The workshop, “Developing Regional Guidelines on HIV and AIDS for the Informal Cross-Border Trade Sector in the SADC Region” was held from May 19 to 20 in Pretoria, South Africa. This workshop is one of the many activities that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is implementing under the Partnership on HIV/AIDS and Mobile Populations in Southern Africa (PHAMSA).
PHAMSA is a three-year (2004-2006) regional programme, managed from IOM’s regional office for Southern Africa based in Pretoria. The programme aims to reduce the HIV vulnerability of migrants and mobile populations in Southern Africa and has five project components:
Conduct qualitative and quantitative research on linkages between HIV and AIDS and mobile populations in migrant sites and migrant-sending sites;
Disseminate information on mobile populations and HIV and AIDS to relevant stakeholders through the PHAMSA website that includes an electronic literature database and a regional electronic discussion forum;
Prevention and Care Programmes
Develop HIV and AIDS prevention and care programmes in migrant sites and migrant-sending sites;
Implement advocacy programmes that increase the awareness of policy makers to HIV vulnerability of mobile populations in the SADC region by using different media channels and lobbying national governments and national AIDS councils;
Regional HIV/AIDS Guidelines
Develop regional guidelines on HIV and AIDS for sectors employing mobile workers (in the construction sector, commercial agricultural sector and informal trading sector) by organising regional workshops with stakeholders from the private sector, government, unions and experts on HIV and AIDS and migration.
The PHAMSA programme is in line with the overall objectives and strategic areas of focus of the SADC “HIV/AIDS Strategic Framework and Programme of Action - 2003-2007”. It especially contributes to the strategic areas of Policy Development and Harmonisation and Facilitating Resource Networks, which have been identified as priorities within the SADC HIV/AIDS Strategic Framework. PHAMSA is financially supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the European Union (EU) Regional Funds through the SADC Secretariat.
This workshop “Developing Regional HIV and AIDS Guidelines for the Informal Cross-Border Trade Sector in the SADC Region” is organised under the fifth component of PHAMSA. Under this component, PHAMSA is developing regional HIV and AIDS guidelines for the Commercial Agriculture, Informal Cross-Border Trade (ICBT) and Construction Sectors.
Committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits both individual migrants and society in general, IOM’s work covers all types of movement of people, regardless of the motives of migration (economic, family reunion, war, political unrest etc.), legal status (irregular migration, controlled emigration/immigration), or direction (internally and/or cross-border). In aiming to reduce the HIV vulnerabilities of migrant workers in Southern Africa, the sectors mentioned above (i.e. Commercial Agriculture, ICBT and Construction Sectors) are particularly relevant due to the high levels of population mobility involved in these sectors.
In order to develop regional HIV and AIDS guidelines for sectors employing migrant and mobile workers, IOM has produced background papers for each sector, based on desktop review, country visits and interviews with key stakeholders. These background papers form the basis for the discussions during the consultative workshops. The participants of the consultative workshops are drawn from the SADC Secretariat, relevant government ministries, the private sector, trade unions, NGOs, international organisations, research institutions, and other experts from the SADC region. The workshop recommendations will form the basis for the final guidelines, which will be available for use by different role-players (SADC, employers, governments, etc.) to develop relevant HIV and AIDS policies and interventions in the various sectors.