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Final Declaration:

Defending human rights to protect health

In the last PHM Europe meeting held in London in October 2016, we agreed to stand in solidarity with our friends and colleagues in Turkey (Turkish Academics for Peace) who are suffering from severe repression by Erdogan's regime - for the only reason of defending the basic human right to health. We are meeting in Istanbul this weekend to say together that health can only be reached through peace. We will always oppose wars that oppress and kill innocent people.

In solidarity with the Turkish Academics for Peace, and all the Turkish people suffering from political oppression for standing for human rights, we call the groups and individuals of the People's Health Movement in Europe and throughout the world to take concrete actions to raise awareness and support the struggle for civil and political rights in Turkey:

    Share information, raise awareness and support Turkish Academics for Peace (AFP) demands to return back to their working position and have their passports and freedom of travel restored:

        Deliver solidarity statements and/or organise skype interviews with AFP during academic conferences and events

        Promote solidarity statements by universities, trade unions, scientific and academic societies, etc.

        Organise solidarity missions and events in Turkey

        Support the demands of Nuriye Gulmen and Semih Ozakca, two dismissed public servants, who went on hunger strike and are now detained in prison in severe health conditions, and demand their immediate release

    Offer concrete help:

        Offer financial support for dismissed academics

        Offer distance-learning programs for younger scholars, distance teaching positions for senior scholars and positions in foreign universities for those who can travel

        Provide access to scientific databases for dismissed academics

        Invite Turkish academics to share their research at conferences in person or via skype

    Build alliances in the struggle:

        Promote the boycott of Turkish universities by foreign universities that have partnerships with them

        Contact journalists and arrange for interviews and greater media coverage

        Write to EU commissioner Johannes Hahn, responsible for the Negotiations on the Expansion of the EU, who will visit Turkey on July 6th 2017


Resisting health commercialisation in Europe

We decided to continue and strengthen the campaign for free public healthcare accessible to all, centered around the 7th April as the world health day. 2018 will also mark the 40th anniversary of the Alma Ata Declaration, and we are ready to make 7th April a people's health day, to oppose any kind of marketisation of health in our countries and across Europe.

National governments, as well as European institutions, should be held to account. Also, strengthening international solidarity will help to support the struggles in our own countries. We need to expose the role that Europe plays in supporting healthcare privatisation in countries within and outside the EU, including through funding health sector reform programmes and promoting free trade agreements.

The following decisions will shape our campaign on a people's health day:

    We will promote exchange of information and networking between local mobilisations that oppose healthcare privatisation, to strengthen international solidarity.

    We will mobilise in our countries to support local actions culminating on 7th April 2018, starting with participating in the online consultation of the European network against health commercialisation to identify key mobilising themes.

    We will look into different forms of action, from street demonstrations to seeking alliances with health workers and influence health decision makers to oppose the privatisation agenda, to exposing the predatory role played big corporations (private healthcare providers and health insurance companies) in our different countries and in the lobbying at the European level.

    We will seek alliances with trade unions, organisations and networks that are willing to share our platform for action.

    We will strengthen our links with the mobilisations in countries of the Mediterranean region.


Protecting the health of migrants and refugees

We received updates from our Turkish PHM friends on the situation of migrants and refugees in Turkey, worsened by the ongoing conflicts in the region as well as the lack of adequate policies from the European Union. As we have said from the beginning, the EU-Turkey readmission agreement is a harmful policy, that has transformed Turkey in an open air prison for refugees, rented by the EU. Four million people in Turkey are not granted comprehensive refugee rights. The majority of them are living in deteriorated conditions with respect to the social determinants of health and have limited access health care. The situation of undocumented migrants, whose number is rapidly increasing, is even worse in terms of access to care, as they are charged very high 'touristic fees' including for essential health needs.

The situation in other countries such as Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the UK shows common features in terms of discrimination, xenophobia, inequalities in the social determinants of health and access to healthcare.

As PHM Europe:

    We denounce the approach that informs migration policies in our region, shaped around emergency measures, a capitalist view of migrants as exploitable cheap labourers, and the false claim that migration and terrorism are associated, fuelling fear and xenophobia.

    We oppose detention centres for undocumented migrants, increasingly managed by private for-profit companies such as G4S, where people are unlawfully deprived of their rights.

    We demand that the root causes of migration (such as unjust economic trade policies, climate change, food insecurity, conflicts...) be addressed.

    We commit to continue to monitor and inform on the situation of migrants and refugees' rights.

    We will increase the exchange of practices on civil society engagement in protecting and promoting refugees and migrants' health, through solidarity actions, advocacy, resistance and protest.



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