Creating a Movement For HIV Law Reform: Challenges & Opportunities - July 2012


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Presentation given at the XIX International AIDS Conference 2012, during the Symposia Session: "The Global Commission on HIV and the Law: A Movement for HIV Law Reform".

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Creating a Movement For HIV Law Reform: Challenges & Opportunities - July 2012

  1. 1. Risks, Rights & HealthCreating a Movement for HIV-Law Reform: Challenges & OpportunitiesDr Mandeep Dhaliwal, Emilie Pradichit, Vivek Divan,Tenu Avafia, Boyan Konstantinov & Jeffrey O’Malley HIV/AIDS Practice, UNDP
  2. 2. Key Messages
  3. 3. Key Messages1. Epidemic of bad laws is costing lives, resulting in human rights violations and fueling the spread of HIV.2. Epidemic of bad laws is wasting money & limiting effectiveness and efficiency of HIV and health investments.3. Good laws and practices that protect human rights and build on public health evidence already exist - they strengthen the global AIDS response, and they must be replicated.4. We have the science and tools to end AIDS. Bio-medical tools and behavioural approaches alone will not be enough - structural drivers like the law have an vital role to play.
  4. 4. HIV Law ReformCountries are taking action to reform/enact laws which support effective,humane and sustainable HIV responses:• In the United States, bills against the criminalisation of HIV transmission and exposure and on expanding sex education in schools have been introduced in Congress.• Finland, Norway and Denmark are reviewing public health law criminalising HIV transmission and exposure. Guyana and Fiji have altogether rejected HIV criminalisation as bad public health policy.• Law review and reform is being discussed in a range of countries, including the Cook Islands, Malawi, Moldova, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, and Ukraine.• Strategic litigation is underway – i.e.: challenge of Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law and forced sterilisation of women living with HIV in Namibia.
  5. 5. HIV Law ReformCountries are taking action to reform/enact laws which support effective,humane and sustainable HIV responses:• Judicial sensitisation on HIV and the law is underway in the Caribbean• Recent changes to municipal law in Chongqing, China, have resulted in the removal of forced labour as a form of punishment for sex workers and their clients.• The Vietnamese National Assembly adopted a provision abolishing administrative detention for sex workers.• African leaders and institutions such as the Kenyan National Human Rights Commissions are calling for the decriminalisation of sex work and homosexuality.• The Kenya High Court has recognised that intellectual property protections cannot take precedence over the right to health.
  6. 6. What will it take?• Invest in evidence and rights based laws, law enforcement and access to justice as critical enablers which increase the efficiency and effectiveness of HIV and health investments• Political leaders must move beyond rhetoric, challenge hypocrisy and deliver on their human rights and HIV commitments – “all it takes is courage” (Cardoso & Clark)• Legislators must act on evidence and apply human rights standards – they also have a role to play in educating their constituencies• Invest in strengthening capacity of legal and public health institutions• Stop state sponsored violence & community violence
  7. 7. What will it take?• Communities and civil society must build constituencies and coalitions for evidence and rights based law reform• Where cultural traditions, religious doctrine and national sovereignty result in violations human rights that hinder an effective public health response to HIV – these must be challenged• Challenge harmful social attitudes – working with religious leaders and media
  8. 8. Accountability• Countries must use the Commission’s recommendations as a blueprint for legal reviews and law reform (2011 Political Declaration)• United Nations must uphold its charter and support countries to review legal environments (2011 Political Declaration, UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board, regional mechanisms)• Civil society and communities must hold national, regional and global stakeholders to account
  9. 9. Next StepsBenin Afghanistan ArgentinaBotswana Algeria BelizeCameroon Bangladesh BelarusChad Bahrain Costa RicaCote d’Ivoire Bhutan Dominican RepublicEthiopia China El SalvadorGhana Cook Islands GuyanaKenya Fiji HondurasLiberia India JamaicaMalawi Indonesia KyrgyzstanMali Jordan KazakhstanMozambique Malaysia MacedoniaNamibia Myanmar MoldovaNiger Nepal NicaraguaSenegal Pakistan PanamaSierra Leone Papua New Guinea RussiaSouth Africa Philippines SerbiaSwaziland Samoa TajikistanTanzania Sri Lanka Trinidad & TobagoUganda Tunisia TurkeyZambia Vietnam Ukraine
  10. 10. Report (EN, FR, SP & RU) & resources available at…•