Health, well-being, and urban refugees: an agenda paper


  • Kelly Ann Yotebieng Ohio State University



urban refugee, health, slum, legal precarity, biolegitimacy


Health and well-being have been historically uncommon areas of focus in studies of forced migration within the social sciences, where the focus has more often been focused broadly on identity, liminality, and social suffering. Urban refugees have also been largely excluded from the narrative. Yet, urban refugees represent the majority of the world’s refugees, which means we are effectively excluding the majority of the refugee experience from our research. Health is often a central marker of inequality and marginalization. Understanding the entanglement of forced migration to urban areas and health bears enormous potential for policy and practice. This paper will outline what we know, and set an agenda for the study of urban refugee health.

Author Biography

Kelly Ann Yotebieng, Ohio State University

Kelly Yotebieng is a PhD student with The Ohio State University’s Department of Anthropology. Her research focuses on social suffering and tactics for enduring hardship among urban refugees living in Yaoundé, Cameroon. She has spent over 13 years living and working in Central Africa on humanitarian issues.




How to Cite

Yotebieng, K. A. (2017). Health, well-being, and urban refugees: an agenda paper. Migration Letters, 14(3), 343–354.