Migrants’ Right to Health: Legal and Policy Instruments Related to Migrants’ Access to Health Care, Social Protection and Labour in Selected East African Countries

The Eastern and Horn of Africa region remains one of the most dynamic regions of the world in terms of migration caused by an evolving complex of economic, social and security interplay. Migrants and mobile populations continue to face many obstacles in accessing essential health-care services including migration status, language barriers, lack of migrant-inclusive health-care laws and policies, inaccessibility of services, and the inability of the receiving country to afford addressing their welfare. This report is reviewing the domestication in Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda of international legal instruments aimed at ensuring migrants’ and refugees’ access to health-care services, labour and social protection.  According to the report, most of the national legal instruments had insufficient coverage on the four key migration-related themes (migration, health, social protection and labour) in international and regional instruments, which also varied widely among the four countries. The national instruments lacked direct obligatory language in stipulating benefits for migrant populations on access to the health-care services, labour systems, social security systems and social assistance at the local country levels.  Well-monitored national implementation road maps ensuring enforcement and conformity to these legal frameworks for migrants are urgently needed in these countries.