This paper presents a systematic literature review of studies that shed light on the health of migrants in Iran from the perspective of social justice.
A systematic search was conducted in PubMed and Iranian databases, including IranMedex, Magiran, and SID, in June 2012. All studies that were published until June 2012 describing the health status of migrants – including refugees – in Iran were included. The search results were categorized according to an adapted version of the six dimensions of well-being in Madison Powers’ and Ruth Faden’s theory of social justice in health. They consisted of access to health care, health, respect, self-determination and attachment, personal security, and social determinants of health.
The majority of papers mentioned issues related to infectious diseases (100 papers, 60.2%). Only a few papers mentioned socioeconomic status and access to health services, education, and work. Infectious diseases and high population growth among migrants and the problematic image of migrants as “threat” to the Iranian population’s health appear to be the most prominent results in our search.
It is imperative to combat the high numbers of infectious diseases among migrants in Iran while simultaneously making efforts to change the public image of migrants as a health and social service threat to Iran. Data concerning social and ethical issues of migrants’ health in Iran is scarce, and thus, future research is necessary using other methods and sources.