Minimize the risk of HIV transmission among migrant workers and their spouses in the North Western Province of Sri Lanka

    Funding mechanism: Programme Acceleration Fund (PAF), UNAIDS

    Project budget:
    75,000 USD


    To develop a gender-based HIV prevention in the North Western Province of Sri Lanka and enhance local capacity to sustain and scale up such interventions.

Key activities

    An estimated 1 million Sri Lankan migrants are working outside of the country. The majority of labour migrants are in the 20-39 years age group (67,677 persons in 2008). Migration for employment increased rapidly from a recorded total of 14,456 in 1986 to 252,021 in 2008, among whom 49 percent were women (123,188).

    Migration and mobility are among the critical driving factors in several HIV epidemics in Asia, and tailored approaches such as those involving pre-departure HIV training alone have proven inadequate in changing behaviour. A broader approach to prevention for migrant workers tackling gender-related vulnerabilities must therefore be taken. Prevention techniques for men and women must promote gender equality and meet the overall health and well-being of women workers in particular; and address social and cultural norms which influence risk-taking behaviour, reproductive health and responsible sexual behaviour.

Key activities include:

  • A mapping exercise to identify potential barriers to project implementation;
  • Two advocacy/sensitization programs to sensitize partners to the fundamental linkage between the promotion of gender equality and HIV and AIDS;
  • A workshop to finalize the workplan of all partner organizations;
  • Capacity building of partner organizations through training sessions;
  • Education programmes for migrant workers, their spouses and youth;
  • Refresher training for trained trainers; and
  • The production of Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials.