Newsletter - March 2015

Dear subscribers,
We are pleased to share the latest Newsletter issue for March 2015 containing updates on key developments on issues of 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. 

In a blog post to mark Zero Discrimination Day on 27 February, Mandeep Dhaliwal, Team Leader of UNDP's HIV, Health and Development Practice, called for freedom, equality and inclusion and a world that is free from stigma and discrimination. She noted that, "Intolerance is often fueled by and mirrored in harmful laws, policies and practicies" and pointed to the disproportionate harm they place on key populations such as sex workers, people who use drugs, men who have sex with men and transgender people. 

In early February in Kathmandu, Nepal, the 'South Asia Transgender and Hijra Consultation' was jointly organized by Blue Diamond Society, Asia Pacific Transgender Network and UND under the Multi-Country South Asia Global Fund HIV Programme. The discussions gave an important voice to the transgender and hijra community from across the region to articulate their struggles and to engage in constructive discussion with law and policy makers. Participants called for more evidence-informed policy and laws to improve health, living conditions and an enabling legal environment.
Also in February, the 'Strengthening Regional and National Legislative Environments to Support the Human Rights of LGBT People and Women and Girls affected by HIV and AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa' project released a Mid-Term Evaluation Report, which shares key successes and challenges of the project thus far, and serves as a knowledge sharing tool for UNDP, national government partners, donors and other stakeholders. 

In January, UN ESCAP convened the Asia Pacific Intergovernmental Meeting on HIV and AIDS in Bangkok to review progress towards commitments made by Member States to address punitive laws and practices that hinder the HIV response. The meeting produced a new regional framework of cooperation reaching beyond 2015, including measures to enhance the financial sustainability and effectiveness of HIV responses, and to ensure affordable access to life-saving medicine and diagnostics.

In December 2014 in Guatemala, UNDP launched an expansion of the Cities, HIV and Justice initiative in the country with the aim of strengthening local governance in the response to HIV and creating innovative municipal HIV policies and programmes that reach groups that are most vulnerable to HIV, namely men who have sex with men, sex workers and transgender people.

Finally, in Tbilisi, Georgia, a Regional Dialogue on HIV, Rights and Universal Access in Eastern Europe was organized to close out a joint regional project of UNDP, IDLO and 14 non-governmental organizations. The project implemented series of activities to build the capacity of non-state actors in the field of HIV and the law in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine, including develoment of a Regional HIV Legal Network that provides free legal aid.
Over the past few months, several key publications have also been released and added to the e-library, including: 

Best regards

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Zero Discrimination Day: a call for freedom, equality, and inclusion

UNDP - 27 February 2015
Zero Discrimination Day is an international call for freedom, equality and ending exclusion. Read more...

Asia and Pacific LGBTI advocates call for human rights for all

UNDP - 27 February 2015
Bangkok – A landmark regional dialogue convened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) this week in Bangkok provided a unique platform for advancing rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. Read more...

A Widow’s right to matrimonial property

UNDP - 16 February 2015
When Justine Badaru a 38 year old, resident of Kijogoro Parish, Miirya Sub County, Masindi district lost her husband to an HIV related illness, she was left with no independent source of livelihood. Read more...

Transgender and hijra activists call for improved health, living conditions and enabling legal environment

UNDP, BDS - 05 February 2015
Kathmandu, Nepal – Transgender people and hijra activists from South Asia called for more evidence-informed policy and laws to improve health, living conditions and overall well-being of their communities, at a consultation this week in Kathmandu. Read more...

Mid-term evaluation report: "Strengthening regional and national legislative environments to support the human rights of LGBT people and women and girls affected by HIV and AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa"

UNDP, USC - 04 February 2015 
A Mid-Term Evaluation report has been released on the "Strengthening Regional and National Legislative Environments to Support the Human Rights of LGBT People and Women and Girls affected by HIV and AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa" project. Read more...

Leaving no one behind in the Asia-Pacific HIV response

UNDP - 29 January 2015 
Bangkok, Thailand – Government delegates, leading civil society voices and UN partners gathered in Bangkok in late January to review progress in responding to the HIV epidemic in the Asia Pacific region. Read more...

Dialogue on Scaling Up HIV-sensitive Legal Aid Programmes in China

UNDP - 21 January 2015 
Today 30 people representing the most prominent HIV and legal organizations in China participated in a UNDP-led consultation on HIV-related legal aid services. Read more...

New UN report calls for changes to legal environment to enhance HIV response in Pakistan

UNDP - 21 January 2015
Islamabad, Pakistan – A new report, jointly released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Country Team and the National AIDS Control Programme of Pakistan, calls for adoption and revision of laws and policies to create a more effective national HIV response that will mitigate the impact of HIV and promote and protect the human rights of key populations and vulnerable groups. Read more...

Review and Consultation on the Policy and Legal Environments Related to HIV Services in Malaysia

UNDP - 09 January 2015
The United Nations Country Team in Malaysia has published a new report, entitled Review and Consultation on the Policy and Legal Environments Related to HIV Services in Malaysia. Read more...

PNUD amplia red de Ciudades, VIH y Justicia en Coatepeque y Mazatenango

UNDP - 04 December 2014
Guatemala, 4 de diciembre de 2014 - La Iniciativa Mundial Ciudades, VIH y Justicia fue acogida el día de hoy por los municipios de Coatepeque y Mazatenango con el objetivo de fortalecer su gobernabilidad local en la respuesta al VIH y de contribuir al desarrollo de capacidades de las poblaciones clave mediante la creación de políticas municipales innovadoras y programas de VIH para los grupos más vulnerables al VIH: hombres que tienen sexo con hombres, trabajadores sexuales y personas trans-género. Read more...

The Global Commission on HIV and the Law: recommendations for legal reform to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights

Reproductive Health Matters - 30 November 2014 
The Global Commission on HIV and the Law was established in 2010 to identify and analyse the complex framework of international, national, religious and customary law shaping national responses to HIV and the well-being of people living with HIV and key populations. Read more...

Amsterdam Consultation on Police and HIV report published

LEAHN - 26 November 2014
On the 4th of October 2014, a Consultation on Police and HIV was held in Amsterdam. Read more...

County Dialogues on HIV & the Law to Mark 16 days of Activism

KELIN Kenya - 23 November 2014
"Thirty years into the HIV epidemic we still have major discrimination and stigma related to HIV, as well as laws and law enforcement that drive people away from HIV services. Read more...

Conclusive Regional Dialogue on HIV, Rights and Universal Access in Eastern Europe

UNDP - 30 October 2014
On 29-30 October, 2014 a Conclusive Regional Dialogue on HIV, Rights and Universal Access in Eastern Europe was held in Tbilisi, Georgia. Read more...

The Africa Regional Judges’ Forum on HIV, Human Rights and the Law convene for two days’ deliberations at Johannesburg (Republic of South Africa) on 14–15 October, 2014

UNDP - 15 October 2014 
In Africa, the HIV epidemic has raised and continues to raise new and complex legal and human rights' issues and challenges and engagement of the Judiciary in this issue is vital. Read more...


National Coalition Releases Principles for HIV Criminal Law Reform

The Centre for HIV Law and Policy - 27 February 2015 

In 21st Century No One Should Die For Lack Of Access To Medicines, Participants At UN Forum Say

IP Watch - 23 February 2015

TRIPS In Question During Social Forum Discussion On Access To Medicines

IP Watch - 23 February 2015 

Criminal Law Not Effective Against HIV

The Namibian - 20 February 2015

UK: Law Commission Scoping Consultation Deadline this Week; Key Findings and Outputs from 'Criminalizing Contagion' Seminar Series May Help Inform the Process

HIV Justice Network - 09 February 2015 

Ban Ki-moon: Anti-sodomy laws ‘breed intolerance’

Washington Blade - 13 January 2015 

Draft amendment to HIV law passes committee review

Taipei Times - 09 January 2015 

Philadelphia Freedom: HIV and Incarceration

Huffington Post - 08 January 2015 

New Law to Combat Discrimination Against Venezuelans with HIV/AIDS - 06 January 2015 

Nigeria: Understanding the Law Protecting Persons Living With HIV, Aids

The Guardian - 06 January 2015 

Palau comes latest country to decriminalise homosexuality

The Australian - 15 December 2014 

Africa Focus: Ghana seeks law to protect HIV persons - 13 December 2014 

Inextricable links: HIV and human rights

Devex - 10 December 2014 

Discriminatory laws hinder Burundi’s response to HIV

Key Correspondents - 10 December 2014 

Middle East/North Africa HIV Rise

IRIN - 01 December 2014 

Civil Society reacts to the release of Nurse Rosemary Namubiru

ICWEA - 28 November 2014 

U.S. Issues First Response to Gambia's New 'Jail-the-Gays' Law

Advocate - 27 November 2014 

Media-Driven Stigma Continues With New HIV Criminalization Case

Huffington Post - 10 November 2014 

Positive Women: Exposing Injustice

Positive Women - 07 November 2014 

Yemen: HIV Patients Denied Health Care

Human Rights Watch - 03 November 2014 

Nepal: Draft Criminal Code prohibiting infectious disease transmission singles out people with HIV and Hepatitis B

HIV Justice Network - 03 November 2014 

News release: Namibia's highest court finds government forcibly sterilised HIV-positive women

Southern Africa Litigation Centre - 03 November 2014 

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