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GIS-Linked Social Sentinel Surveillence Project

UNESCO has been working on the following activities and developed user-friendly products: 

     
  1. UNESCO GIS maps collection
  2. The HIV/AIDS animated maps
  3. Capacity-building: a partnership with TPSO Zone 10
  4. The Migrants animated maps
  5.  

 

Background

Over the past decade, the number of girls and women moving from Myanmar and China's Yunnan province into Thailand's sex industry has increased significantly. Lao PDR stands to become another supplier and transit point for entry into Thailand. In this trade of humans, minority women are disproportionately represented and vulnerable due to economic conditions, lack of rights and lack of awareness about trafficking issues. Such conditions allow trafficking networks easy access to highland communities as well as fluid, constant shifting from one spot to another to target victims. These constantly changing trafficking routes also facilitate the spread of HIV/AIDS infection, and make interventions more difficult to target. 

In order to better inform intervention programme and assess their effectiveness, UNESCO initiated the Social Sentinel Surveillance Project, a GIS-linked system connecting databases with information related to the trade in girls and women from the upper Mekong subreigon into Thailand, rates of HIV/AIDS incidence, interventions and their coverage, and the distribution of at-risk populations (migration, population in sex work), so that different trends may be discovered, recorded and mapped. 

All data generated through UNESCO research, together with data obtained from government agencies and NGOs, are incorporated into the GIS. 

 

What is GIS? 

A geographic information system, or GIS, relies on computer-based technology to produce, organize and analyze spatial information in the form of maps. GIS encompasses database management, mapping, image processing and statistical analysis tools. These tools allow users to see statistical data analyzed in relation to topographic and geographic features and administrative boundaries. 

In his article "Geographic Information Systems and the Trafficking Project" (January 2001), GIS expert Paul Box provides a comprehensive description of GIS activities in a separate set of activities. In fact, GIS is a management and planning tool that cross-cuts the activities in the Trafficking and HIV/AIDS project, mainly by linking existing data sources. 

Questions GIS will help answer: 

What is the socio-economic condition of the Upper Mekong Region today?

What has been done so far in the fields of human trafficking and HIV/AIDS interventions?

Where is outward migration predicted and actually occurring?

What types of interventions are appropriate? Where? 

How effective are the interventions?