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NYU's Shedlin publishes study on the health of Colombian refugees in Ecuador
Date:2/19/2013

rvival of this population," Shedlin continued.

The refugees deal with the daily stresses resulting from on-going confrontations with Ecuadorian society. Even given government mechanisms for refugee status and efforts to create a more positive climate for Colombian refugees, the reactions of the receiving community reflect fears, territoriality, and erroneous assumptions about Colombians.

Forced migration itself produces changes and tensions in social networks and, specifically, in the family. Reports of anxiety, frustration and "depression" permeated the interviews even before accounts of discrimination and the effects of isolation and rejection. Lack of basic survival needs and inadequate health services result in the poor health they describe, and the escape provided by drugs and alcohol for some.

Data analyses were focused on understanding health risks and vulnerabilities in a new receiving environment. Individual accounts of daily challenges clearly reflect the context of structural violence in which they now live as well as the potential or real physical violence that prompted their migration in the first place. This structural violence is manifested in the poverty, social and gender inequality, and racism and discrimination they describe.

"Additional research is needed to identify the geopolitical, historical and cultural factors that influence health and well-being," said Shedlin. "Understanding the impact of structural violence on these displaced and vulnerable populations as well is crucial to developing effective structural level interventions, e.g. policy responses, efforts toward community education and organization, and advocacy," she said.


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Contact: christopher james
christopher.james@nyu.edu
212-998-6876
New York University
Source:Eurekalert

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