Just 13.7 per cent of migrants in Europe say they are fleeing war, with most admitting they are economic migrants, a new study by Doctors of the World (MDM) has revealed.
The NGO found that the majority of nearly 10,000 migrants they spoke to admitted they moved to Europe for economic reasons. Examining access to healthcare, the report looked at migrants across 30 cities, just under half of whom are staying in Europe illegally.
The study, which was published Tuesday in Brussels, discloses that 53.1 per cent of migrants surveyed reported emigrating for economic reasons, 20.5 per cent for political reasons and just 13.7 per cent said they moved to escape war.
MDM are demanding that migrants get full access to all aspects of national health services across Europe, and argue that their survey showing only 3.1 per cent migrate solely for healthcare bolsters the case for this.
In a statement, the NGO said: “Among the reasons cited for migration, only 3% of patients reported having left their country of origin including for health reasons.
“These figures show that [the idea people are migrating] for health reasons does not match the reality of the people we meet, and so this myth should be abolished in politicians’ speeches”.
As well as demanding governments of countries in the European Union (EU) grant “full access to [all aspects of] national health systems for all”, the organisation wants Europeans to arrange full transport to the continent for anybody and everybody who wants to migrate.
Noting that “violence on migration routes [to Europe] has been documented”, the report “calls on governments to ensure safe migratory routes to Europe free from violence, for all migrants irrespective of their nationality.”
The study also condemns the Dublin Agreement, arguing that it’s essential migrants be allowed to select the European country in which they reside. The NGO argues that without freedom to make this choice, and without “rapid and active” family reunification, there will be “far-reaching consequences on the wellbeing of migrants’ mental health”.