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Newsletter - Issue 1, 2014

Dear subscribers,

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy new year. We are pleased to share this first Newsletter Issue of 2014 containing several important developments. Perhaps most significantly, there have been a number of controversial recent anti-LGBT rulings and legislation around the world. In the same week in December, both Nigeria and Uganda adopted harsh new anti-LGBT related laws, which no doubt will have repercussions on the HIV response in those countries. Also, in December in response to the Supreme Court of India’s overruling of an earlier lower court decision to strike down an anti-sodomy law, effectively recriminalizing same sex behavior, former Commissioners of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law jointly issued a statement expressing dismay at the decision of the country’s top court. On a more positive note, in October Uzbekistan lifted all restrictions on entry, stay and residence for people living with HIV - see this UNAIDS infographic on current travel restrictions for PLHIV.

Several national and local level dialogues on HIV, human rights and the law were held in recent months, including in Brazil (November), China (December), Democratic Republic of Congo (November), and Dominican Republic (June). On 28-31 October, the first Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Judicial Dialogue on HIV and the Law was held in Nairobi. Also in October, UNDP and UNAIDS organized an information session on access to affordable medicines in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, attended by more than 30 parliamentarians. Visit our recently updated interactive map for more information on efforts by UN agencies, including UNDP and UNAIDS, in partnership with governments, civil society and international donors, to support countries in creating enabling legal environments for HIV responses and advance the findings and recommendations of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law. 

A number of key knowledge products were published this past quarter, such as: Judging the epidemic: A judicial handbook on HIV, human rights and the law (UNAIDS, 2014); Protecting the rights of key HIV-affected women and girls in health care settings: A legal scan (UNDP, SAARCLAW, WAP+, 2013); HIV and human rights manual for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (French) (UNDP, 2013); Young people and the Law in Asia and the Pacific: A review of laws and policies affecting young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health and HIV services (UNESCO, UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNDP, Youth Lead, 2013); and Compendium of Judgments for Judicial Dialogue on HIV, Human Rights and the Law in Eastern and Southern Africa (UNDP, 2013). We invite you to browse our collection of resources related to the findings and recommendations of the Commission in the new e-library feature on our website.

UNDP will soon be launching three additional significant resources directly linked to the follow up work of the Commission: Summary report of the E-discussion ‘The Global Commission on HIV and the Law – Taking the Commission’s Recommendations Forward’, which captures the responses of 80 contributors to the July-August 2013 e-discussion on the highlights, challenges and best practices in taking the Commission’s recommendations forward; National Dialogues on HIV and the Law: Practical Manual for UNDP Regional HIV Teams and Country Offices; and the practical manual on Legal Environment Assessment for HIV: An operational guide to conducting national legal, regulatory and policy assessments for HIV. The two practical manuals provide guidance on how to strengthen legal environments in countries for more effective HIV responses. The imminent launch announcements will be shared with subscribers. 

Finally, a reminder that registration and submissions for this year’s International AIDS Conference in Melbourne are now open. Visit this webpage for key dates.

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.


 

Discussion Paper on Transgender Health & Human Rights

UNDP - 8 January 2014 - UNDP's HIV, Health & Development Group is pleased to launch a Discussion Paper on Transgender Health & Human Rights prepared by Jack Byrne, an expert on trans health and human rights issues.

National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 a positive step towards HIV criminalization reform in US military

27 December 2013 - On December 26, 2013 the President of the United States Barack Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 (NDAA).

LGBTI people in Asia continue to face stigma and discrimination

UNDP, IDLO, APF - 18 December 2013 - Bangkok – Across Asia, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people continue to face rights violations because of their sexual orientation and gender identity and weak knowledge of local legal systems impact on their ability to file formal complaints, or seek justice or legal redress.

Statement on the Indian Supreme Court decision on Section 377

Commissioners of the GCHL - 16 December 2013 - On 11 December 2013, the Supreme Court of India overruled the 4-year old decision of the Delhi High Court, which had struck down India's anti-sodomy law, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

Government, academia and civil society representatives meet in Beijing to review impact of laws on country’s HIV response

UNDP China - 12 December 2013 - Representatives from government, academia and community based organisations met in Beijing this week for a consultation on HIV and the law.

CONAVIHSIDA and UNDP present the results from the National Dialogue in Dominican Republic (in Spanish)

UNDP Dominican Republic - 10 December 2013 - El Consejo Nacional para el VIH y el Sida (CONAVIHSIDA) y el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (PNUD) presentaron el Informe del Diálogo Nacional sobre VIH y Derechos, que contiene testimonios de violación a los derechos de las personas que viven con VIH en la República Dominicana.

A life of dignity for all | Mandeep Dhaliwal

UNDP - 10 December 2013 - Without a doubt there has been great progress in the AIDS response. The numbers tell us that the overall rates of new HIV infections are in decline.

South Asia Regional Advocacy Framework and Resource Guide: HIV, Human Rights and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

UNDP - 9 December 2013 - The South Asia Regional Advocacy Framework and Resource Guide was developed to assist organizations in South Asia to work together on advocacy priorities for removing the legal and policy barriers that prevent MSM and transgender people from enjoying the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, particularly in relation to access to HIV prevention, treatment and care.

National Dialogue on HIV, human rights and the law in the Democratic Republic of Congo

AFRICA FOLLOW UP |  UNDP - 27 November 2013 - The Minister of Justice and Human Rights and the Congolese Organisation of People living with HIV (UCOP+) organised on the 26 and 27 November the National Dialogue on HIV and the Law in Kinshasa with the support of UNDP, UNAIDS and PEPFAR.

Series of dialogues in Brazil culminates with a National Dialogue on HIV and the law in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro

UNDP Brazil - 27 November 2013 - As a follow up to the report of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, UNDP has launched a series of local level national dialogues on HIV and the Law in Brazil.

KELIN welcomes the judgement from the Industrial Court of Kenya sitting at Nairobi in VMK v CUEA

AFRICA FOLLOW UP |  KELIN Kenya - 26 November 2013 - The Judgement came after successful litigation by Julius Juma who is a KELIN trained pro–bono advocate. He was part of the first ever training for lawyers in Kenya on ‘HIV, Law and Human Rights ‘which took place in November, 2012 in Nairobi.

Report urges stronger legal protections for women and girls affected by HIV in health care settings

UNDP - 21 November 2013 - Bangkok – A report from four Asian countries reveals serious gaps in the legal means of protection of the rights of HIV-affected women and girls in health care settings.

Violence against LGBT community hinders health and development gains

UNDP Voices from Eurasia - 20 November 2013 - The recent attack on the office and staff of LaSky, an NGO working with Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities in St. Petersburg, Russia is a reminder of the grave challenges in ensuring that AIDS responses are free of violence, harassment and discrimination.

Impact of Laws on Youth’s Access to Sexual Health Services – Study Release

UNESCO Bangkok - 19 November 2013 - Restrictive laws and policies in Asia-Pacific are blocking young people from accessing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and HIV services, according to a new report to be released at the 11th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP’11).

Widows to be Empowered on Enforcement of their Legal Rights

AFRICA FOLLOW UP | KELIN Kenya - 19 November 2013 - Women in Kenya have in the past experienced inequality, discrimination, sexual and domestic violence which are often enshrined or condoned in custom and law.

HIV and human rights manual for the Democratic Republic of the Congo released

AFRICA FOLLOW UP |  UNDP DR Congo - 18 November 2013 - A manual on HIV and human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, entitled Le VIH/SIDA et les droits de l'homme en Republique Democratique du Congo: Manuel de formation, has been published by the UNDP DR Congo Country Office in collaboration with UNDP RSC Africa.

HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights & Health now available in Mongolian

UNDP Mongolia - 6 November 2013 - The final report of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights & Health, is now available in Mongolian language.

Judicial officers to apply the law in promoting the realization of zero discrimination against PLHIV in eastern and southern Africa

AFRICA FOLLOW UP |  KELIN Kenya - 5 November 2013 - Eminent judges and magistrates from several countries in Eastern and Southern Africa have just concluded the first judicial dialogue on HIV and the law.

HIV and the Law Dialogue Series in Brazil: criminalization of HIV transmission

UNDP Brazil - 1 November 2013 - "Prejudice and lack of knowledge regarding what AIDS is, this is the real problem", said Mr. Dani Rudnicki, brazilian lawyer, during the series of dialogues on HIV and the Law that are being held in Brazil.

Compendium of Judgment for Judicial Dialogue on HIV, Human Rights and the Law in East and Southern Africa

AFRICA FOLLOW UP |  KELIN Kenya - 29 October 2013 - HIV continues to be one of the greatest public health challenges of our time. As noted in the landmark report, The Global Commission on HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights & Health, HIV is also a crisis of law, human rights and social justice.

Judicial Officers from Eastern and Southern Africa Dialogue on HIV, Human Rights and the Law

AFRICA FOLLOW UP |  KELIN Kenya - 29 October 2013 - Over Fifty judicial officers from Botswana, Burundi, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda & Zambia will participate in a Judicial Dialogue on HIV, Human Rights and the Law that takes place from the 28th – 31st of October 2013 in Nairobi.

Myanmar Parliamentarians explore the country's right to access affordable medicines

UNDP Myanmar - 24 October 2013 - More than 30 parliamentarians in Myanmar explored how to use global mechanisms and strengthen national laws to retain Myanmar's right to access affordable medicines.

OSF Fact Sheets on the findings of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law

Open Society Foundations - 23 October 2013 - OSF has published a series of civil society briefing papers highlighting the key issues addressed in the Global Commission on HIV and the Law report.

National Reviews and Multisectoral Consultations on Policy and Legal Barriers to Effective HIV Responses

UN ESCAP - 16 October 2013 - The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has launched a new website tracking progress made on commitments made in Asia and the Pacific under the 2011 Declaration on HIV/AIDS and ESCAP resolutions 66/10 and 67/9.

Using Law to Accelerate Treatment Access in South Africa

AFRICA FOLLOW UP |  UNDP - 14 October 2013 - This study focuses on policy options available to South Africa through reform of three interrelated areas of law affecting access to HIV treatment and other essential medicines: patent, competition and medicines law.

New steps ease access for more affordable medicines

UNDP - 10 October 2013 - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has played a pivotal role in the Asia-Pacific region in addressing the needs of national governments to secure access for their citizens to affordable medicines.

First International Meeting on Human Rights and Gender Identity in Bolivia

UNDP – 8 October - On 7 and 8 October 2013 the First International Meeting on Human Rights and Gender Identity was convened in Cochabamba, Bolivia with the participation of 60 parliamentarians, government authorities from the local and national level, international donors and diplomats, as well as civil society representatives including transgender people.

Toolkit: Scaling Up HIV-related Legal Services (Spanish Language version)

IDLO - 7 October 2013 - A Spanish language version of the Toolkit: Scaling Up HIV-related Legal Services has been released.



 

Dozens Arrested for Being Gay in North Nigeria

ABC News - 13 January 2014

Judging the epidemic: A judicial handbook on HIV, human rights and the law

UNAIDS - 7 January 2014

Nigeria and Uganda adopt harsh anti-LGBT laws in same week

European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights - 20 December 2013

Health and Human Rights Organizations Applaud Supreme Court Decision Striking Down Unjust Sex Work Laws

Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network - 20 December 2013

NSWP launches global consensus statement for International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers

Network of Sex Work Projects - 16 December 2013

Supreme Court makes homosexuality a crime again

The Times of India - 12 December 2013

HRW: Cambodia: Drug Centers Detain, Abuse ‘Undesirables’

Human Rights Watch - 9 December 2013

World AIDS Day 2013 Statements from United Nations Secretary-General, UNDP Administrator and UNAIDS Executive Director

UN, UNDP, UNAIDS - 1 December 2013

WAD 2013 UNAIDS and UNDP Joint Press Release: Latin America shows encouraging trend to decriminalize HIV transmission

UNAIDS, UNDP - 1 December 2013

HIV non-disclosure laws don't work in fighting AIDS

ABC Radio Australia - 27 November 2013

HIV and adolescents: Guidance for HIV testing and counselling and care for adolescents living with HIV

WHO - 26 November 2013

Elders to be trained on the effective use of traditional forms of dispute resolution to address HIV related human rights violations against widows and children

KELIN Kenya - 25 November 2013

HRI launches new resources focused on women who inject drugs and the overlap between sex work and drug use at ICAAP 11, Bangkok, 18-22 November 2013

Harm Reduction International - 19 November 2013

Canada: Nova Scotia court acquits young man with undetectable viral load of aggravated sexual assault for HIV non-disclosure despite no condom use

HIV Justice Network - 19 November 2013

Study about stigma and discrimination faced by sex workers in health care services of Latin America and the Caribbean (in Spanish)

RedTraSex - 15 November 2013

Human Rights Groups Call For an End to Botswana Anti-Sex Work Campaign

Network of Sex Work Projects - 13 November 2013

Access to justice: evaluating law, health and human rights programmes in Kenya

Journal of the International AIDS Society - 13 November 2013

The HIV epidemic and human rights violations in Brazil

Journal of the International AIDS Society - 12 November 2013

News Release: African Commission Condemns Coerced Sterilisation of Women Living with HIV

Southern Africa Litigation Centre - 7 November 2013

Sweden: Court of Appeal acquits ‘HIV exposure’ case, recognises National Board of Health and Welfare endorsement of ‘Swiss statement’, Minister for Social Affairs will consider reviewing application of law

HIV Justice Network - 29 October 2013

New publication addresses human rights challenges in the Caribbean

UNAIDS - 23 October 2013

New film: The Time Has Come

ARC International - 22 October 2013

UNAIDS applauds Uzbekistan for removing restrictions on entry, stay and residence for people living with HIV

UNAIDS - 21 October 2013

Greek Court Failed to Uphold HIV-positive Worker's Right to Non-Discrimination, Says European Court

The Equal Rights Trust - 17 October 2013

Research at the medico-legal borderland: perspectives on HIV and criminal law

Somatosphere - 14 October 2013


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