,  June 24, 2018

Enhancing Migrant Populations' Access to HIV and AIDS Services, Information and Support (EMPHASIS) is Committed to: Universal Access - Continuum of Prevention to Care                                                                                                                                         Promoting Women's Empowerment                                                                                                                                         Dignity and Safety of the Mobile Populations

About Us

CARE is a leading relief and development non-governmental organization fighting global poverty. In 2011, CARE worked in 84 countries, supporting 1,051 poverty-fighting projects to reach more than 122 million people. Enhancing Mobile Populations' Access to HIV and AIDS Services, Information and Support (EMPHASIS) is a 5-year initiative funded by the Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding in the United Kingdom. The programme aims to reduce the vulnerability of key mobile populations to HIV & AIDS along two mobility routes between Bangladesh/India and Nepal/India by delivering focused interventions at source, transit and destination points. The programme also aims to influence national and regional policies relating to safe mobility through evidence generated regionally. For CARE International EMPHASIS is the first regional intervention in the Asia region.

EMPHASIS Regional Secretariat is based in Nepal to provide overall programme direction, technical support and oversight of country level programme in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. Similarly EMPHASIS has a regional advisory group as a think tank that provides strategic guidance around the border discourse of migration and development. Likewise the steering committee of EMPHASIS acts as a governing mechanism to support the implementation of the project activities.

EMPHASIS strongly believes that impact populations, migrants, migrants' families, communities are strong and legitimate constituencies to inform and guide us and thus our programs in Nepal, India and Bangladesh are well connected with people and constituencies. Informed by the programs on the ground and the research outcomes, our advocacy efforts are progressively trying to connect and engage with stakeholders both at policy and grassroots levels in bringing about changes in the lives of people with a special focus to Women and Girls. With intensive research and investment on the ground, EMPHASIS has been able to produce not only a strong knowledge base with new findings around the issues of cross border migration and HIV but also trying to develop some innovative and cost effective models of program interventions.

Due to poverty, high unemployment, political instability, and lack of economic opportunities, mobility and especially cross border mobility remain as a reality in South Asia. This growing cross-border movement has increased vulnerability of mobile populations to HIV and AIDS. Social, economic and political factors in origin and destination countries influence the risk of HIV infection among international labour migrants. These include separation from spouses, families and familiar social and cultural norms, language barriers, substandard living conditions, and exploitative working conditions, including sexual violence. The resulting isolation and stress may lead migrant workers to engage in behaviours, e.g. unsafe casual or commercial sex, which increase HIV risk. This risk is exacerbated by inadequate access to HIV services and fear of being stigmatized for seeking HIV-related information or support.

EMPHASIS interventions focus on providing information and referral services to the cross border mobile population in Nepal, India and Bangladesh. Besides implementing many other activities on the ground, 'Universal Access-The Continuum of prevention, care and support; Women's Empowerment, and End violence and harassment at border and destination for the safety and dignity of mobile population' remain as the key priorities areas for EMPHASIS.

EMPHASIS is an opportunity not only as a project for CARE but as a unique platform for all the like minded government and non government agencies including UN agencies and civil society organizations in the region to join hands, enhance shared learning and work together to bring the changes in the lives of migrants and their families in South Asia.

 

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