Monday, July 20, 2009

Canadians trying to help combat AIDS in Ukraine

This article raises the question of how much money, not to mention human suffering, could be saved if "sex tourists" from other parts of the world stayed home, or at least kept their pants zipped up whenever they are near a woman in Ukraine.

Not that it's likely to happen, of course. Just saying.

Meanwhile, until that unlikely day, people who are more responsible and caring can only do what they can to help alleviate the suffering caused by the more primitive and less progressive humans among us.

Dr. James Blanchard, director of the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Global Public Health, and Wendy Schettler, head of public health programs with Winnipeg’s International Centre for Infectious Diseases, are in Ukraine this week to help develop a model HIV/AIDS prevention program there in partnership with UNICEF. ...

A 2008 report by the World Health Organization, UNICEF and UNAIDS estimated the number of people in Ukraine living with AIDS had more than doubled since 2001 to 440,000. ...

Ukraine’s HIV epidemic was originally linked to intravenous drug use, but increasingly the infections have been transmitted through heterosexual intercourse and from pregnant mothers to their children. For female sex workers, the prevalence of HIV is 10 times the general population.

Full article here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Study on sexual exploitation of children in Canada

It is very encouraging to see government officials taking the issue of human trafficking and sexual exploitation seriously.

Here is a letter from a Manitoba MP who has an outstanding track record in working on progressive legislation:

Dear friends,

I would like to bring to your attention a study being undertaken by the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights on the sexual exploitation of children in Canada. This study is currently scheduled to be completed by March 3, 2010.

If you or your organization would like to appear as a witness or make a submission, I would encourage you to contact the clerk of the committee, Adam Thompson. His contact information is as follows:

Phone: (613)990-6160
Fax: (613) 947-2104

Mailing Address:
Senate Committee on Human Rights
The Senate of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada, K1A 0A4

Please note that witnesses will be chosen by the members of the committee’s steering committee. You can find a full list of committee members here.

I strongly believe that Canada must take significant steps to protect our children from exploitation and predators. This study is an excellent opportunity to make key policy recommendations that will result in better protection for our children.

Joy Smith, M.P.
Kildonan – St. Paul
Chair of the Standing Committee of Health

If you can take part in this study please consider making a contribution.