On 10-11 October in Paris, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and the Santé publique France will co-host the 2018 High-level Meeting on Risk Communications for Public Health Emergencies, which focuses on how to include migrants and ethnic minorities in this communication. It provides a unique opportunity for open dialogue between health officials and delegates from diverse countries across Asia and Europe, with the aim of identifying common challenges and best practices.

People in migrant and ethnic minority communities may not have a good understanding of the official language(s) of their host country. They may have different information seeking behaviours (e.g. looking at media in their own language rather than their host country’s media). And they may have different beliefs about health or perceptions of health threats. These, and other barriers to effective risk communication to migrants and ethnic minorities during health emergencies, will be examined during the meeting. Participants, speakers and a wider online following will be asked to share their experiences of risk communication targeting these communities with the aim of identifying best practises.

The 4 conference sessions will explore the realities of communicating risk to hard to reach communities before, during and after a public health emergency. Panel discussions will allow experts from across Asia and Europe to share their insights and experiences. A simulation exercise designed specifically for the event will challenge participants, as they work in teams, to develop strategies and solutions during a fictional health emergency. A wide range of organisations will contribute to the meeting, such as WHO, the International Organisation for Migration, and national public health authorities from across Asia and Europe.

If you can’t make it to the conference, follow the online discussions and conversations by liking and following the Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts of ASEF, Santé publique France and Alert Not Alarmed Enterprises (facilitators of the Meeting). Attendees and participants are also invited to engage with the social media aspect of the conference to raise more awareness of best practice in risk communication to migrants and ethnic minorities during public health emergencies.

More information about the work of ASEF’s public health network can be found at:

http://www.asef.org/projects/themes/public-health