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HeaVen - Venezuelan migration, human rights and intersectoral strategies: Towards a new right to primary health care for irregular migrants in Colombia

Project description

Investigating how irregular migrants gain access to primary health care

The EU-funded HEAVEN project will use the example of Venezuelan migration to Colombia to examine how irregular and regularised migrants can enjoy their right to primary health care (PHC). Interdisciplinary research and empirical data collection will be used to mobilise synergies between human rights law and public health standards and understand how state and non-state actors implement legal obligations concerning migrants' right to health that comply with a PHC approach. Involving a collaboration between Queen's University Belfast in the United Kingdom and the Universidad del Rosario in Colombia, HEAVEN's findings will contribute to new knowledge and intersectoral dialogue on PHC as a human rights issue in the context of challenging migration phenomena.


HEAVEN’s key objective is to conceptualize the right to primary health care (PHC) for irregular migrants—a right that is relevant to law and policy at different levels of governance. To do this, HEAVEN uses Venezuelan migration in Colombia as a case study, applying sociolegal tools to expand human rights law methodologies and catalyse the synergies between human rights and public health standards to promote healthier communities. It will focus in particular on creating new knowledge on state and non-state actors’ complementary roles in implementing legal obligations regarding the right to health of vulnerable migrants that are consistent with a PHC approach. In order to generate this global challenge-responsive knowledge, the researcher will—for the first time—deploy his full skillset, which spans legal practice, NGO volunteer work, and academic research and communication skills. In combination, he will expand that skillset through HEAVEN’s affiliation with two leading human rights law schools in two different world regions: Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and Universidad del Rosario (UR). His home at QUB will be the Health & Human Rights Unit, the first such unit in a top 20 UK law school; at UR, he will be integrated into the law school’s Human Rights Research Group, which is a centre of excellence for research on gender and migration certified by the Colombian Ministry of Science and Innovation. Both groups and the broader hosting environments will support the researcher’s skills acquisition and training plan, and provide pathways for the project’s impact and diverse outputs. In line with the goal of IFs, HEAVEN will facilitate the researcher’s international mobility, enabling him to develop new networks for skills development, establish himself on a fast track to a leadership position spanning scholarly and policy communities, and contribute to the challenge of managing mass migration in a way that secures public health and respects human rights.


Net EU contribution
€ 211 794,24
University road lanyon building
BT7 1NN Belfast
United Kingdom

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Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Belfast
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Partners (1)