LEGAL AND POLICY
CONSIDERATIONS
IN REACHING
YOUNG KEY
POPULATIONS
FIFA RAHMAN LLB MHL (HEALTH LAW)
POLICY MANAGER, MALAYSI...
“We are children whose voices are not
being heard; it is time we are taken into
account. We want a world fit for
children,...
CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF
THE CHILD
Article 2 – Non-Discrimination
Article 3 – Best Interests of the Child
Article 5 – C...
• Criminalisation of drug
use, sex work, cross-
dressing and same-sex
behaviour
• Detention in ‘moral
rehabilitation’ for ...
“Mereka sangat kasar. Salah seorang daripada mereka memicit buah dada
saya. Saya berasa sangat malu.… Mereka melucutkan pa...
THE WAY FORWARD
• non-custodial alternatives to the incarceration of
young people who engage in same-sex activity, use dru...
EASY TO SAY, BUT…
• Building close relationships with key high-level
police/politician contacts. (Study Tours)
• Get media...
CONTACT DETAILS
Fifa Rahman
Twitter: @fifarahman
Email: fifarahman@outlook.com
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Legal Barriers Facing Young Key Affected Populations

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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.

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  • 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

    1. 1. LEGAL AND POLICY CONSIDERATIONS IN REACHING YOUNG KEY POPULATIONS FIFA RAHMAN LLB MHL (HEALTH LAW) POLICY MANAGER, MALAYSIAN AIDS COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL AIDS CONFERENCE, MELBOURNE 21-25 JULY 2014
    2. 2. “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
    3. 3. CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD 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 last resort 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 (http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:12100:0::NO::P12100_I NSTRUMENT_ID:312327, accessed 16 June 2014).
    4. 4. • Criminalisation of drug use, sex work, cross- dressing and same-sex behaviour • Detention in ‘moral rehabilitation’ for young people who sell sex, transgender young people & young MSM • mandatory reporting laws – adults – police/social services. Impact on health access • Parental consent to access services • No recourse with police. LEGAL, POLICY & STRUCTURAL BARRIERS
    5. 5. “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) http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/related_material/Malaysia%20M ahkamah%20akan%20memutuskan%20Hak%20Golongan%20Transgende r.pdf
    6. 6. 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 Strategic Plans • Decriminalisation of drug use, same sex behaviour, and sex work • Involve young KAPs meaningfullyin the planning, design, implementation and evaluation of services.
    7. 7. 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
    8. 8. CONTACT DETAILS Fifa Rahman Twitter: @fifarahman Email: fifarahman@outlook.com

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