Wednesday, May 04, 2005

brazilian

i heart brazil. and not just for their tranny porn.

Brazil Refuses U.S. AIDS Funds, Rejects Conditions
Wall Street Journal - May 2, 2005
Michael M. Phillips and Matt Moffett

Brazil refused $40 million in American AIDS grants to protest the U.S. requirement that recipients first sign a pledge condemning prostitution.

Brazil's decision escalates a global fight over the moral strings President Bush and his conservative allies in Congress attach to foreign assistance, especially when it comes to sex, drugs and AIDS prevention in developing nations.

Brazil is seen by some as a model in the battle against the spread of AIDS, and Brazilian officials say that is in part because they deal in an accepting, open way with prostitutes, homosexual men, intravenous-drug users and other high-risk groups. The Brazilians say it would hobble their work if they complied with U.S. demands and forced groups that implement AIDS programs -- including prostitutes' associations -- to condemn prostitution."

We can't control [the disease] with principles that are Manichean, theological, fundamentalist and Shiite," said Pedro Chequer, director of Brazil's AIDS program and chairman of the national commission that made the decision to turn down further U.S. money as long as the antiprostitution pledge requirement remains in place. He said the commission members, including cabinet ministers, scientists, church representatives and outside activists, viewed U.S. demands as "interference that harms the Brazilian policy regarding diversity, ethical principles and human rights."

Brazil appears to be the first major recipient nation to take such a definitive stand against U.S. efforts to link billions of dollars in foreign aid to conservative responses to social ills. Some Republican lawmakers in Washington are pressing to cut off federal grants to those who don't support the president's views promoting sexual abstinence, condemning prostitution and opposing clean-needle exchanges for drug-users. Meanwhile, the White House has steered more federal money to groups that bring a religious orientation to overseas health programs.

"Obviously, Brazil has the right to act however it chooses in this regard," said Sen. Sam Brownback (R., Kan.), one of the leaders of the conservative cause on Capitol Hill. He said he hoped the money would be redirected to countries whose AIDS policies are more in line with those of the Bush administration and the Republican-controlled Congress. "We're talking about promotion of prostitution, which the majority of both the House and the Senate believe is harmful to women," he said.

Last week, Brazilian authorities wrote the U.S. Agency for International Development, one of the main distributors of official American aid, explaining the decision to reject the remainder of the grant, which began in 2003 and was to run through 2008 for a total of $48 million.

The American money was a small part of Brazil's overall anti-AIDS push. About 90% of Brazil's total funding for AIDS programs comes from its own revenue, with 7% or 8% coming from the World Bank and the rest from the U.S. and other governments. Dr. Chequer said the Brazilian government would increase its funding to make up for the lost U.S. funds.

USAID spokeswoman Roslyn Matthews said yesterday the agency is still reviewing the Brazilian decision. "This is an evolving situation," she said. "We are in the process of determining next steps.

"Prostitution isn't a crime in Brazil, and prostitutes' associations are among the most active groups engaged in anti-AIDS work. The U.S. money was to have included $190,000 for eight prostitutes' groups around Brazil, according to Gabriela Leite, coordinator of the Brazilian Network of Sex Professionals and a former prostitute. Ms. Leite said she participated in lengthy discussions with USAID to ensure that American money went only to AIDS education and prevention, and not to other prostitutes' rights issues. The result was a 50-page agreement, she said, but it broke down because her group was unwilling to condemn prostitution.

Brazil's approach to the AIDS epidemic is considered a model by some scientists and public-health specialists. The government encourages abstinence and sexual fidelity, but its prevention efforts focus more on condom education and distribution. In addition, since 1996 the country has provided free, life-extending antiretroviral drug cocktails to anyone infected with HIV.

The result is a spread of HIV far less serious than had been feared. In 1992, experts forecast 1.2 million Brazilians would carry the AIDS virus by 2002. Instead, there were an estimated 660,000 cases. World-wide almost 40 million people are thought to be infected with HIV.

"Why should we adopt a different orientation if we have been successful for more than 10 years?" asked Sonia Correa, a Brazilian AIDS activist and co-chair of the International Working Group on Sexuality and Social Policy, a global forum of researchers and activists.

The antiprostitution pledge requirement came out of two 2003 U.S. laws, one dealing with AIDS and the other with forced prostitution or sex trafficking.

*thanks jinxremoving on livejournal*

5 Comments:

Blogger Belle said...

We're talking about promotion of prostitution, which the majority of both the House and the Senate believe is harmful to women

Can I just say... I'm sick of that same old line. People throw it around as if it makes them some beacon of moral integrity. Well, I see right through it, assholes.

5/04/2005 8:19 AM  
Blogger Librarian Babe said...

Hell, abolition of abortion is harmful to women but that doesn't bother them. Being underpaid and undereducated is harmful to women (and the children they support financially) and that doesn't bother them.

5/04/2005 9:02 AM  
Blogger bikipatra said...

Brazil has a horrible human rights record when it comes to women. Men routinely kill their wives and get away with it. Truly barbaric.

5/06/2005 11:57 PM  
Blogger bikipatra said...

To clarify, before 1991, honor killings were legal. Now they are just swept under the rug. And Brazil is not really a champion of prostitute's rights. 500,000 young girls, some as young as 9 are prostitutes in Brazil. Brazil exports more prostitutes to Europe than any other country, according to the U.N. 75,000, currently are "forced" to prostitute in Europe. However, when the pedophiles of the world want to have sex with children, they come to Brazil. Pictures of child prostitutes are sent to the visitors before they arrive so their "fresh meat" is ready. In Brazil, hookers don't get to rush in and out in 20 minutes like "escorts" here- you get rented for a week or two. Doesn't sound too plush to me.

5/07/2005 12:32 AM  
Anonymous Hammer said...

Actually, there are serious efforts being made to combat child prostitution and "sexual tourism" in Brasil. Child prostitution is seen as barbaric and unacceptable by the absolute majority of the Brasilian population, and it's a very serious crime here. Travel agencies that advertise "sexual tourism" are being identified by authorities and tourists who come with that sort of "package" in mind are deported, when the police catches them.

Keep in mind that Brazil is a large country with acute differences between states, so it's dangerous to generalize about social issues like prostitution. "Honor killings" were legal in only a handful of states, but they've been outlawed for over a decade.

The "exporting prostitutes" thing also doesn't work the way Bikipatra described... the absolute majority of these young women are from poor backgrounds, and they are deceived into traveling abroad with the promise of "new lives" as maids and cooks (which would be a big step up for them, TRUST me) and only when they're in an unknown and distant land they're informed of their new "status". This is a crime, of course, and the authorities work to suppress it; but ultimately the problem is poverty, which makes the women vulnerable to the sleazebags (both Brasilians and foreigners) who promote these 'slavery' scams. The reason for Brazilian women being especially targeted for such a vile scheme probably has to do with a combination of factors: the poverty that afflicts a lot of people here, coupled with the beauty of Brasilian women (which, due to the traditional miscigenation between all races that goes on here, makes them look exotic and attractive) and the more 'liberated' approach to sexuality that is an integral part of the Brasilian culture.

I don't think anyone has ever argued that Brasil is a "champion of prostitute's rights"... the government simply refused to comply with the US government's demands to exclude prostitutes from AIDS prevention and treatment programs. That refusal is, of course, not enough to make Brazil a "champion of prostitute's rights". The Brazilian government simply refused to treat prostitutes as "second-class" citizens, as the Bush administration wanted. The prostitutes in Brazil will continue to have access to the same AIDS prevention and treatment programs that everyone else has, and it's a pity that other nations feel differently about this issue.

5/13/2005 4:30 PM  

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