in European countries in recent years. Over 1.3 million arrived by the Mediterranean Sea since 2015; this is in addition to the almost 3 million Syrian refugees living in Türkiye. These human beings leaving their home, country, family and friends to find a safer or more prosperous place to live are the most vulnerable in our society, and they need to be protected. They move under conditions that are psychologically, socially and physically difficult, and facing the realities of re-settlement in surroundings that may seem – or be – unwelcoming.
No matter where people come from – or where they go – they take any inherited pre-disposing disease factors and existing conditions with them that they need to look after wherever they are as explained by Dr Katarina Braune in an interview on World Refugee Day, Furthermore, the stress of migration and adapting to a new place, often with little support, can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.

IDF Europe takes the matter of migrant populations at heart. With participatory status to the Council of Europe – the European leading human rights organisation- IDF Europe has an open dialogue on the issue of health, especially chronic diseases such as diabetes, in refugees and migrants with the Council of Europe’s Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, as well as the Migration and Equality Department.

On International Migrants Day with the theme Safe Migration in a world on the move, IDF Europe calls national and international institutions to inspire and support initiatives providing safe environments for migrants with diabetes where they can easily access medicines, healthcare professionals and education so dealing with the disease does not become another obstacle in their move and settlement.

About IDF Europe: IDF Europe is an inclusive and multicultural umbrella organization of 72 national diabetes associations in 46 countries across the European region, representing people living with diabetes and healthcare professionals. Through our activities we aim to influence policy, increase public awareness and encourage health improvement, as well as promote the exchange of best practice and high-quality information about diabetes throughout the European region. We provide essential expertise and up-to-date evidence on diabetes, support awareness campaigns through a wide network of partners and stakeholders, and work with European and international organizations towards the development, implementation and monitoring of effective public policies for diabetes.