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News and updates on implementation of the recommendations of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law
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Newsletter - September 2015

Dear subscribers,

We are pleased to share the latest Newsletter issue containing key developments on HIV and the law. You will find a compilation of recent news articles and stories of implementation of the recommendations of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, with links to access the items in full on our website.

Of note, the second meeting of the African Regional Judges’ Forum on HIV, Human Rights and the Law was held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 18-19 June with 23 judges representing 13 African countries. At the meeting, an online database was launched which contains HIV-related judgements, legislation, treaties, declarations, guidance and scientific information.

On 14-15 August, UNDP Kenya together with KELIN organized a dialogue on HIV, human rights and the law in Homa Bay Country, Kenya. Ms Catherine Mumma (Commissioner from the Kenyan Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution) and Justice Monica Mbaru (Kenyan High Court) were among the dignitaries in attendance. The meeting concluded with a pledge by the Homa Bay Court Users Committee to develop a strategic plan to address issues pertaining to HIV in their county.

On 29-30 June, a UNDP-convened consultation in New York with government, civil society and development partners committed to address drug control laws and policies that negatively affect human rights and public health goals, including a commitment to advocate for international guidelines on drug policy.

There was welcome news from Belarus, where in April the government confirmed the lifting of all restrictions on entry, stay and residence for people living with HIV. Singapore has also recently made positive progress by removing bans on short-term visitors to the city-state. Similarly, Ukraine removed restrictions on entry and foreign travel for people living with HIV in June. Some 36 countries continue to impose HIV-related travel restrictions, which are counter to international public health and human rights standards. 

Finally, we would like to introduce our new hub for accessing all national legal environment assessments that have been completed to date. The assessments, which adhere to a specific methodology developed by UNDP, are a direct follow up to the recommendations of the Commission and are aimed at assisting governments, civil society and other stakeholders to develop evidence-informed policy and strategy, to review and reform laws and policies based on human rights considerations, and to support increased capacity to achieve enabling legal environments for effective HIV responses. The hub also contains other related reports, such as legal reviews, legal scans, etc.

Best regards

Send us your feedback! We would love to hear from you and get your inputs on upcoming issues of the Newsletter. This can be done via email or through our social media channels (Facebook/Twitter).

Implementation of the Report

Homa Bay Court Users Committee Pledge to Develop a Strategic Plan to address Issues of HIV and AIDS in the County
UNDP, KELIN Kenya - 26 August 2015
At the end of a two day dialogue held on 14-15 August 2015, members of the Homa Bay Court Users Committee (CUC) committed to develop a strategic plan that will inform their intervention on HIV related human rights. 
Experts call for more rights based, evidence informed drug control policies
UNDP - 02 July 2015
Government, civil society representatives and development partners have committed to address drug control laws and policies that negatively affect human rights and public health goals, including a commitment to advocate for international guidelines on drug policy, at a consultation convened by UNDP's HIV, Health and Development Group in New York. 
Legal environments affecting the HIV response in South-East Asia: New report
UNDP - 29 June 2015
Bangkok – A regional review of laws in South-East Asia examines the legal environments affecting HIV responses among people living with HIV, sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who inject drugs, young people and migrants. 
2nd Meeting of the African Regional Judges' Forum on HIV, Human Rights and the Law
UNDP - 19 June 2015
The second meeting of the African Regional Judges' Forum on HIV, Human Rights and the Law was held on 18-19 June in Johannesburg, South Africa. 
Addressing the Development Dimensions of Drug Policy
UNDP - 18 June 2015
The UNDP has published a new discussion paper entitled "Addressing the Development Dimensions of Drug Policy". 
African leaders adopt experts report to end AIDS, TB and malaria by 2030
African Union - 16 June 2015
Sandton–16 June 2015: African leaders on Sunday during the statutory AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) luncheon meeting adopted the report of AIDS Watch Africa Member States Experts on AIDS, TB and Malaria. 
Engaging with National Human Rights Institutions key to advancing rights of hijra and transgender people
UNDP - 25 May 2015
DHAKA – "I was so happy and excited that day. We worked so hard and for so long for this and it was finally becoming a reality," recalled Shale Ahmed, a prominent Bangladeshi social activist and Executive Director of Bandhu Social Welfare Society (BSWS). 
UNDP and UNAIDS back efforts by least-developed countries to secure sustainable access to treatment
UNDP, UNAIDS - 21 May 2015
Geneva - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) would like to call attention to the urgent and compelling case for the international community to take all measures possible to protect the health of people living in least-developed countries (LDCs). 
Helen Clark: Statement on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
UNDP - 17 May 2015
The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia provides an opportunity to reaffirm that the rights of LGBT people are a matter of concern to all of us working on human development. 
In Europe, new hope for transgender people
UNDP - 07 May 2015
On 22 April 2015, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a Resolution on the discrimination against transgender people in Europe. 
New hope for healthcare in Kyrgyzstan
UNDP Voices from Eurasia - 20 April 2015
For over five years, I have been working for access to essential medicines. 

News

Botswana Issues Historic HIV Ruling
VOA - 27 August 2015

Jailing of gay men in Senegal poses setback to HIV fight in Africa
Reuters - 26 August 2015

Sexual health, human rights, and law
The Lancet - 22 August 2015

Global movement votes to adopt policy to protect human rights of sex workers
Amnesty International - 11 August 2015

Keeping sex workers safe
The Lancet - 08 August 2015

Prison time for HIV? It’s possible in Veracruz
El Daily Post - 06 August 2015

Ukraine lifts ban on HIV-positive visitors
AFP - 05 August 2015

ARASA launches a Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, HIV and Human Rights Advocacy Toolkit
ARASA - 03 August 2015

Policy brief: Transgender people and HIV
WHO - 21 July 2015

Ending overly broad HIV criminalization: Canadian scientists and clinicians stand for justice
JIAS - 17 July 2015

The Trans-Pacific Partnership — Is It Bad for Your Health?
NEJM - 16 July 2015

UNAIDS announces that the goal of 15 million people on life-saving HIV treatment by 2015 has been met nine months ahead of schedule
UNAIDS - 14 July 2015

Mozambique scraps colonial-era homosexuality ban
Yahoo! News - 29 June 2015

World must drastically accelerate AIDS efforts or face more HIV infections and deaths than five years ago—says UNAIDS and Lancet Commission
UNAIDS - 25 June 2015

Living in a stigmatizing country increases HIV risk for MSM in Europe
Aidsmap - 22 June 2015

Kenya HIV activists want data destroyed
BBC - 17 June 2015

Sexual health, human rights and the law
WHO - 16 June 2015

ASSAF report assesses criminalisation of sexual diversity
ASSAF - 10 June 2015

African academics challenge homophobic laws
Nature - 10 June 2015

Is Morocco about to legalize gay sex?
Gay Star News - 08 June 2015

Miriam seeks amendments to HIV/AIDS law
Phil Star 07 June 2015

Asia-Pacific countries adopt roadmap to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030
UNAIDS - 05 June 2015

International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) publish updated position statement on overly broad HIV criminalisation
HIV Justice Network - 03 June 2015

The Utility of Criminal punishment as a means of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in the SADC Region – Judicial Officer’s perspective, Hon Justice Prof. OBK Dingake
ARASA - 03 June 2015

5 Ways Harm Reduction Can Help Modernise Policing
LEAHN - 01 June 2015

Nigeria, MSM, and the law: from evidence to strategy
The Lancet - 01 June 2015

Ten Facts about HIV Non-Disclosure Legislation in Canada
BC-CfE - 29 May 2015

Australia: Victoria's HIV-specific criminal law, Section 19A, finally repealed today
HIV Justice Network - 28 May 2015

Malawi: Commercial Sex Workers Who Were Forced for HIV Test Win Case in Court
All Africa - 20 May 2015

Banning Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria - A Major Step Forward
The Huffington Post - 17 May 2015

UN Secretary-General Reiterates Commitment to Equality for LGBT People in Video and Blog Post
HRC - 15 May 2015

In The Face of Fear: the Criminalization of HIV Transmission
HRC - 15 May 2015

News Release: Zambia High Court Confirms Aquittal of HIV activist, Paul Kasankomona
ARASA - 15 May 2015

Banning gay sex is not just wrong in Africa, it leads to more HIV
Gay Star News - 13 May 2015

State-Sponsored Homophobia Report 2015
ILGA - 13 May 2015

Sex workers’ rights in Northern Ireland
Slugger O’Toole - 11 May 2015

Injecting drug users fuelling HIV/AIDS
Relief Web - 07 May 2015

Kenya: The Missing Middle - Harm Reduction in East Africa
Aidspan - 04 May 2015

Global Fund Launches Human Rights Complaints Procedure
The Global Fund - 27 April 2015

Malawi's Peter Mutharika raises marriage age
BBC - 15 April 2015

Ten Reasons to Decriminalize Sex Work
OSF - 10 April 2015

Belarus confirms it applies no restrictions on entry, stay and residence for people living with HIV
UNAIDS - 09 April 2015

Rape and HIV a common reality for young Swazi women
Al Jazeera - 07 April 2015

Dispatches: Greece Repeals Abusive Health Regulation
HRW - 02 April 2015

Kenya court urges change to law criminalizing women who pass HIV to baby
Reuters - 31 March 2015 

Recent additions to the eLibrary

International HIV/AIDS Alliance (31 August 2015). Sexual and reproductive health and rights, and HIV: 101 workshop guide.

Tagged Under: Capacity Development Toolkits
ARASA (3 August 2015). Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, HIV and Human Rights Advocacy Toolkit.

Tagged Under: Capacity Development Toolkits
WHO (July 2015). Policy brief: Transgender people and HIV.

Tagged Under: Policy And Issue Briefs
UNDP (June 2015). HIV and the Law in South-East Asia.

Tagged Under: Legal Environment Assessments Reviews And Audits
WHO (June 2015). Sexual health, human rights and the law.

Tagged Under: Research And Discussion Papers
UNDP (18 June 2015). Addressing the Development Dimensions of Drug Policy.

Tagged Under: Research And Discussion Papers
UNDP, European Union (23 February 2015). Know Your Rights, Use Your Laws.

Tagged Under: Capacity Development Toolkits
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