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Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GBC) Releases New Paper on the Link between AIDS and Terrorism

Submitted by: GBCHealth

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions

Posted: Jan 25, 2005 – 11:00 PM EST


Jan. 25 /CSRwire/ - DAVOS--The Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GBC), the pre-eminent organization leading the business fight against AIDS, released a discussion paper today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that paints a disturbing picture of the link between AIDS and terrorism in Africa.

"AIDS, Economics and Terrorism in Africa" examines the economic and social impact of the AIDS virus in Southern Africa, where over 20 million people have been killed by AIDS. The paper highlights not only the economic impact of the disease, but also the link between mass-orphaning and terrorist recruitment.

"Afghanistan was a perfect place for Al Qaeda to recruit and train because the government and the economy failed and fundamentalists took over" said Trevor Neilson, Executive Director of the GBC and lead author. "Because of the devastating impact of AIDS, there are a number of countries in Africa that are perfect places for terrorists to recruit, train and thrive," Neilson added.

"AIDS, Economics and Terrorism in Africa" analyzes the link between the 12 million AIDS orphans that now live in Africa, and the long tradition of using child soldiers for non-traditional warfare and terrorism on the continent. By linking the use of child soldiers in conflicts in Africa with the use of children as suicide bombers by Islamic fundamentalist groups, the paper argues that the AIDS orphan issue should not be seen as just another "humanitarian" issue, but rather as a legitimate security concern.

The paper cites research undertaken by groups like Amnesty International that have documented cases where children have been forced to kill civilians and engage in actions meant to terrify the civilian population through rape, mutilation and cannibalism.

"There are 12 million children in Africa who do not have adults in their lives to protect them from exploitation. These children can easily be manipulated and groomed to become terrorists and criminals if nothing is done to help them," said Neilson. "Children have been used to commit terrible acts of violence in Uganda, Congo, Sierra Leone and many other countries in Africa. We have called them 'child soldiers,' but the reality is that they have been forced to become terrorists."

About The Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GBC)

The Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GBC) is the pre-eminent organization leading the business fight against HIV/AIDS. The rapidly-expanding alliance of over 170 international companies is dedicated to combating the AIDS epidemic through the business sector's unique skills and expertise. The mission of the GBC is to harness the power of the global business community to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic. For more information, please visit the GBC website at www.businessfightsaids.org, the leading global resource of company AIDS programs and hub of information relevant to business concerned about AIDS.

About the Author

Trevor Neilson is the Executive Director of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GBC). He formed DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) with Bill Gates, Bono and George Soros and serves on the organization's founding Board of Directors. He is also a delegate to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria Board of Directors representing the private sector and serves on the International Advisory Board of the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and the Global HIV/AIDS Prevention Working Group.

Trevor was recently announced as one of the World Economic Forum's "Young Global Leaders," and is also a Lyndon Johnson Congressional Scholar. Neilson regularly appears in international newspapers, magazines and on broadcast networks including CNN, and the BBC. He is the author of a number of reports and publications and serves on advisory committees to Columbia University, the World Health Organization, the World Economic Forum and the World Association for Children and Parents.

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Phone: +1-212-698-2131

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