Migrant Awareness Raising Sessions Held in Guyana

15 July 2014


CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana--The first of a series of training sessions intended to heighten awareness of risk factors affecting mobile and migrant populations in Guyana was held here on 24 and 25 June 2014.


The participants of these sessions include those who interface with migrant populations—healthcare workers, immigration officers, members of the police force and military, staff of key government ministries and representatives of nongovernmental organisations. Participants are provided with knowledge of cultural diversity, stigma and discrimination, human rights and migration as social determinants of health.


This activity forms part of the project undertaken by the German International Cooperation (GIZ) in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat/Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) to improve access to HIV services for mobile and migrant populations in the Caribbean. Guyana is one of the pilot countries for the project, and the training activity is being conducted in partnership with the National AIDS Programme (NAPS/ Ministry of Health) and Artists in Direct Support.


A module titled Stigma, Discrimination, Cultural Sensitivity and Human Rights Related to Health and Migration, developed by the technical experts at the IOM, is being used as a tool in these sessions. Some participants will be selected for further training on how to use the manual to conduct similar awareness and training activities in their own organisations.

Activities are expected to continue through November.

A fight for equal rights

Boys are taught that they are supposed to date, get married, have a family. Many do, but at a cost to their own personal lifestyle, as this may not be the course that they had chosen for their life.

Some of these boys go to the prom, date girls, bring them home to meet mummy and daddy, but behind the bright smiles, unbeknownst to most, these young men yearn for their secret life..


Ethics and Law

It has become common in the context of HIV policy to talk about ethics and law in the same breath. This is done for obvious reasons because the ethical dilemmas that arise are invariably played out in legal terms. Nonetheless, the blurring of the distinction between law and ethics can sometimes obscure the fact that tensions may exist between ethical imperatives and legal obligations. It is therefore worth considering the interaction between law, ethics and HIV.


The Law and HIV

So what does this mean for legal policy on HIV?
  Clearly, the law has an important impact on how the HIV epidemic is experienced in any country. This became evident very early on in the epidemic because many of the people affected, such as sex workers, gay men and drug users, were already the target of punitive legal provisions. Moreover, the fear generated by the epidemic has meant that responses relying upon punitive, restrictive models of law have been common. Dominic's case is just one example of many. .


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