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CARAM eNews - March 2007
SAPA General Forum
The Solidarity for Asian People's Advocacy (SAPA) recently concluded its General Forum with a set of clear action plans on effective advocacy for Asian civil society and people's movement. Attended by  more than 100 representatives from more than 60 national and regional NGOs, people's organizations, and trade unions, the forum was organized by FORUM-ASIA, convener of the Regional Steering Committee (RSC) for SAPA, together with several civil society organisations in the region. A report of the forum is available here.

Access to Health for Migrant Workers Forum (Hong Kong)

The State of Health (SoH) Access to Health for Migrant Workers Forum organised by St. John's Cathedral HIV Education Centre of Hong Kong, was held on the 24th of February. Over 50 participants from the press, consulates, migrant workers's associations, local people and migrant domestic heleprs were present. Press release of the health forum, some stories of the Thai, Indonesian and Filipino communities and related papers are available here:
The 10th Seven Sisters Consultation Meeting

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Regional Network on HIV/AIDS (the Seven Sisters) is a broad-based alliance bringing together seven regional networks: AIDS Society of Asia Pacific (ASAP), Asia Pacific Council of AIDS Service Organisations (APCASO), Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (APN+), Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW), Asia Pacific Rainbow (APR), Asian Harm Reduction Network (AHRN) and Co-ordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility in Asia (CARAM Asia).

The 10th 7 Sisters Consultation Meeting was held from the 21st - 23rd of February in Bangkok. Read more on the meeting here.


Demands for the Protection of Migrant Workers' Rights
On December 18 2006, the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee (TLSD) organized a campaign march to Government House and the Ministry of Labour to mark International Migrant’s Day.  On this occasion, TLSC representatives and allies formally urged the Thai government to extend its protection to migrant workers in a more serious manner. More details here .
Against Privatisation of Health Care Services
Ten thousand pamphlets were distributed nationwide to 17 major public health hospitals on January 18 2007, as part of the on-going advocacy strategy by the Coalition Against Privatisation of Health Care Services headed by chairman Dr Subramaniam Pillai (pictured above), to force the Malaysian government to have an open consultation with civil society groups on the health financing reforms now being devised. Find out more about this here.
Action Committee Against the US FTA

On the 25th of February, a group representing farmers, fisher folk, rural citizens and NGOs from the northern Malaysian states of Kedah and Penang, had expressed their concern by government moves to conclude the Malaysia US Free Trade Agreement (MUFTA) without any public disclosure and consultation as to how contentious issues will be treated in the agreement. The group who call themselves as the "Action Committee Against the US FTA (Northern Region)" in their statement said, they could not understand why the Malaysian government is rushing into a deal dictated by the US government when a thorough and proper evaluation and consideration of the contentious issues is needed. Read the statement here .
MAP: 10 Year Anniversary Book

On December 18th 2006, the Migrant Assistance Programme (MAP) of Thailand have celebrated their MAP 10 Year Anniversary. For this occasion, they have released 10 Year Anniversary Book about thier milestones from the year 1996 - 2006. Read the book here.
Sex Workers and IDUs in Bangladesh
Mohammad Khairul Alam talks about the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Bangladesh. In this article, the focus is on Sex Workers and Intravenous Drug Users (IDUs) - highlighting the latter as being the most potential carrier of HIV/AIDS. Read the article here.
Advocacy Manual
Advocacy can be called as the act of inducing and persuading the democratic agencies to resolve various social issues. Advocacy is a Latin term. The word ‘Ad’ means ‘in favour of’ and ‘Voca’ is to speak.... hence, the meaning of the word ‘advocacy’ is to speak in favour of someone. The lawyers are also called advocates, as they stand in favour of a side or a party. In other words, advocacy is to speak for, or support someone. Sampark, a group of advocacy & communication consultants from India touches more on this via their Advocacy Manual. Read the manual here.