The IRON List - September 7, 2017

1. Industry: Mental Health and Untapped Productivity

On a recent BBC Africa Today podcast (starting at 15:07 mark), public health specialist Dorcas Gwata and global health policy expert Ade Adeyemi spoke on the lack of mental health services for forced migrants settling in new countries and the economic impact on their host nations. While there is limited discussion of this in the media, there are several reports from international agencies on the costs of ignoring this issue, including a loss in workforce productivity. These reports are listed below in today’s “Research” highlights.

“[D]ifficulties in securing work and learning Italian led to a sense of seclusion among many new arrivals who spend most of their day in reception centers with little to do ...“--Reuters, “Reggae helps heal mental wounds of torture for migrants in Italy.”

“Psychologists in hospitals across Sicily say they are witnessing a growing mental health crisis in these women among Nigerians who have been persuaded to leave their traffickers by the authorities or NGOs.” --The Guardian, “The juju curse that binds trafficked Nigerian women into sex slavery.”

“UNICEF said emotional distress is particularly acute among single mothers and children, who are often are awaiting to reunite with family members in other EU countries.” --Huffington Post, “Europe’s Inaction Is Bad News For The Mental Health Of Refugees And Migrants.”

2. Research: Promoting the (Holistic) Health of Migrants

The World Health Organization (WHO) published this paper on health services for refugees, echoing the observation that “access to health services among vulnerable refugee and migrant populations within the host countries remains highly variable and is not consistently addressed”, but also assuring that “[g]uidance on mental health for refugees and migrants is [being] developed with multiple international partners.” Findings on this topic were also published by the European Union in 2016, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in 2013.

3. Opportunities: Paid, Volunteer and Competitive

The Education in Emergencies University Challenge led by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Call for papers on “Mapping the Field of Higher Education in Refugee Protection”, requested for the IASFM Annual Conference

4. Networking: The Green Campus Initiative


In Lagos, Nigeria, the Green Campus Initiative will be hosting a two-day conference called “Nigeria Innovation Summit 2017: Green Entrepreneurship” (September 7-8). Register here if you can attend.