The difficult situation of migrants in Europe has received increased attention over the past years, especially with regard to the southern borders of the EU, ranging from reports on human rights violators to the lack of specific national capacities to address the health needs of increasingly diverse populations. Hence, the EQUI-HEALTH project fits into the Council Directive 2003/9/EC of 27 January 2003 laying down minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers, hereby including the provision of “necessary health care which shall include, at least, emergency care”.

Based on the results of the PHBLM: project (co-founded by the first EU Health Programme), which raised the issues of health and border management, public health, occupational health and migrant health in detention at the Eastern Schengen border, the EQUI-HEALTH project works with public sector actors in the Southern EU Member States fostering multisectoral dialogue at regional and national level. Situational assessments will increase understanding of the priorities for improving migrant health in detention and border facilities and therefore public health and security.

Building on the evidence, data collection mechanisms and referral systems are discussed and further capacity building needs prioritized such as tailored training packages and cascading or trainings for law enforcement authorities and health professionals.

These actions are being taken in Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Malta, Spain (and Portugal in certain activities).