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Improving and promoting global health continues to be one of the largest and most important challenges facing humanity in the twenty-first century. The task has become even more difficult since our first edition appeared almost a decade ago, given the accelerated destruction of the planet and the associated compounded threats to health that now present themselves. The emergence and spread of COVID-19 and the implications of this pandemic for life, health, and our planet exemplify how the world can change so rapidly and profoundly. The domino effects of the pandemic in an unstable global system are triggering multiple tipping points with implied radical alterations to the trajectory of life as we have known it. This is a stark reminder that despite all the major advances in science, healthcare, health, and longevity since the Enlightenment, and despite all the promises of genetic medicine and artificial intelligence, the long-term health and survival of our species are now, more than ever, intensely threatened.
Addressing global health is one of the largest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century, however, this task is becoming even more formidable with the accelerated destruction of the planet. Building on the success of the previous edition, the book outlines how progress towards improving global health relies on understanding its core social, economic, political, environmental and ideological aspects. A multi-disciplinary group of authors suggest not only theoretically compelling arguments for what we must do, but also provide practical recommendations as to how we can promote global health despite contemporary constraints. The importance of cross-cultural dialogue and utilisation of ethical tools in tackling global health problems is emphasised. Thoroughly updated, new or expanded topics include: mass displacement of people; novel threats, including new infectious diseases; global justice; and ecological ethics and planetary sustainability. Offering a diverse range of perspectives, this volume is essential for bioethicists, public health practitioners and philosophers.
Chapter 7 focuses on justice for temporary labor migrants. Though the chapter surveys many normative issues concerning temporary labor migration, the focus is on new sources of concern, such as those introduced by private recruitment companies, which are often guilty of serious deception, fraud, abuse, and failures to protect migrants, while destination and home countries fail to take responsibility for oversight. Labor migration is often characterized as beneficial to the migrants, along with both sending and receiving countries. While the logic of mutual advantage has a place in considering labor migration justice, especially considering the scale of global unemployment, there should be important constraints on such programs. These include requirements to ensure robust measures are in place that can offer reasonable human rights protections for migrant workers. The chapter discusses which rights deserve protection. There is scope for migrants to trade off protection of certain rights in exchange for labor market access, if they so choose. The chapter also offers principles to navigate which rights are “tradable” and which deserve rigorous protection.
Chapter 6 covers some new challenges associated with massive refugee populations. How can we help refugees in ways that are effective for all key stakeholders? Key stakeholders here include refugees, internally displaced populations who have not yet crossed a border, those left behind in states of origin, and those states that bear the burden of hosting large refugee populations. The chapter explores options that offer good solutions for host and home countries, for the roughly 10 percent of refugees who typically make it to high-income countries and the 90 percent who do not. Given the scale of refugee problems, we must supplement the three traditional approaches to addressing the plight of refugees (voluntary repatriation, local settlement, and resettlement), with new development-oriented and empowerment approaches. I discuss reforms that would better safeguard the human rights of displaced people or those vulnerable to displacement. In the absence of good faith and credible efforts at making such changes, our current arrangements for assisting refugees cannot be regarded as adequate. A state system that offered these up as the ways for dealing with refugees cannot be legitimate.
Chapter 8 discusses how to deal with alleged new terrorism and security threats posed by migration. Fears concerning terrorism and security seem to have significantly set back the prospects for migration justice recently. While there is some threat level, key issues include deciding what measures would be effective in combating it, while being commensurate with that threat level, and not ignoring the opportunity costs pursuing such policies might entail, especially ones that might better promote the goals of an inclusive society capable of resilience to such threats. The chapter also considers whether some risks can be further reduced without compromising our values, principles, and other important justice goals. There are significant concerns that arise about the measures we should take to protect against the perceived threat when they violate other demands of justice. For instance, excessive public expenditure in one domain when further outcome gains are insignificant and other important basic rights remain unaddressed, is relevant to assessing how well justice is achieved in particular societies.