Exploring the asylum-migration nexus in the context of health professional migration

Stewart, Emma (2008) Exploring the asylum-migration nexus in the context of health professional migration. Geoforum, 39 (1). pp. 223-235. ISSN 0016-7185

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Abstract

The current global migration regime is extremely complex and characterised by a polarisation of flows. Increasing numbers of individuals fleeing conflict regimes and seeking asylum are faced with restrictive immigration regimes whilst at the same time, highly skilled migrants are welcomed and encouraged to contribute to developed economies. This paper explores the asylum-migration nexus that has emerged as a result of restrictive immigration policy by drawing upon a survey of 300 health professionals in the UK. First, the empirical lens of health professionals fleeing conflict regions is employed to map the contours of the asylum-migration nexus. Second, the implications of highly selective asylum flows to Europe, in terms of economic and social characteristics, are considered. The paper concludes by highlighting concerns that Western refugee policy regimes are worryingly failing to fully meet moral obligations to protect individuals seeking asylum whilst also inadvertently supporting brain drain flows.