Health, well-being, and urban refugees: an agenda paper

Keywords: urban refugee, health, slum, legal precarity, biolegitimacy


Health and well-being have been historically uncommon areas of focus in studies of forced migration within the social sciences, where the focus has more often been focused broadly on identity, liminality, and social suffering. Urban refugees have also been largely excluded from the narrative. Yet, urban refugees represent the majority of the world’s refugees, which means we are effectively excluding the majority of the refugee experience from our research. Health is often a central marker of inequality and marginalization. Understanding the entanglement of forced migration to urban areas and health bears enormous potential for policy and practice. This paper will outline what we know, and set an agenda for the study of urban refugee health.


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