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CARAM eNews - August 2007
LHRLA: Engaging Multi Stakeholders

Realities on human trafficking have changed tremendously during the past couple of years in Pakistan while violation of South Asian workers’ rights in receiving countries is rampant. Therefore networking among civil society organisations and relevant government is necessary to bring significant structural change.

Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) demonstrates the importance of engaging multi stakeholders through its collaborative effort with other NGOs to hold two national conferences. The first conference was aimed at tackling the issues of human trafficking and the second conference aimed at addressing the violation of migrant worker’s rights.

LHRLA jointly organised the National Consultation to Expand Partnership & Share Framework of South Asia Joint Regional Action Forum (JRAF) on Anti Trafficking and Safe Migration on 13th July. The National Consultation aimed to share the plan of Action of the South Asia Joint Regional Action Forum (JRAF).  The JRAF has been working on anti trafficking, safe migration and violence against women since 2004.  The network targeted policy legislation, improvement and implementation of laws, strengthening care and support for victims of trafficking and promotion of safe migration. 

The second conference organised was the National Conference on the Protection and Advancement of Migrant Workers’ Rights in Receiving Countries. It was held to provide a platform to discuss programs, problems, and explore ways to utilise available resources to protect migrant workers’ rights and to give policy recommendations to the Pakistan government. Read more here


CARAM Asia: Migration, Health and Globalisation

As a regional network, CARAM Asia should play a role in addressing the gaps in the current migration and development discourse. Globalisation strategies, theories and literature seem to focus primarily on the forces of globalisation as an economic development potential for migrant communities whilst neglecting the much-needed analysis and policy recommendations for the protection and promotion of migrant workers rights, including their health rights. It is therefore critical for CARAM Asia to analyse the characteristics of migration taking place today and how it is being pushed and influenced by different economic and political globalisation structures, mechanisms and strategies.

The need for CARAM Asia to realise the interplay and linkages of the three key areas of migration, health and globalisation (MHG) resulted in the decision by MHG Taskforce members to implement a capacity building workshop. As this is a new programme, there was a real need for the network to build perspectives and analysis in order to formulate solid interventions for migrant communities. 6 external resource persons and 2 from within CARAM Asia were invited to help crystallise and refine the MHG focus areas.  The workshop objectives were met as a result of active participation from 27 participants representing about 15 CARAM Asia members. See the full article here.


Migrant Workers’ Voices in GIPA


About 27 CARAM Asia partners concluded the GIPA workshop held from 27 to 29 July, 2007 in Kuala Lumpur with high spirits to integrate and implement GIPA principles in their local and national level programmes, policies and processes. The workshop went beyond meeting its objective to introduce and strengthen perspectives and capacity of the CARAM Asia network in understanding the concept and tools of GIPA for practical application. Participants walked away from the workshop with individual action plans as well as draft organisational plans to be further strengthened when they go back to respective organisations. Representatives from 18 partners participated in the engaging workshop sharing organisational experience while formally or informally integrating GIPA in their programmes and working environment. The workshop catered to migrant workers realities. Participants brainstormed on key elements and issues to be included into the CARAM Asia GIPA Policy Statement that will be worked on by the taskforce.  The draft statement will then be circulated to all members for inputs.

At the regional level, the network acknowledged the need for a referral system. CARAM Asia will strengthen and develop partnership with other regional positive networks to ensure GIPA principles will be extended to migrant communities.

Robert Baldwin from Asia-Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (APN+) was the key facilitator while Malu Marin from ACHIEVE was the co-facilitator for the workshop.


Update from the Global Forum
There is a gap between migration and health issues within the development nexus. This gap is clearly shown from discussions that went on during the Global Community Forum organised in parallel to the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) on 10 & 11 July, 2007. Hence, CARAM Asia can play a role in bridging this gap to bring in the agenda of migrants’ health rights. CARAM Asia Regional Coordinator, Cynthia Gabriel attended the forum in Brussels, Belgium to build linkages with migrant organisations and other groups for future collaborations. Read about:

The community forum and other civil society activities during GFMD by clicking here

Conclusions & commendations of the GFMD here.

Synergies in HIV and SRHR
The Asia Regional Dialogue entitled “Strategies for the South: Building Synergies in HIV/AIDS and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” took place in Bangkok on July 11-13. This is the last regional dialogue from a series of dialogues following up from the International Dialogue on Strategies for the South: Building Synergies in HIV/AIDS and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in May 2006. The other regional dialogues held were in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. The aim of this initiative was to improve collaboration and advocacy on HIV or AIDS and SRHR at the regional and international levels.
The specific objective of the Bangkok meeting was to identify opportunities for more effective movement building on issues of HIV or AIDS and SRHR between major regional networks working in the area of  SRHR, HIV or AIDS, women’s rights, sex worker rights, lesbian and gay, bisexual, transgender  rights and drug user rights. More here
UNAIDS Practical Guidelines for Intensifying HIV Prevention
These Practical Guidelines for Intensifying HIV Prevention: Towards Universal Access are designed to provide policy makers and planners with practical guidance to tailor their national HIV prevention response so that they respond to the epidemic dynamics and social context of the country and populations who remain most vulnerable to and at risk of HIV infection. They have been developed in consultation with the UNAIDS cosponsors, international collaborating partners, government, civil society leaders and other experts. They build on Intensifying HIV Prevention: UNAIDS Policy Position Paper and the UNAIDS Action Plan on Intensifying HIV Prevention. In 2006, governments committed themselves to scaling up HIV prevention and treatment responses to ensure universal access by 2010. While in the past five years treatment access has expanded rapidly, the number of new HIV infections has not decreased — estimated at 4.3 (3.6–6.6) million in 2006 — with many people unable to access prevention services to prevent HIV infection. These Guidelines recognise that to sustain the advances in antiretroviral treatment and to ensure true universal access requires that prevention services be scaled up simultaneously with treatment. Read
Women, Mobility and Reproductive Health
Remaining outside of legally protected industries, women migrant workers are isolated from mainstream labour, social and health protection policies. The vulnerability of migrants, in this case women from Laos, Burma and Cambodia, is accentuated by one or more of the following reasons: inability to communicate in the dominant language, rapid changes in domestic and international migration policies, and facing discrimination on a routine basis. In addition, migration patterns of women are often affected by gendered occupational demand.
Women, Mobility and Reproductive Health materialised out of the research project "The Assessment of the Circumstances of Mobility and Reproductive Health Needs among Women Migrant Workers in Thailand". The report provides an assessment of the health conditions and mobility patterns among women migrant workers in Thailand.  Click here to download the full report. 
Amnesty International Report 2007
The Amnesty International Report 2007 documents human rights issues of concern to Amnesty International during 2006. They do not and cannot tell the whole story of all the human rights abuses committed across the world in 2006. They are representative of the cases known to Amnesty International but they do not amount to an exhaustive list. As the Death Penalty statistics illustrate, the true number of instances of abuse and denial of rights are certainly far greater than this snapshot can show. Read the full report here...

Valued Voices: A GIPA Toolkit

This is the first time, to the knowledge of Asia-Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (APN+) and the Asia-Pacific Council of AIDS Service Organisations (APCASO), that a toolkit has been produced. This toolkit is developed to assist PLHIV networks and civil society organisations to have a clear understanding of the concept of Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA) and to introduce it in their work.

GIPA is not a concept that is difficult to grasp, yet often organisations don’t seem to be willing to make the commitment to acknowledge that involving those at the core of the epidemic simply makes good sense, and brings credibility and reality to projects, activities and the organisation as a whole.

By fully utilising this GIPA toolkit it will help promote the rights and needs of people living with HIV/AIDS to ensure that their voice is heard. Empowered PLWHA should play a significant part in the response be it in lobbying governments, information, education and communication, community mobilisation or service provision, prevention, treatment care and support. Read