GHC submits statement on WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel at the 73rd World Health Assembly

November 09, 2020

Global Health Council presents the following recommendations about the recent analysis of the  Relevance and Effectiveness of the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel:

We recognize that more investment in the health workforce is needed. To deliver priority health and broader development goals, countries must invest in the health workforce, including community health workers.

Take a gender-transformative approach to health labor migration policy. The labor migration process influences four areas of gender inequity: the leadership gap, occupational segregation, gender pay gap, and decent working conditions, free from harassment, discrimination, and bias.  Both the health workforce and labor migration are highly gendered topics and gender plays a central role in the migration decisions of health workers and their experiences working abroad;

Funding mechanisms should apply a gender marker or best practices in gender budgeting, analysis, and auditing, to promote accountability for the dynamics of the health workforce. ;

Make the individual countries reporting status readily available in the public domain;

Publish all government-to-government agreements related to international migration of health care workers on the WHO website; and

Recommend that Ministries of Health are included in the negotiation and formulation of government-to-government agreements. While we applaud the safeguards recommended by the expert group in formulation of such agreements, we recommend that WHO make recommendations on the inclusion of civil society in the formulation of these agreements, and that they are ultimately made public.

We need a critical code of ethics that protects the rights of migrating health workers – women migrating can be vulnerable and subject to violence, harassment, and exploitation. We need an ethical code that protects vulnerable health systems in resource-poor countries from losing their scarce health workers.