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An integrated approach to address mobile people’s vulnerability to HIV and migration EMPHASIS experiences in a nutshell

Research reports

Written by Fiona Samuels

​HIV and AIDS continue to affect the lives of many people in Asia, including cross-border migrants – a category of most-at-risk-population that continues to be relatively neglected within HIV-related service provision. With this population in mind, the EMPHASIS project, led by CARE International UK, was set up, designed specifically to address vulnerability to HIV among migrants moving from Bangladesh and Nepal to India, with a special focus on women.

This five-year project started with a baseline survey in 2009, and has ended in 2014 with an endline survey and evaluation study to explore its impacts. Both the endline and evaluation reports indicate that EMPHASIS has been an innovative and experimental project, which has generated learning that could strengthen the global discourse on migration and development.  The Overseas Development Institute has provided research oversight to the project, producing a number of innovative studies and policy recommendations.

The key messages from this briefing demonstrate that:

  • A comprehensive and context-specific approach is required to tackle migrants’ vulnerabilities including addressing issues related to safety and dignity, rights and entitlements, as well as HIV and broader health-related challenges.
  • To maximise impact, projects targeting migrants should plan interventions at source, transit and destination with both migrants and their spouses.
  • Migration projects should include components that focus on women migrants’ specific vulnerabilities, such as harassment, violence, stigma and discrimination, as well as their vulnerability to HIV and other health problems

Mirza Manbira Sultana, Fiona Samuels and Prabodh Devkota