the characteristics of the mobile population, the context in which it occurs and the behaviour of the movers influence the prospect of HIV infection but this is not highlighted;
groups with a higher risk of HIV infection have not yet been identified in China and Mongolia;
refugees and highly mobile groups, such as traders, trucker drivers, have received barely any attention from researchers in these countries for political or social reasons;
there has been little research into the behaviour of migrants, using the Behavioural Sentinel Surveillance5 or a similar system;
geographic locations that are potential ‘hot spots’ for the contraction of HIV/AIDS are emerging and need to be mapped and investigated, but such research has not been a priority for governments;
national capacity for preventing or alleviating an HIV/AIDS epidemic is very varied and some states are totally unprepared or unwilling to allocate the resources required;
there is no collaboration or regional mechanisms for inter-state activity to address the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Given this situation it has been very difficult for domestic researchers to work on these issues and on some groups of migrants. It has often been the international organizations and NGOs that have prompted and funded such research and programs. The situation with HIV/AIDS has introduced an element of urgency and alarm and has enabled outsiders to urge the Chinese government, in particular, to begin to focus on the situation facing many internal migrants. It has not yet turned its attention to vulnerable international migrants. The last five years has seen a rise in interest demonstrated by the Mongolian government but much still remains to be done and the limited resources make research and policy development difficult.
Aurenqi 2000, ‘Current Situation and Future Development of Inner Mongolia-Mongolia Trading’, Northeast Asia Forum, 11.
China Tourism 2002, The Yearbook of China Tourism, China Tourism Press.
Cui, S., Lu, C., and Cui, Y. 2002, ‘Surveillance and analyze of HIV infection cases among drug users in Yanbian’, Chinese Journal of STD/AIDS Prevention and Control, 4: 223.
Good Friends (ed.) 1999, The Realities of North Korean Food Refugees and Their Human Rights, Seoul: Jungto Press (in Korean).
International Family Planning Federation 2002, Annual Report of Asia and Oceania, , accessed on 15 September 2003.
5 Behavioural Sentinel Surveillance approach involves locating and mapping areas where migrant workers gather, select a random sample and conduct structured and in-depth interviews using trained interviewers (Hugo, 2001).