Ethical issues on accessing maternal

Ethical issues on accessing maternal and child healthcare for undocumented migrants


What is this study about?

The aim of this study is to gather the experiences of access to healthcare during pregnancy or the first 2 years of life of the child by mothers lacking legal status in Switzerland.

The aim is to observe the experiences of access to care during pregnancy and the following two years. We are particularly interested in studying how irregular migrant women navigate the healthcare system, access resources or find solutions to meet their healthcare needs.

The study is organized by the University of Basel and co-funded by the Geneva Health School, University of Applied Sciences (HEdS). It is taking place in the cantons of Geneva, Vaud, Bern, Zurich and Basel (BS and BL).

·      Why participate?

This study is a unique opportunity to "give a voice" to undocumented migrants. It will provide a better understanding of their situation (living and health conditions) and highlight their needs. It could also lead to better adaptation of regularization policies.

·      Who can participate?

Any pregnant person aged 18 or over, or mother of a small child aged 0-2, with origins outside the European Union, residing without a residence permit in Switzerland.

I'd like to take part, how does it work?

You will meet the research team for a one-hour interview. Afterwards, together you will complete an anonymous demographic questionnaire about your living conditions. Interviews are generally conducted in French, Spanish, English or German, and a written version of the questionnaire is available in Spanish, Portuguese or English.

·      I can choose the interview location

Interviews can take place at the University of Basel, at HEdS, or at partners’ (UniSanté, CAMSCO, PanMilar...) or elsewhere, wherever you feel comfortable.

·      My anonymity is guaranteed

Only the interviewer will know your identity. The data collected during the interviews is immediately rendered totally anonymous and treated in the strictest confidence. No personal data will be passed on to the authorities or any other institution.

·      I can refuse to answer and even leave the study

Participation is voluntary and unpaid. During the interviews, you are free not to answer certain questions. You can also leave the study at any time, without justification.

Your help would be invaluable!

Caterina Montagnoli

Caterina Montagnoli, a midwife researcher at the Geneva University of applied sciences and arts, is conducting a project for her PhD at the University of Basel on access to healthcare for undocumented migrants in the first 1000 days of life (during pregnancy and the first two years of the child's life). For her project, she is looking for mothers or pregnant women to interview, and you can contact her directly at:

Thank you for your help!