Newsletter - October 2014

Dear subscribers,
We are pleased to share the third Newsletter issue for 2014 containing updates on key developments on issues of HIV and the law. Below 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, this past week in Hong Kong UNDP and the Centre for Comparative and Public Law at the University of Hong Kong jointly organized a 'High-level Roundtable on Gender Identity, Rights and the Law in Asia and the Pacific'. The Roundtable focused primarily on issues associated with gender recognition and transgender people. It coincided with current debate on the issue and a planned vote in Hong Kong on the Marriage (Amendments) Bill which, if enacted, will require transgender people intending to marry to undergo sterilization surgery and genital reconstruction.
On a related matter, an interagency (OHCHR, UN Women, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO) statement was issued on 30 May, titled Eliminating forced, coercive and otherwise involuntary sterilization. It aimed to contribute to the elimination of forced, coercive and otherwise involuntary sterilization. The statement called for sterilization to only be provided with full, free and informed consent – which is not the case for some population groups in some countries, including people living HIV.

In Myanmar, a consultation was held on 19 August by UNDP, UNAIDS and International AIDS Alliance to provide input to the country’s draft intellectual property law. The consultation was organized to ensure inclusion of the views of civil society and affected communities on the draft law. Participants stressed the need for the law to have full flexibilities and safeguards set out in the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

On 5 August in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the New Partnership for Africa's Development organized a consultative meeting on development of the Model Law on Medical Products Regulation and Harmonization with experts from the African Union (AU), UNDP, World Bank, UNAIDS, WHO, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a host of other stakeholders. The gathering sought to advance development of the AU Model Law, which will bring better quality and affordable medicines for people of Africa, including life saving HIV medicines.
The controversial Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act, which threatened to set back HIV response efforts in the country, was rightfully declared void on 1 August. Former members of the Commission were among those who issued statements on the proposed law: Congresswoman Barbara Lee – “Congresswoman Lee Responds to Uganda’s HIV Discrimination Law“, and Sylvia Tamale – “Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act is Set Aside by Uganda’s Constitutional Court - A Commissioner’s Perspective."

On 16-18 July in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, UNDP organized an expert group meeting focused on the intersection of women’s rights and plural legal systems, and specifically on the rights of women affected by HIV under various configurations of plural legal systems. The meeting explored challenges encountered and lessons learned from successful, as well as unsuccessful, interventions, with an eye towards identifying common strategies for future engagement.
Over the past few months, several key publications have been released, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo National Dialogue on HIV and the Law Report and legal environment assessment reports for Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi and Seychelles
Other noteworthy recent additions to the e-library include:

Best regards

Send us your feedback! We would love to receive feedback and/or inputs on upcoming issues of the Newsletter. This can be done via email or through our social media channels: Facebook | Twitter | Vimeo | YouTube.



Infographic: Punitive laws hindering the HIV response in Asia and the Pacific

UNAIDS, AIDS Data Hub, UNODC, UNFPA, UNDP - 08 October 2014
UNAIDS, AIDS Data Hub, UNODC, UNFPA and UNDP have recently published an infographic (see below) capturing the situation of punitive laws in countries of Asia and the Pacific, as of October 2014. Read more...

High-level Roundtable on Gender Identity, Rights and the Law

UNDP - 02 October 2014
A High-level Roundtable on Gender Identity, Rights and the Law was held in Hong Kong on 2 October. Read more...

The 12th Meeting of the Network of Francophone Parliamentarians on HIV, TB and Malaria

UNDP, Network of Francophone Parliamentarians on HIV, TB and Malaria - 30 September 2014
On 29-30 September 2014, the 12th Meeting of the Network of Parliamentarians on HIV/AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria was held in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Read more...

Report calls for legal reforms to drive forward HIV response in Myanmar

UNDP, UNAIDS, Pyoe Pin - 24 September 2014
NAY PYI TAW, 24 September 2014-A national HIV legal review report, launched in Myanmar's capital Nay Pyi Taw , calls for immediate and long-term legal reform and capacity building to ensure access to health and HIV prevention and treatment services for people living with HIV (PLHIV) and key affected populations. Read more...

Engaging with parliamentarians on HIV and the law

UNDP - 21 August 2014
I have been working for several years with policy- and law-makers to support a rights-based response to HIV and contribute to stemming the tide of the epidemic. Read more...

Myanmar CSOs Provide Input to Draft Intellectual Property Law to Ensure Affordable Medicines

UNDP - 19 August 2014
Yangon - More than 60 people representing the communities affected by HIV, TB and cancer, as well as health service providers and policy makers last week participated in a consultation on Myanmar's draft intellectual property law, marking an important step ensuring that community voices are included in the new legislation. Read more...

NEPAD leads discussions on a critical law to regulate good quality and affordable medicine in Africa

NEPAD - 05 August 2014
One of the biggest policy decisions on health and medicine regulation in Africa is under discussion in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, led by the NEPAD Agency. Read more...

Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act is Set Aside by Uganda’s Constitutional Court - A Commissioner’s Perspective

Professor Sylvia Tamale - 05 August 2014
Today, I joined in breathing the collective sigh of relief heaved by LGBTI individuals and human rights activists present in the Constitutional Court when it dealt a fatal blow to the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA), declaring it null and void. Read more...

Expert group meeting on 'Gaps, traps, and opportunities: exploring access to justice and human rights for women affected by HIV in the context of plural legal systems'

UNDP - 18 July 2014
On 16-18 July 2014, UNDP organized an expert group meeting on 'Gaps, traps and opportunities: Exploring access to justice and human rights for women affected by HIV in the context of plural legal systems' in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.. Read more...

Democratic Republic of the Congo National Dialogue on HIV and the Law Report (French)

Congolese Organization of People Living with HIV, Minister of Justice and Human Rights, UNDP, UNAIDS, PEPFAR - 04 July 2014
The report of the National Dialogue on HIV and the Law for the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been released. Read more...

Legal Environment Assessment Reports for Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi and Seychelles

UNDP - 04 July 2014
While the world has witnessed recent declines in AIDS-related deaths and new HIV infections, AIDS continues to present a serious challenge to health and development in many countries. Read more...

The right to choose and refuse sterilization

UNOHCHR - 06 June 2014
Historically, involuntary sterilization, as a means of achieving genetic 'strength' and implementing population control policies, has involved serious human rights violations. Read more...

HIV legal review pushes case for reform, new laws

Myanmar Times - 13 October 2014

Media release: Consultation on Police and HIV announces Amsterdam Declaration

LEAHN - 06 October 2014

In South Africa, Sex Workers Arm Themselves with the Law

Open Society Foundations - 15 September 2014

Good intentions, bad results: How inadequate laws in Central Asia violate human rights

UNDP - 15 September 2014

Criminalization of LGBT People and Those Living With HIV Threatens Global Progress Against AIDS

The Huffington Post - 10 September 2014

Dispatches: Another Step Back for Uganda’s HIV Fight

Human Rights Watch - 09 September 2014

Gambia Passes Anti-Gay Bill Imposing Life Imprisonment For Some Same-Sex Acts

The Huffington Post - 08 September 2014

HIV Prevention Act Angers Ugandan AIDS Activists

Voice of America - 27 August 2014

International Bar Association Council Resolution on Criminal Laws - Repeal of Criminal Laws that Impose Penalties Relating to Certain Sexual Conduct

International Bar Association - 24 August 2014

Botswana to pay for all inmates' HIV drugs

Al Jazeera - 23 August 2014

Congresswoman Lee Responds to Uganda’s HIV Discrimination Law

Congresswoman Barbara Lee - 21 August 2014

Right to dignity - barriers to healthcare for transgenders

IRIN News - 14 August 2014

Uganda anti-gay law declared 'null and void' by constitutional court

The Guardian - 01 August 2014

New law in the Comoros strengthens protection for people living with HIV

UNAIDS - 24 July 2014

The political epidemiology of HIV

Journal of the International AIDS Society - 23 July 2014

The law can be an awful nuisance in the area of HIV/AIDS: Michael Kirby

The Conversation - 23 July 2014

Michael Kirby's Challenge: Intellectual Property, HIV/AIDS, and Human Rights

Medium - 22 July 2014

Defeating Discrimination and the HIV Epidemic

The Global Fund - 22 July 2014

To Protect and Serve: How Police, Sex Workers, and People Who Use Drugs Are Joining Forces to Improve Health and Human Rights

Open Society Foundations - 21 July 2014

The U.S. Department of Justice Calls on States to Eliminate or Reform Archaic HIV Criminalization Laws

The Center for HIV Law and Policy - 18 July 2014

WHO: People most at risk of HIV are not getting the health services they need

WHO - 11 July 2014

Recent judicial rulings and policy changes create a more enabling legal environment for the fight against HIV and AIDS

UN ESCAP - 04 July 2014

Outrage HIV Justice Film Festival Debuts at AIDS 2014 in Melbourne, First Ever Film Festival to Focus on HIV Criminalisation

HIV Justice Network - 30 June 2014

Williams Institute Expert Submits Statement in Legal Challenge to Russia’s Ban on “Homosexual Propaganda”

The Williams Institute - 27 June 2014

Criminal law out of step with science of HIV, advocates say

Global News - 23 June 2014

US imposes military and aid sanctions against Uganda over anti-gay law

The Guardian - 19 June 2014

Indian transgender healthcare challenges

Al Jazeera - 18 June 2014

Proposed legislation will harm sex workers and communities

Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network - 04 June 2014 

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