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Nurs Outlook. 2015 Jan-Feb;63(1):68-76. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2014.10.008. Epub 2014 Nov 4.

Forced migration: health and human rights issues among refugee populations.

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WHO Collaborating Center, University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor, MI. Electronic address:
College of Nursing, Georgia Regents University; College of Nursing, University of Arizona.


Undocumented migration is a global phenomenon that is manifest in diverse contexts. In this article, we examine the situations that precipitate the movement of large numbers of people across several African countries, producing a unique type of undocumented migrant--the refugee. These refugee movements impact already fragile African health care systems and often involve human rights violations that are of particular concern, such as gender-based violence and child soldiers. We use examples from several countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Mozambique. Drawing on key documents from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, current research, and our personal international experiences, we provide an overview of forced migration and discuss implications and opportunities for nurses to impact research, practice, and policy related to refugee health.


Forced migration; Gender based violence; Human rights; Migration; Refugee health; Refugees; Sub-Saharan Africa

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