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CARAM eNews - Feb 2008
General Assembly, 10 Years Anniversary & IMD
The CARAM Asia network was packed with activities from 14 to 17 Dec in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. About 40 partners and secretariat  staff actively  took part in the 2nd General Assembly, CARAM Asia's Ten Years Anniversary Solidarity Dinner and the Cambodian's International Migrant's Day celebration in Phnom Penh.

During the highest decision making meeting which is the General Assembly, partners drew up two-year plans for all taskforces and various sub-regions. A new board of directors (BOD) was elected with a good mixture of fresh and old blood from the network’s BOD. The secretariat also arranged for a special session to share global, regional, national and migrant community perspectives on the topic of “Challenges to Healthcare Systems in Protecting Migrant Workers”.

As the network matured to ten years old in 2007, CARAM Asia also celebrated its 10 years anniversary. Many partners who were touched by all these years of struggle within the network conveyed their gratitude and sang with  high spirits tears and joy. Towards the end of the celebration, all CARAM Asia’s partners and staff worked together to creatively sew a “solidarity quilt” made of crafted clothes brought by the members.

Finally, CARAM Asia concluded the year shouting slogans and marching on the streets of Phnom Penh on the occasion of the International Migrant’s Day (IMD) celebration in Cambodia. The presence of activists across the region at the IMD celebration in Cambodia moulded a regional solidarity with migrant workers in Cambodia.


MSC National level IMD celebration

Migrant Service Centre (MSC) who could not make it for the regional IMD celebration in Cambodia, commemorated IMD on the official date of 18 December at their headquarters and in 15 other locations in the provinces. They organised a one day meeting with 34 representatives from migrant workers associations, a speaker from International Organisation on Migration (IOM) and another government official to examine rights denied to migrant workers. Participants also made recommendations to the Sri Lankan government. They urged the government to raise issues discussed at the “Ministerial Consultation on Overseas Employment and Contractual Labor for Countries of Origin and Destination in Asia” meeting. Read


UFDWRs: One Paid Day off
The United for Foreign Domestic Workers Rights (UFDWRs) coalition called for “One Paid Day off A week” and “Recognise Domestic Work as Work” on International Migrants’ Day (IMD), 2007 in a few countries across the region. Read the full story here
UNRTF Meet Civil Society

The United Nation Regional Task Force (UNRTF) held a meeting with civil society organisations(CSOs) from 4 to 5 December, 2007 in Vientiane, Lao PDR. The meeting organised by CARAM Asia, APN+ and Seven Sisters was attended by nine country representatives from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines and China. Read


2007 AIDS Epidemic Update
New data show global HIV prevalence—the percentage of people living with HIV—has levelled off and that the number of new infections has fallen, in part as a result of the impact of HIV programmes. However, in 2007 33.2 million (30.6 – 36.1 million) people were estimated to be living with HIV, 2.5 million (1.8 – 4.1 million) people became newly infected and 2.1 million (1.9 – 2.4 million) people died of AIDS. There were an estimated 1.7 million (1.4 – 2.4 million) new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa in 2007—a significant reduction since 2001. However, the region remains most severely affected. An estimated 22.5 million (20.9 – 24.3 million) people living with HIV, or 68% of the global total, are in sub-Saharan Africa. Eight countries in this region now account for almost one-third of all new HIV infections and AIDS deaths globally.

Since 2001, when the United Nations Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS was signed, the number of people living with HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia has increased by more than 150% from 630 000 (490 000 – 1.1 million) to 1.6 million (1.2 – 2.1 million) in 2007.

In Asia, the estimated number of people living with HIV in Vietnam has more than doubled between 2000 and 2005 and Indonesia has the fastest growing epidemic.

These findings were released by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in the report 2007 AIDS Epidemic Update. Read full report


OECD Migration Outlook 2007
International migration has jumped up the policy agenda in OECD countries. This annual publication analyses recent developments in migration movements and policies in these countries. It underlines the growing importance of inflows of highly qualified workers, temporary workers and students. It highlights the increased immigration from India, China, Eastern Europe and Africa, and confirms the tendency towards the feminisation of this movement. This edition focuses on the employment situation and the participation rate of immigrants, particularly on jobs in the services sector.

This publication also explores policies to improve the management of migration flows, especially those aiming to increase the selection of immigrant workers to respond labour market needs. Read...


Monitoring Declaration of Commitment on HIV and AIDS
In adopting the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, Member States obligated themselves to regularly report on their progress to the General Assembly. The Secretary-General charged the UNAIDS secretariat with the responsibility for developing the reporting process, accepting reports from member States on his behalf, and preparing a regular report for the General Assembly. Member States are required to submit country progress reports to the UNAIDS secretariat every two years.

In close collaboration with national governments, UNAIDS co-sponsors and development partners, the UNAIDS secretariat developed a set of core indicators for the monitoring of the Declaration of Commitment for the first round of reporting in 2003. After each subsequent reporting round these indicators have been reviewed and, if necessary, updated, based on an analysis of indicator performance in previous reporting rounds, advice from partners and programmatic developments. Read the latest guidelines on construction of core indicators here