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Seminar on HIV and Migration held in Kathmandu Nepal
A one day seminar on HIV and Migration was held in Kathmandu on 27 October 2006 organized by NIDS in collaboration with Fredskorpset Norway. The chief guest State Minister of Ministry of Labor and transport management expressed in his remarks the commitment to give attention to the gist concluded and implement the recommendations brought by the seminar to minimize the HIV risks and vulnerabilities to the migrant workers. 75 various national and international intellectuals as well as the stakeholders from different I/N/GOs attended and contributed in the seminar.
Though around 500 people go for foreign employment everyday and an estimation of around 1.1 million Nepalese working and living in different parts of the world, the vulnerability and the risk factors associated with the migrants are being ignored. Studies have shown that migrant workers are very much vulnerable to HIV/Aids and STDs while very limited policy interventions have been taken to address the issue. In this context, the seminar was organized to open avenue for discussion on HIV and migration and evolve specific strategies to address vulnerability to HIV among the migrant populations. Specifically the objectives of the seminar were; to examine the complexities and linkages between HIV and migration, to raise the issue of HIV vulnerability among the migrant workers and to advocate for the right based policies and laws to address the vulnerability of the migrant workers to HIV.
There were six presentations presented in the seminar by different national and international researchers, scholars and personalities from organizations working on migration and HIV/AIDS which revealed the situation and facts of migration and associated risk behaviors, vulnerabilities and status of HIV/AIDS policy, findings, and recommendations.
The seminar concluded with the recommendations; the vulnerable should be properly identified, strong data system should be promoted and relevant preventive measures should be practiced which should be such that they should be taught of art of fishing rather than giving the fishes to eat, we should develop effective poverty reduction programs which can reduce migration,. Besides, the labour policy particularly of Nepal should be reviewed and revised to systematize rather than closing the doors, the Indo – Nepal border should be regulated carefully and most importantly HIV should not be taken as only a health issue and needs to develop a paradigm strategy to cope with the vulnerability. Finally the seminar was closed with the documentary on ‘HIV and Mobility’ developed by CARAM Asia.
Thank you.
NIDS- Nepal.
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