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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Publication Date

Spring 2019

Program Name

Tunisia and Italy: Politics and Religious Integration in the Mediterranean


The right to human health and the resources that empower this state is an entitlement recognized under international law. With the circumstances surrounding their journeys, migrants face increased risks and vulnerabilities that necessitate social protections. Nations of reception, due to exclusionary policies or lack of capacity, may fail to guarantee these protections. This study investigates how this phenomenon unfolds in Tunisia, a middle-income nation undergoing a host of political and economic changes, but one that’s nonetheless become an alluring destination for migrants, specifically those from sub-Saharan African nations. The analysis proceeds from an assessment of the public health situation in the country, followed with the resources that exist to address potential shortcomings. It includes discussions of issues at hand through interviews with NGO representatives, volunteers, and physicians that assist sub-Saharan migrants on a regular basis. The findings of this study reveal that the socioeconomic and political issues in Tunisia have placed the issue of migration integration on the backburner of domestic concerns. The absence of formal legal framework for sub-Saharan African migrants in Tunisia has, by extension, resulted in an exclusion from access to public health centers. International organizations are currently working to fill this gap, but are limited by lack of funding and bureaucratic support.


Development Studies | Health Policy | International Relations | Migration Studies | Peace and Conflict Studies | Public Health | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies


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