The UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health: The political determinants of health of a world on the move

International migration, a truly global reality, increased to 258 million people in 2018, and the numbers of refugees and people displaced by conflict, natural disasters and climate change are at their highest levels in history, according to the UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health. Yet in striking contrast to international law and human rights standards, even wealthy democratic countries like Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States have proved reluctant to address one of the most pressing issue of the 21st century: the health and human rights of migrants.

Michael Knipper, M.D. and adjunct professor of Medical History, Anthropology and Ethics at the Institute for the History of Medicine at the University Justus Liebig, Giessen, Germany, will explore migrant health and rights during a Global Health Tuesday seminar at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 12, in room 1010 of the Medical Sciences Center.

In “The UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health: The political determinants of health of a world on the move,” he will discuss the commission’s work to inform public discourse and policy on determinants of migrant health and give special attention to the controversies sparked by the commission’s commitment to human rights and the political dimensions of migrant health.

After studying medicine at the University of Bonn, Germany and University of Oviedo, Spain, Knipper did clinical work in pediatrics and tropical medicine in Germany and worked in primary health care and community health in rural Ecuador. Since 2003, he has taught medical history, ethics, anthropology and global health at the Institute for the History of Medicine of the University Justus Liebig in Giessen, Germany.

In 2004, Knipper initiated a teaching program on migrant health at the University of Giessen Medical School, the first academic course on that topic at a German medical school. In 2011, it was expanded to a comprehensive special track curriculum on global health.

Knipper’s research is focused in the history of social medicine, primary health care and concepts related to health equity and human-rights-based approaches in Germany, Latin America and in international public health at large. He served as a national expert for Germany of the Migrant Integration Policy Index health strand in 2015, and as a consultant for the World Health Organization Europe (Copenhagen) and headquarters (Geneva) and for International Organization for Migration Euro (Brussels) and headquarters (Geneva). He was visiting scholar at the Department for Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School/USA in 2015 and is a faculty associate at the Research Program of Global Health and Human Rights at the University of Connecticut/USA. He is member of the UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health.

A poster for the event can be found here.