Migration and Occupational Health: Understanding the Risks for Eastern European Migrant Women Cover

Migration and Occupational Health: Understanding the Risks for Eastern European Migrant Women


  • Responsabile scientifico: Vianello Francesca Alice
  • Membri: Zaccagnini Federica Redini Veronica
  • Ethical and Scientific Advisory Board: Emily Ahonen (Indiana University); Alessandra Buja (University of Padova); Sabrina Marchetti (University Ca' Foscari, Venice); Devi Sacchetto (University of Padova); Carol Wolkowitz (University of Warwick)


Abstract of the research project:

Given the important role of migrant workers in Europe, research conducted on the occupational health of migrant workers is scarce (Schenker 2010). Recently this issue has attracted the attention of both governmental and non-governmental international organizations and of academic research since it is considered a public health problem for destination countries.

The available literature underlines that with exception of some specific groups of migrants (such as asylum seekers, people originating from areas of poverty or affected by conflict or natural disasters) the majority of migrants are healthy people at the beginning of their migratory experience. Indeed, in the scientific debate is widely accepted the concept of healthy immigrant effect – where immigrants are on average healthier than the native-born (Domnich et al. 2012). However, it is demonstrated that it is a provisional effect, since their physical and mental health gets worse during their migratory experience. Migrants’ health is affected: 1. by the experience of migration per se; 2. by the journey; 3. by the living and working conditions they experience in the host country.

Women represent the majority of immigrant population living in Italy, however few research has been done on migrant women’s health and in particular on their occupational health.

Migrant women’s occupational health is the core interests of MigOccH. It is an innovative and multidisciplinary empirical research where sociological and epidemiological knowledge will be merged.

The research will be carried out in Padova and it will focus on resident migrant women belonging to two national groups highly female-dominant, namely Romanians and Moldovans.

It will be a multi-method research, including:

1) structured interviews with key informants;

2) one random sampling survey among female migrant workers, with a validated questionnaire to measure occupational health;

3)  in-depth interviews with female migrant workers.

Duration: 15/03/2018-14/03/2020

Sponsor: University of Padova

Programme: STARS Consolidator Grants (STARS-CoG)


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