Migrants’ invisible wounds

Migrants’ invisible wounds

Migrants' invisible wounds stefania infante

Msf (Medecins Sans Frontieres) report examined asylum seekers residing in the Extraordinary Reception Centers (Cas) in the provinces of Milan, Rome and Trapani from July 2015 to February 2016.

The study shows that the most common disorders are those related to anxiety (33.6 per cent), followed by post-traumatic stress disorder (16.3 per cent), depression disorders (11.9 per cent), disturbances of personality (1.8 per cent) and cognitive disorders (0.7 per cent).
Of the 387 patients surveyed by Msf’s search, almost half (48.8 percent) was victim of traumatic events before the trip, and 82.4 percent during the trip. The most frequent traumatic events before leaving home are the abduction or incarceration of a family member (15.7 percent), family conflicts (17.5 percent), and the feeling of risk for their life (3.9 percent). Traumatic events found during the trip include prison and detention (29.3 percent), involvement in conflict (10 percent), forced labor (4.4 percent), torture (7 percent), sexual assault (3.4 per cent) and the feeling of constantly risking for their lives (8.5 per cent).

“In total, 37.6 percent of the population surveyed said they had suffered traumatic events in their country of origin or during migration,” the report says. The traumas that have been experienced before and during the journey add to the difficulties encountered after the arrival: the waiting years for obtaining international protection, the lack of prospects for work and integration, discrimination and daily racism, disillusionment with their migratory project, feelings of inadequacy, isolation and overcrowding of reception facilities.


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