Migrants, asylum seekers and refugees constitute a significant and growing proportion of the general population of countries in Europe. Globally, more than 60 million people - refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) - are forcibly displaced by conflict, violence, disasters and human rights violations. This is the highest level of forced displacement since World War II.

These groups are more vulnerable in case of a disaster given their limited access to information. They may not master the language of the State where they are displaced, not be aware of risks familiar to locals. They may also experience increased vulnerability if their living conditions are below average (refugee camps, marginal settings in dangerous areas) or if, as a consequence of their situation, they have poor health, relatively low education, etc.

The Council of Europe, through its EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement, is promoting improvements in emergency planning, disaster response and risk mitigation for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. EUR-OPA works in particular to:

  • recommend strategies to reduce migrants’ vulnerability and exposure to risks;
  • improve co-ordination between civil protection and other agencies supporting migrants, asylum seekers and refugees;
  • exchange good practices to better engage young people in civil society and in all phases of the disaster risk management cycle, as well as actions for engaging with migrants and using their skills and capacities for disaster risk reduction.

These activities contribute to the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

Working group Working group
Focus Focus
News from the Specialised Centres
San Marino
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New App: ImMigrants Immediate Migrants resources and tools

The European Centre for Disaster Medicine (CEMEC, San Marino), one of the 26 Specialised Centers of EUR-OPA, launched a new Smartphone App aimed to support migrants in accessing health facilities. Developed under the project ImMigRant Immediate migrants resources and tools, this App is designed to improve access for migrants to primary care, learn about the social and healthcare resources  and take the right actions and decisions in case of emergencies.

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