Promoting labour migrant health equity through action on the structural determinants: A systematic review

Mireille Evagora-Campbell, Aysha Zahidie, Kent Buse, Fauziah Rabbani, Sarah Hawkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Labour migrants, who represent over sixty per cent of international migrants globally, frequently have poorer health status than the population of host countries. These health inequities are determined in a large part by structural drivers including political, commercial, economic, normative and social factors, including living and working conditions. Achieving health equity for migrant workers requires structural-level interventions to address these determinants. Methods: We undertook a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature designed to answer the question “what is the evidence for the effectiveness of interventions to address the structural determinants of health for labour migrants?” using the Ovid Medline electronic database. Findings: We found only two papers that evaluated structural interventions to improve the health of labour migrants. Both papers evaluated the impact of insurance – health or social. In contrast, we found 19 evaluations of more proximal, small-scale interventions focused on changing the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of labour migrants. Interpretation: Despite the rise in international migration, including for work, and evidence that labour migrants have some higher health risks, there is a paucity of research addressing the structural determinants of health inequities in labour migrants. The research community (including funders and academic institutions) needs to pay greater attention to the structural determinants of health – which generally requires working across disciplines and sectors and thinking more politically about health and health inequities. Funding: Wellcome Trust (208712/Z/17/Z).

Original languageEnglish
Article number100082
JournalJournal of Migration and Health
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Health inequity
  • Labour migrants
  • Review
  • Social determinants of health
  • Structural drivers


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