Global Commission on HIV and the Law: Knowledge Products January 2014

Dear Colleagues,
As you know, the Global Commission on HIV and the Law issued its report, HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights and Health, in July 2012, presenting persuasive evidence and actionable recommendations which can save lives and money, while playing a transformative role in the AIDS response. Since then activities to advance the Report’s findings and  recommendations have taken place in at least 84 countries and are classified under the following activities:

  • Legal Environment Assessments or Legal Audits, including related advocacy
  • Legislative Review or Legislative Reform, including related advocacy
  • National Dialogues on HIV and the Law, including action planning
  • Human Rights Training, Capacity Strengthening, and consultations with members of the judiciary
  • Outreach to Parliamentarians, capacity development and consultation
  • Access to Justice and Legal Services, including rights based trainings for law enforcement; and
  • Community Based Advocacy on Stigma and Discrimination, including through the media and community and religious leaders.  

In support of efforts by UNDP, UNAIDS and other UN agencies, governments and civil society to take forward the Commission’s recommendations, and learning lessons countries who have undertaken follow up activities including national dialogues, legal review  and legal environment assessments, UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Group is pleased to launch the following knowledge products: 

The summary of an e-discussion “The Global Commission on HIV and the Law – Taking the Commission’s Recommendations Forward” held in June and July 2013, organized by UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Group in collaboration with the Democratic Governance Group and the Gender Team, aimed to analyze experiences in implementing the Commission’s recommendations a year after the launch of the Commission’s Report, while identifying challenges, good practices and lessons learned in addressing human rights and legal frameworks in the context of HIV.

A Practical Guidance entitled: Legal environment assessment for HIV: An operational guide to conducting national legal, regulatory and policy assessments for HIV”. The manual on Legal Environment Assessment for HIV provides UN practitioners and Joint UN teams on AIDS as well as national governments, civil society, development partners and legal   experts or advisers with guidance on how to support national efforts on reviewing laws, policies and practices pertaining to HIV. It can also be used to inform the development and  oversight of HIV programmes supported by the Global Fund. The manual offers step-by-step guidance on how to undertake a national Legal Environment Assessment, with concrete case studies, tools and resources. It is intended to assist governments, civil society and other key stakeholders to develop evidence-informed policy and strategy, to review and reform laws and policies based on human rights considerations and support increased capacity to achieve enabling legal environments for effective HIV responses.

A practical manual  entitled National Dialogues on HIV and the Law for use by UNDP regional HIV teams and country offices on the organising of national dialogues pertaining to HIV and the law. National dialogues present an opportunity to determine how the law can advance health and human rights. National Dialogues can provide an opening for frank, constructive multi-stakeholder exchanges on sensitive issues. To date, a number of these dialogues have created a unique platform from which to raise contentious issues regarding the role of the law in the AIDS response. They have also facilitated a dialogue between those who develop, interpret and enforce laws on the one hand, and those who experience their impact on the other. In addition, key stakeholders involved in National Dialogues can become vital agents who help to create legal environments that support effective HIV responses.  This manual is intended to assist UNDP managers and programme staff to support governments and civil society actors to organize a National Dialogue resulting in concrete action planning for strengthening the legal and social environment. This manual can also help the Country Dialogues being undertaken to inform the development of HIV concept notes and proposals for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It provides case studies, tools and resources to guide the national process. It draws on experiences and lessons learned from the Global Commission on HIV and the Law as well as from a number of countries who have already convened a National Dialogue.

Please disseminate these knowledge documents widely through your networks. A few sample tweets can be found below for those who would like to share the documents via the Twittersphere!

With best regards, Tenu

Summary of E-discussion: The Global Commission on HIV and the Law – Taking the Commission’s recommendations forward

National Dialogue on HIV and the Law, A Practical Manual for UNDP Regional HIV Teams and Country Offices

Practical Manual: Legal Environment Assessment for HIV, An Operational Guide to Conducting National Legal, Regulatory and Policy Assessments for HIV


Tenu Avafia
Cluster Leader: Human Rights & Governance (ai)
HIV, Health and Development Group
United Nations Development Programme
304 East 45th Street, FF-1194
New York, NY 10017

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