One-Day International Conference on Health and Migration.

Call for papers

One-Day International Conference on Health and Migration 

19th December 2019, QAU Islamabad

Global flows of people have long been linked to the transmission of diseases and health risks, which have great implications for people’s movement, health and wellbeing – especially in the era of epidemics which do not respect international borders, where threats to human health have been deployed to securitize the issue of migration. Human migration is a defining issue of our time and is increasingly recognized as a global public health priority. Scholarship on health and migration has examined the social, political and economic production of diseases and their interaction with processes of migration, transit, legal status, and migrants’ incorporation into the places to which they migrate, over time – as well as their effects on the places of origin.

Recent academic work has explored the structures and dynamics that produce access to health services and the production and management of transnational migrant health. Building on concepts of migration, transnationalism and diaspora, the scholarship has considered how migration processes, such as selection and screening, transit and incorporation into the places of reception, affect health; over varying time scales, from years after arrival, to the life course and generational time; and how transmigrant and diasporic identities and relationships affect health practices in the places of reception as well as the places of origin. For example preentry health screening of labour migrants from Pakistan to Persian Gulf countries and their forced deportation on the basis of HIV positive status. 

Anthropological and sociological perspectives on migration offer great insights into the crises of migrant health, from the exclusionary predicaments of asylum seekers, refugees and irregular migrants; the biolegitimacy afforded by trauma and ill health, but simultaneously, the embodied vulnerability and health-related undeservingness that migrants face; and the effects of the transnational migration of professional health workers on the healthcare systems of low and middle income countries.

In this conference we want to bring together emerging work on migration and health in Pakistan, especially ethnographic cases studies, with an aim to set up a network of academics in universities in Pakistan and the UK for future collaborations. We would encourage scholarly work in thematic areas listed below. However, these are only indicative of the field, please feel free to submit an abstract that deals with areas of health and migration more broadly.

  1. Labour migration and health; health screening and deportation, segmented labour markets, conjugated oppression and its health effects, invisible health risks. 
  2. Epidemics and migration; border controls, ‘healthy carriers’ and vectors of disease; the violence of transit.
  3. Gender, migration and health; reproduction; sexuality 
  4. Transnationalism, social remittances and health; transnational migrant and diaspora investment in health 
  5. Diaspora and disease; identity claims and health care resources, multicultural accommodation
  6. Health workforce and migration; brain drain and assimilation in health systems, return migrants. 
  7. Illegal migration and health; trafficking, sex work, domestic labour; abuse, embodied vulnerability and health-related undeservingness
  8. Refugee’s health; asylum seeking and biolegitimacy

Please send a short abstract to by 30th of November 2019. We will ask selected participants to share draft papers by December 15, 2019. The conference aims to bring these papers together in the form of an edited volume for a peer-reviewed journal such as Migration, Mobility and Displacement, Anthropology & Medicine and International Journal of Migration Health and Social Care.

Conference Organizers: 

Dr. Ayaz Qureshi                                              Dr. Sarfraz Khan

Department of Anthropology                        Department of Sociology

School of Social and Political Science           Quaid-i-Azam University, 

University of Edinburgh, UK                           Islamabad