Newsletter - Issue 2, 2013

Dear subscribers,

We are delighted to share issue 2 of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law  Newsletter - Issue 2 for 2013. Since the last Newsletter was released, there have been a number of significant developments on HIV and the law some of which are briefly described below in digest format. In particular, we would like to highlight the Honduras National Dialogue on HIV and the Law that was organized on 8-9 May by the Secretary of Justice and Human Rights, the National Advisory Group, UNAIDS and civil society organizations, with support from UNDP. More than 90 participants were in attendance and delved into several matters, including discrimination experienced by key populations in the health and education sectors as well as specific challenges around abuse by law enforcement officials, and access to treatment services. A Spanish language Information Note is available by clicking here. Additionally, UNDP, the International Commission of Jurists and UNAIDS jointly convened a Judicial Dialogue on HIV, Human Rights and the Law in Bangkok from 2-4 June. UNDP launched a Compendium of Judgments: Background Material which was made available to dialogue participants. A report, entitled Legal Protections against HIV-related Human Rights Violations: Experiences and Lessons Learned from National HIV Laws in Asia and the Pacific, was also released by UNDP on 29 May. We hope the next few months will continue to bring important progress on our work on HIV and the law. 

Finally, we would like to alert you to an upcoming e-discussion organized by UNDP examining efforts to promote enabling legal environments for AIDS responses. The discussion will also explore the issues encountered by those implementing recommendations in the Report of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law. The e-discussion will take place from 27 June to 25 July and will be cross-posted on this mailing list. The discussion is open to the public - we encourage you all to participate by clicking here! More details will be available in the launch message, which will be posted shortly.

As always, we appreciate your feedback and inputs on this issue and upcoming issues of the Newsletter. This can be done via email or through our social media channels: Facebook | Twitter | Vimeo | YouTube.

Best regards

Compendium of Judgements: Background Material

Launched today at the UNDP, ICJ and UNAIDS Judicial Dialogue on HIV, Human Rights and Law in Bangkok. Read more

UNDP report on experiences and lessons learned from national HIV laws in Asia and the Pacific

Countries in Asia and the Pacific have put in place laws to provide legal protections against HIV-related human rights violations; these laws include omnibus national HIV laws, protections enshrined in national constitutions, and rights under general laws such as laws relating to employment, disability and health. Read more | Download report

Honduras: National Dialogue on HIV and the Law

Following up on the recommendations made by the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, the Secretary of Justice and Human Rights, the National Advisory Group, UNAIDS and several civil society organizations, with support from UNDP, organized a National Dialogue on HIV and the Law on 8-9 May, 2013 in Honduras. For more information, download this Information Note (in Spanish). Read more

News & Recent Developments

Supreme Court says law can’t dictate anti-AIDS groups’ speech

NEWS | 20 June 2013 
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that it is a violation of the First Amendment for the federal government to force groups to endorse the government’s views opposing prostitution in order to receive funding to combat AIDS overseas. Read more

Better Health, Better Human Rights

NEWS | 11 June 2013 
New research shows that a highly effective way to control and defeat infectious diseases like AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria is by focusing on the most vulnerable populations. Read more

WTO Members Agree On Draft Extension Of TRIPS Transition For LDCs

NEWS | 7 June 2013 
World Trade Organization members today reached a draft decision on a request put forward by least-developed countries to extend the period during which they do not have to comply with international rules of intellectual property rights protection, according to sources. Read more

Brave OAS resolution on Human Rights

NEWS | 5 June 2013 
Special Report–The 43rd General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) was held in Antigua, Guatemala, between 4th and 6th June. Read more

Asia Pacific judges discuss HIV response

NEWS | 4 June 2013 
Thirty judges from sixteen Asia Pacific nations have met in Thailand to discuss how they can create a more supportive environment for people with HIV. Read more

UNDP Conducts Capacity Building Training in the Republic of Moldova for People Living with and Affected by HIV

NEWS | 31 May 2013 
Civil society members, legal aid service providers and human rights lawyers team up to improve access to legal services. Read more

South African Commission for Gender Equality Calls for Decriminalisation and Protection of Sex Workers Rights

NEWS | 31 May 2013 
The South African Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has investigated the legislative response to sex work by examining evidence from countries where sex work has been decriminalised and by hearing the views of sex workers and other stakeholders. Read more

Right to health, right to life – high-level meeting on HIV and human rights

NEWS | 29 May 2013 
Human rights are essential for the response to HIV. "Right to health is right to life” - with this motto a high level meeting on HIV and Human Rights, organised by the EU and UNAIDS, took place in Brussels on 27-28 May. Read more

AIDS laws in Asia and the Pacific are failing to protect those most vulnerable

NEWS | 29 May 2013 
New UNDP study highlights gaps in human rights protections for people living with HIV in Asia and the Pacific. Read more

Time to Explore How to Regulate Drugs

NEWS | 20 May 2013
After more than four decades of a failed war on drugs, calls for a change in strategy are growing louder by the day. Read more

“The Riddle”: What exists in every corner of the world but remains illegal in more than 70 countries?

NEWS | 17 May 2013 
"The Riddle", a video produced by the UN Human Rights Office, asks the question, "What exists in every corner of the world – embraced and celebrated in some countries – but is illegal in 76? What is hidden for fear of public shame, imprisonment, torture or even the death penalty in seven countries?" Read more

Experts and Young People Call for Increased Respect for the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) People in Asia

NEWS | 17 May 2013 
Experts and youth from East and Southeast Asia called on the government and other authorities to protect the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people during a forum marking the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) at the University of the Philippines(UP)-Diliman. Read more

Helen Clark: Statement for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

NEWS | 17 May 2013 
Creating a safe and equal future for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Read more

Reps. Lee and Ros-Lehtinen Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Modernize Discriminatory HIV/AIDS Laws

NEWS | 7 May 2013 
Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee ( D-Calif.) was joined by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) to introduce H.R. 1843, the Repeal Existing Policies that Encourage and Allow Legal (REPEAL) HIV Discrimination ActRead more

Congresswoman Lee Issues Statement on Supreme Court Case USAID v. AOSI

NEWS | 22 April 2013 
Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee issued the following statement as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments for U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) v. Alliance for Open Society, International (AOSI). Read more

UNDP scales up focus on human rights and coordination in AIDS, TB and Malaria responses

NEWS | 7 April 2013 
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria recently launched a New Funding Model aimed at increasing strategic investments, achieving greater impact and engaging implementers and partners more effectively in responding to HIV, TB and malaria. Read more 

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