Aug 13, 2009 (LBO) – Migrants are left out of current stimulus packages and HIV/AIDS programmes are under threat, according to a new United Nations study. The paper, released at the ninth International Congress on AIDS in Asia and Pacific in Bali this week, said the adverse impact of the financial crisis on health and migration is likely to expand, just as it did in the 1997 Asian crisis.
At that time currency devaluations lead to higher drug prices, donor funding declined, and government programs were cut.
The paper said that governments have stopped issuing work permits, are cracking down on undocumented migrants in Malaysia and Taiwan, and many foreign workers in manufacturing and construction are being laid off in Indonesia and China.
Also, in several countries including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore there are increasing reports of worsening working conditions.
There are increasing concerns that female migrants who lose their jobs may move into sex work to survive, the report said.
In Cambodia, for example, 70,000 garment workers, mostly female, have lost their jobs since the crisis began.
A recent study b