In 2020 the number of displaced people worldwide reached 41.3 million (IOM, 2020). Among them, are many migrants and refugees at risk of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Healthcare providers have a key role to play in identifying migrant victims/survivors of violence.
This paper seeks to assess STIs prevalence, sexual health and sexual violence among third country nationals (TCNs) attending the GUC in Malta.
This is a mixed methods study carried out at the Genitourinary Clinic (GUC), which is the only public sexual health clinic in Malta. Demographic data, sexual history and diagnoses of patients attending the GUC between January 2018 and December 2019 were collected and retrospectively analysed. A SGBV risk assessment was performed through a semi-structured questionnaire.
In the 24-month study period, a total of 12,654 patients accessed the GUC in Malta. Demographic data was collected on age, gender, nationality, marital status, and sexual orientation. 16.4% (n=2,064) of these were extra-European migrants, predominantly male. 80 different nationalities were recorded, with the 5 most common being Nigerian, Filipino, Libyan, Syrian and Brazilian. The average age was 32.6 years. Over 110 sex workers were visited at the GUC in the study period – 20 were foreign, primarily from China. The presence of a “massage parlour owner” during consultation, lack of control over passports and other factors were identified as warning signs of trafficking. 5 cases of sexual violence and forced prostitution involving girls from Sub-Saharan Africa and, in 2 cases, boys recently arrived in Malta by boat, were encountered. 6 African women accessing the service exhibited a type of female genital mutilation (FGM).
Migration, sexual health and SGBV overlap in important ways. Further research and training in SGBV and migration in the healthcare setting and awareness-raising about existing services among the migrant population are required.

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