Society For Risk Analysis Annual Meeting 2017

Session Schedule & Abstracts

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Common abbreviations

Symposium: Using Risk Analysis to Address the Needs of Migrants and the Challenges of Migration: Is it Happening?

Room: Salon D   10:30 am–12:00 pm

Chair(s): Frederic Bouder

Sponsored by Risk, Policy and Law Specialty Group

In recent years, migration flows have substantially increased in many parts of the world. Millions of people have left their homes to move to safer zones or safer countries. The United Nations estimate that an unprecedented 65 million individuals are currently displaced or on the move . This trend is the result of a mix of causes ranging from war and conflicts, natural disasters and environmental challenges, as well as famine, income imbalances and more generally, hopes for a better life. In Europe, the influx of people arguably reached a peak in 2015 when the civil war in Syria intensified. The consequences of the ‘’refugee crisis’’ have been discussed intensely in political circles as well as in the general public in Europe and the US. The benefit and risks of migration, on migrants’ health as well as on the local population, remain poorly understood. Improved investments in risk assessment and more effective ‘’risk management’’’ strategies are urgently needed to inform timely and adequate responses by key stakeholders. The turn to risk-based approaches has also been noticeable with respect to European border management, where FRONTEX's budget for risk analysis has more than doubled during the "refugee crisis" and is celebrated as "the backbone of integrated border management".This interdisciplinary symposium will trigger discussion about the need for and use of risk analysis to tackle the humanitarian impact of large-scale migration, including internal displacement as well as movement across borders. The Symposium is organized by the Vienna Vaccine Safety Initiative, an international think tank and non-profit organization. It will feature speakers and faculty from social sciences, and medicine offering a first attempt to systematically analyze the use and limits of risk-based approaches from two angles: The border control system and public health policies for migrants with a focus on psychological health and infectious disease prevention.

T2-D.1  10:30 am  The vaccines we want : perception and expectations of Syrian refugees in the Netherlands. Bouder F*, Strijbosch K; Maastricht University

Abstract: Globalization as well as international conflicts and poverty are giving rise to migrants from places such as Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Iraq. New immigrants and refugees could be particularly susceptible to vaccine preventable diseases because they may be lacking adequate immunization and may be more vulnerable to disease. This can be a result of their journey, the lack of knowledge or ignorance of their vaccination status. Furthermore they might be afraid to disclose any personal information to what is perceived as ‘authority’. Risk communication plays an important role in developing a two-way communication process for improving awareness of immunization and vaccine preventable diseases, and in helping people to assess the risks and benefits of both the vaccine and disease. The goals of this innovative pilot study that was conducted in the Maastricht area (The Netherlands) were twofold. First, to determine the requirements for targeted risk communication for immigrant populations, and, second, to promote informed decision-making. The paper presents an analysis of (1) the knowledge level and perceptions of immigrant populations on infectious disease immunity and vaccines; (2) the reasons behind immunization decisions made by immigrant populations for themselves and their families; (3) the effect of different cultural perspectives on immunization decisions; and (4) the relevance of this information to develop innovative and directed risk communication strategies that promote informed decision making. Data was collected from two main sources: via face-to-face interviews of professionals working at institutions in charge of public health and refugees; and via Syrian parents or caretakers with young children (under five years old) who arrived after the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011. This project is part of an international collaboration with researchers in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, the United States and Germany (The Monarch Collaboration).

T2-D.2  10:50 am  Frontex risk analysis: a tool for integrated border management in Europe? Paul R*; Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies Harvard/Law and Society Unit Bielefeld University

Abstract: Scholars have recently highlighted the importance of Frontex risk analysis in the harmonization of border control - usually a stronghold of member state competency. This paper argues that, beyond securitizing migration and migrants (as argued in critical security studies), Frontex risk analysis can also be interpreted as an internally-oriented governance tool which helps the EU manage the institutional (rather than merely societal) risks associated with supranational border control decisions. We use empirical examples from Eurosur impact level assessment and resource allocation through the Internal Security Fund to illustrate (a) the extent to which border control in Europe is actually risk-based and (b) how a focus on risk-based differentiation in supranational decision-making might contribute to a more harmonized border risk assessment and management in Europe.

T2-D.3  11:10 am  Evacuation following a natural disaster versus migration to escape armed conflict - what may be the impact on children and young adults? Rath B*, Myles P; The Vienna Vaccine Safety initiative and The University of Nottingham

Abstract: Background Displacement and migration of children and young adults (CYA) have been on the rise. Migration and displacement may be triggered by war and civil unrest or natural disasters. Little is known about the psychosocial impact of different types of migration from the viewpoint of the CYA and their families. Methods We accessed data from two cross-sectional surveys: the first was administered to a convenience sample of 1,133 children and young adults (CYA) aged 0-24 years and/or their parents/guardians, attending healthcare facilities post Hurricane Katrina in the metropolitan New Orleans area from 1 October to 31 December 2005. The second was administered to a convenience sample of 405 CYA (0-24 years) and/or their parents/guardians, seeking asylum in Germany while they waited for registration at the Regional Office for Health and Social Welfare (LaGeSo) in Berlin, Germany between 7 October 2015 and 15 March 2016. Both surveys used an identical survey instrument and included questions on general health as well as questions from a validated psychological questionnaire adapted from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). Results CYA arriving in Berlin as refugees were significantly more likely to have experienced traumatic injury (unadjusted OR 50.01 (95% CI) 21.68- 115.35); p<0.001; adjusted OR 24.37 (9.19-64.63); p<0.001), or to have a friend or family member killed (uOR 13.83 (10.28- 18.61); p<0.001; aOR 10.56 (7.07- 15.77); p<0.001. CYA arriving in Berlin as asylum seekers were also more likely to have witnessed violence or looting (uOR 7.35 (5.58- 9.68); p<0.001; aOR 4.83 (3.33- 7.01; p<0.001). The likelihood of acquaintances having ever been hurt/killed before the evacuation/migration was also significantly higher (uOR 14.08 (10.48- 18.91); p<0.001; oOR 6.27 (4.36- 9.01); p<0.001). Conclusions The impact of displacement from home may be significantly different for CYA escaping warzones compared to those who evacuated from a natural disaster. More data-driven research needs to be done using standardized survey instruments and mobile applications.

T2-D.4  11:30 am  Assessment of health-related risk factors in internally displaced person populations living in camp settings in Nigeria. Ekezie W*, Timmons S, Siebert P, Myles P, Pritchard C, Bains M; University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

Abstract: Since 2014, armed conflict in Nigeria has resulted in about 2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). Generally displaced people, despite the region, live in poor conditions with likely similar basic needs which include food, water, shelter and healthcare. However, risk priorities for IDPs may be unique to specific locations. Our objective was to determine if healthcare and other facilities available to IDPs in camp-like settings in Nigeria met agreed international and national standards. A camp audit was conducted in September 2016 in 9 camps across 7 states where IDPs had settled. An audit tool was developed using the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Rapid Assessment FRAME Toolkit and the Collective Center Guidelines, and was directed to camp managers. Data on camp details including population, resources and interventions were collected. The findings were reviewed against the Sphere minimum standards used in humanitarian assistance. Across all the camps 5 of 15 standards assessed were met to some extent, including availability of water and shelter. Sanitation, vaccination, planning, and community involvement standards were unmet in over half of the sites. In 5 camps overcrowding was severe but inadequate provision of waste disposal facilities for excreta solid waste and drainage was observed in all 9 camps. Health program implementations were uneven across the states. IDP leaders responsible for managing camp affairs had no recollection of a needs assessment being conducted. The issues identified suggest likelihood of high risks of water, food and air related diseases; especially malaria, diarrhea and respiratory infections. Due to the dynamic nature of displacement, for optimal protection of IDPs, frequent assessments with active IDP involvement is required by the government and humanitarian aid providers. A joint approach would help reduce health risks, control spread of infectious diseases, and increase service uptake and cost-effectiveness.

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