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Immigration & maternity

Imigração e maternidade

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Published on Monday, January 02, 2012


Chamada de trabalhos para o número 1 da revista Iberoamerican Journal of Health and Citizenship, sob o tema da imigração e maternidade. Os manuscritos devem ser enviados até 28 de fevereiro de 2012 para healthandcitizenship@fpce.up.pt


Iberoamerican Journal of Health and Citizenship

Iberoamerican Journal of Health and Citizenship is a peer review journal published by the IOHC/CIIE of the University of Porto, Portugal. Since 2011, IJHC publishes scholarly articles that explore significant ideas, issue, trends, policies and problems in education for health, and in related disciplines outside the health field, which contribute to the development of health promotion theory and practice. 

Immigration & Maternity

Although IJHC is based in Portugal, we very much welcome contributions that  enhance academic debate from anywhere in the world. Articles are accepted and published in  Portuguese, English, French or Spanish. 

Submitted manuscripts should not have been previously published. The papers are subjected to a  ‘blind review’ process. The editors reserve the right to make final decisions about the publication. 

Manuscripts should begin with a structured abstract, include up to 5 keywords, and should not  exceed 80.000 characters with spaces (for further guidance on submission, see the journal website at http://www.iohc-pt.org/. 

Manuscripts should be sent by email attachment (in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format files) to: healthandcitizenship@fpce.up.pt.

The deadline for submission is February 28, 2012.


Migration trends are an opportunity for the EU as migrants counteract population ageing, meet the demands of labor markets and make contributions to economic development and socio-cultural enrichment of host societies. However, migration is also a challenge: new needs emerge as the population becomes more heterogeneous and mobile, creating a need for host societies to adapt for coexistence. One important challenge concerns the provision of adequate, accessible, appropriate and quality healthcare to all the population, independently of their gender, ethnicity and country of origin (Fernandes & Pereira 2009), assuming that health and healthcare access are a matter of human rights. The Human Development Report of the United Nations pointed out that Portugal has shown commitment to improving the integration and living conditions of migrants. As health play an essential role in the integration of migrants, access to good quality care is key aspect for social inclusion/exclusion (Ingleby et al. 2005). Recent migration trends illustrate the feminization of migration and the increasing contribution of migrant women to the EU demography. While European women are having fewer children, migrant women are helping to keep up the fertility and fecundity rates. Thus, the good state of health of migrant women and their children is fundamental for the future. Studies showed that migrant women, who suffer the healthy migrant effect in the beginning, present worse health indicators: higher levels of maternal mortality, neo-natal and child mortality, malnutrition and under-weight babies, problems with delivery, lower rates of perinatal controls, more miscarriages, abortions or pre-term delivery, worse mental health status with higher risks of postpartum depression, among others (Bartlett et al. 2002; Carballo & Nerukar 2001; Machado et al. 2007). Other studies showed positive aspects of pregnant migrant women that could be reinforced, such as higher level of breastfeeding, healthier diets and less tobacco consumption during pregnancy (Machado et al. 2007). Research in this field has received much attention in other contexts. However, in Portugal is recent and less developed. There have been some new developments associated to increasing migration, but still little is known about the maternal health of migrant women.

All these factors indicate the urgent need for this research. This project focuses on health citizenship of migrant pregnant women, as a first step to enact citizenship rights.   Citizenship is an old concept associated with rights and duties granted to the members of certain community. With the emergence and development of modern Nation States, national governments became the central in granting citizenship, establishing distinctions between nationals (citizens) and foreigners (non-citizens) (Aleinikoff & Klusmeyer 2002). Health citizenship emphasizes that health as a matter of human rights, implying the “growing involvement of the citizen in assuming more responsibilities in health and making informed health decisions (Padilla 2008). Portugal recognizes the right of migrants to access the National Health System. The law ensures access to health care for all citizens regardless of their legal status, however, in practice, several obstacles are identified (language and cultural miscommunication, lack of information, lack of cultural competence of health professionals, administrative resistance). Looking at health and access implies the consideration of the interplay between culture, social inequalities and social exclusion. Lack of economic resources, poor housing and precarious working conditions are associated with poorer  health due to insufficient and  inadequate nutrition, overcrowded and inadequately housing, risky working conditions, and unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and poor  exercise. The presence of these risk factors in pregnant women could have a negative impact not only on themselves but also on their children’s development and health.

Other important aspects are the empowerment of immigrant women and the promotion of cultural competence, emphasizing the interconnection between  theory & practice and paying attention to “good practices” in the field of maternal health care, and developing a multi-method needs assessment to identify and tackle existing health needs.

Manuscripts due: February 28, 2012


  • Susana Novick, Universidad de Buenos Aires
  • Beatriz Padilla, CIES – ISCTE, University Institute of Lisbon
  • José M. Peixoto Caldas, University of Porto



  • Rua Alfredo Allen (CIIE-FPCE-UP)
    Porto Alegre, Brazil


  • Tuesday, February 28, 2012


  • Iberoamerican Journal of Health and Citizenship ~
    courriel : healthandcitizenship [at] fpce [dot] up [dot] pt

Information source

  • Marta Maia
    courriel : martamaia72 [at] yahoo [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Immigration & maternity », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, January 02, 2012, https://doi.org/10.58079/jvw

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