Slide presentation presented at the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, 20-25 July 2014 focusing on key legal and policy barriers for young key affected populations to access HIV treatment, diagnostic and prevention services.
Thanks for having me here. In 15 minutes I’m going to try to address key legal and policy barriers faced by YKAPs in accessing HIV prevention and treatment services. This presentation is based on the Technical Briefs led by the WHO and prepared by the Interagency Working Group on Key Populations, which should be available in hard copy in this room. This technical briefs provide useful background to what YKAPs face generally, and are such a useful guide for all of us working to overcome these arbitrary policies.
In a 1998 paper, Martine de Schutter said that there was a need to Define gender equity as a program goal. She also stated that in resource-limited settings, that We have to start at childhood stage and focus a lot on adolescents, because gender roles and identities are constructed and reinforced from early age on. This is precisely what this presentation is about, and I hope in 15 minutes to address the legal barriers that prevent access to HIV treatment and diagnostic services to young people. This presentation is dedicated to her and everyone else who we have lost on MH17. Now there are real problems with the involvement of young people in National HIV plans or National Strategic Plans. A 2014 UNESCO Report called In or Out? Asia-Pacific Regional Review of the Inclusion of Young Key Populations in National AIDS Strategic Plans showed that very limited analysis of young key populations within the section of the document addressing strategic information; • They are not involved in plan development; and • There are virtually no plans for future research, nor goals, targets or basic programmes for these Populations.
78 countries have criminal penalties for homosexual acts, MSM have no recourse to the police if they are the victims of sexual violence, and they face employment discrimination. For young people who sell sex, the younger they are, the higher the risk for contraction of HIV. This is evident in statistics from Kolkata in India, which finds that HIV prevalence among females who sell sex in six brothels was 8.4% among those over 20 years of age, but 27.7% among those aged 16–20.
In Malaysia, for example, cross-dressing and cross-dressing with the intention to solicit sex continue to be offences under the Shariah law. Most recently, Malaysia made headlines when 16 transgender women were arrested, had their heads forcibly shaved, and shoved in male prisons.
A lot of us are starting very small.
Legal Barriers Facing Young Key Affected Populations
LEGAL AND POLICY
FIFA RAHMAN LLB MHL (HEALTH LAW)
POLICY MANAGER, MALAYSIAN AIDS COUNCIL
INTERNATIONAL AIDS CONFERENCE, MELBOURNE
21-25 JULY 2014
“We are children whose voices are not
being heard; it is time we are taken into
account. We want a world fit for
children, because a world fit for us is a
world fit for everyone.”
UNGASS 2002 on Children
In resource-limited settings, ‘we have to start at childhood
stage and focus a lot on adolescents, because gender roles and
identities are constructed and reinforced from early age on.’
Martine de Schutter, 1998
CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF
Article 2 – Non-Discrimination
Article 3 – Best Interests of the Child
Article 5 – Capacity to make decisions regarding their own health
Article 24 – the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest
attainable standard of health and to facilities for treatment of illness
and rehabilitation of health
Article 34 - protection from all forms of exploitation and abuse
Article 37 - protective and judicial interventions be used only as a
ILO Convention No. 182, governments have a legal obligation to protect those
under 18 years of age who sell sex International Labour Organization. Convention
concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst
Forms of Child Labour (C182), 1999
NSTRUMENT_ID:312327, accessed 16 June 2014).
• Criminalisation of drug
use, sex work, cross-
dressing and same-sex
• Detention in ‘moral
rehabilitation’ for young
people who sell sex,
transgender young people
& young MSM
• mandatory reporting laws
– adults – police/social
services. Impact on
• Parental consent to
• No recourse with police.
LEGAL, POLICY & STRUCTURAL BARRIERS
“Mereka sangat kasar. Salah seorang daripada mereka memicit buah dada
saya. Saya berasa sangat malu.… Mereka melucutkan pakaian saya
sepenuhnya. Salah seorang daripada mereka mengambil baton polis dan
mencucuk kemaluan saya. Semua orang melihat saya dalam keadaan
sebegitu – lelaki-lelaki itu [pegawai-pegawai jabatan agama] selain juga
wanita. Mereka mengambil gambar bogel saya.”
“They were so rough. One of them pressed my breasts. I was humiliated…
They stripped me completely naked. One of them took a police baton and
poked my genitals. All of them saw me in that condition – the religious
department officers and also women. They took naked photos of me.”
Human Rights Watch (2014)
THE WAY FORWARD
• non-custodial alternatives to the incarceration of
young people who engage in same-sex activity, use drugs or sell sex
• Examine current consent policies to consider removing age-
related barriers and parent/guardian consent requirements
– mature minors
• Set in stone advocacy plans to overcome political conditions that are
not conducive to youth participation – HIV National
• Decriminalisation of drug use, same sex behaviour, and
• Involve young KAPs meaningfullyin the planning,
design, implementation and evaluation of services.
EASY TO SAY, BUT…
• Building close relationships with key high-level
police/politician contacts. (Study Tours)
• Get media attention for baby steps made
• Frame advocacy arguments around how it would
benefit key stakeholders – what do they like?
• Religious authorities – cross dressing. Find a
religious academic/expert to be on your side.
Frame in terms of concern of HIV/public
image of religious authorities.
• Standardised human rights violations reporting
forms, increasing trust with CBOs