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Inside CARAM April07
Mandatory Testing Data Analysis Workshop
Raks Thai: SRHR Workshop
AIDS Festival
UNAIDS Peter Piot in Bangkok
State of Health (SoH) country-level reports
ACHIEVE Book : Life and Health on the Move
Watchlist April07
Useful Readings April07
Debating NGOs Accountability
Media Advocacy
Rules and Regulations for Medical Examination of Expatriates in GCC States
UNAIDS/WHO "AIDS Epidemic Update: December 2006
Upcoming Events April07
World Health Day
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CARAM eNews - April 2007
Mandatory Testing Data Analysis Workshop




Some 32 CARAM partners from 15 countries attended the Mandatory Testing Data Analysis workshop held in Kuala Lumpur from 3-5 March 2007. The aim of this research is to evaluate harmful practices of mandatory testing and to look at laws, policies and services on access to treatment and care of migrants and the role testing has to improve or hamper the health outcomes of migrants.
The objectives of the three-day workshop were: to review results of data collected; to share insights for regional analysis; develop policy recommendations on national and regional levels; to identify advocacy issues and activities; and finally mapping the next steps towards a regional publication.

The participants collectively developed a regional analysis based on the migrant friendly framework that was developed in the first workshop in Bangkok in 2006. The framework is based on the principles of non-discrimination; is responsive to the contexts of migrants; and is conducted in an enabling environment aimed at improving the health and well being of migrants.  Participants also identified policy recommendations that CARAM Asia would be able to advocate at the regional level. Through national level advocacy sharing of the first SoH report, partners were able to see how national and regional advocacy can complement and support each other.

The three day workshop ended with participants pledging to finish their research and writing of their country reports in time to meet scheduled deadlines to launch the regional publication at ICAAP.

Raks Thai: SRHR Workshop
Population mobility has been associated with the spread of communicable diseases including HIV/AIDS. Therefore, in order to improve the sexual health and social conditions of mobile and border populations in Thailand and neighboring countries,  the Raks  Thai  Foundation had  embarked on a capacity building project. The project entitiled "Strengthening Networks on Sexual Health for Mobile and Border Area Populations: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and China", started since 2004. It aims to develop effective networking and capacity building among key individuals or organizations providing reproductive, sexual health and related services to mobile and border area populations in the Mekong sub-region.

As part of its activities, the Raks Thai Foundation held a Regional Workshop on Capacity Building for Networks and Alliances on Reproductive Health and Sexual for Mobile and Cross-border Populations in the Mekong Region in Ubonratchthani province on February 21-23, 2007. More on this here.
AIDS Festival


Over a thousand people from different ethnic backgrounds united together against AIDS. The "AIDS Festival" has been organized by St. John’s Cathedral HIV Education Centre for four consecutive years. Twenty groups from different ethnic backgrounds participated in this Festival which took place at the Chater Road Pedestrian Precinct on 25th March 2007. Elijah Fung, Coordinator of the Festival said, "I am very pleased to see more and more groups from different backgrounds show their concern about HIV/AIDS. It encourages us all to fight the disease." Read more here.
UNAIDS Peter Piot in Bangkok

During a visit to Bangkok, Thailand, UNAIDS Executive Director Dr Peter Piot met with the Prime Minister of Thailand and celebrated the International Women’s Day with the Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and with Ms Joana Merlin-Scholtes, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Thailand. Dr Piot released a statement stressing the importance of addressing gender inequality and the feminization of the AIDS epidemics. Read the statement here.
Also while in Bangkok, CARAM Asia was among a very few select regional networks that was invited to a dialogue with Dr Piot on the 6th of March, 2007. Representing CARAM was its Regional Coordinator, Ms Cynthia Gabriel, who managed to raise several pertinent issues with him which included:

  1. CARAM's current research on mandatory testing and the need to pull together efforts in this direction.
  2. The continuous need to assert migrants as a high risk and vulnerable group, as they are often a forgotten lot.
  3. The need for UNAIDS to strengthen its rights based approach through various programs on scaling up on HIV/AIDS prevention and access to treatment.
  4. The need for UNAIDS to address multilateral and free trade agreements in relation to cost of medicine and healthcare.

State of Health 2005 Country-level Reports
The State of Health (SoH) country-level reports are available from St. John's Cathedral HIV Education Centre (Hong Kong), Nepal Institute of Development Studies (Nepal) and Solidaritas Perempuan (Indonesia) . Download and view the reports via the following:
    Hong Kong Report                       Indonesia                             Nepal
ACHIEVE Book : Life and Health on the Move

From time to time, we hear stories of women migrant domestic workers in the news. Often missing in the accounts and reportage are issues related to their health and well-being, particularly their reproductive and sexual health. For this, Action for Health Initiatives (ACHIEVE), Inc. embarked on a research project, "Life and Health on the Move: The Sexual and Reproductive Health Status and Needs of Filipino Women Migrant Domestic Workers.".

This project intends to generate reproductive and sexual health data among women migrant domestic workers. It is hoped that the research findings serve as evidence of the need to facilitate access to reproductive and sexual health information and services for women migrant domestic workers.
For more information please contact ACHIEVE via their website here.
Debating NGOs Accountability
Concerns about the role and accountability of Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) have been voiced from different quarters in recent years. We need to ask what initiatives will improve the accountability of all institutions to the people whose lives they shape, and what initiatives could serve merely to undermine NGOs' useful and largely accepted role in holding business and government accountable for their actions.

To do this, “Debating NGO Accountability” by Dr Jem Bendell, puts democracy and human rights firmly at the centre of the debate about NGO accountability. Dr Bendell suggests within the NGO accountability agenda, there may lay the seeds of a renewal of civil society’s role in both embodying and shaping democracy.

"Debating NGO Accountability" is the thirteenth publication from the United Nation's Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) Development Dossier series. Read the publication here.
Media Advocacy



Advocacy is used to promote an issue in order to influence policy-makers and encourage social change. Advocacy in public health plays a role in educating the public, swaying public opinion or influencing policy-makers. You can also use the media to publicize community or state level public health events. Any meeting merits mention in the local newspaper’s community calendar, and a workshop or a meeting with an outside speaker may warrant an article as well. Use each of these events to contact local reporters, editorial boards and radio and television talk show hosts. They may want to cover your event, and even if they do not, they will look to you as a resource person when they write about these issues in the future. Read the manual here.



Rules and Regulations for Medical Examination of Expatriates in GCC States
The quick development that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States had witnessed during the last decades, called for the recruitment of a great number of foregin manpower, which transformed the member states into a big market for expatriate labourers.

Therefore, it is natural to the GCC States to be concerned with taking suitable preventive measures to have pre-departure medical check-up of these labour. This will ensure they are free from infectious diseases or other diseases. The "Rules and Regulations for Medical Examination of Expatriates in GCC States" book explains more. Read it here.
UNAIDS/WHO "AIDS Epidemic Update: December 2006"
Promising developments have been seen in recent years in global efforts to address the AIDS epidemic, including increased access to effective treatment and prevention programmes. However, the number of people living with HIV continues to grow, as does the number of deaths due to AIDS.

The annual AIDS epidemic update from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
(UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO), reports on the latest developments in the global AIDS epidemic. With maps and regional summaries, the 2006 edition provides the most recent estimates of the epidemic’s scope and human toll, explores new trends in the epidemic’s evolution. Read more here.