"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. Such situations are undermining the HIV response across the world. This will only change if we make major investments in programmes to reduce such stigma and increase access to justice for those affected by HIV." Michel Sidibe, UNAIDS Executive Director, August 2011
County officials, healthcare workers, community elders, people living with HIV, members of key affected populations, law enforcement officers, and judicial officers will discuss key issues affecting People Living with HIV (PLHIV) during three dialogue forums planned for the 25 -- 28 November 2014, in Kisumu, Bungoma and Kakamega Counties, respectively.
The forums, which will take place during the 16 Days of Activism against gender violence, will be conducted by KELIN with support from various partners including the Commonwealth Foundation, UNDP Kenya & Raising Voices. The forums will provide a opportunity for policy makers and law enforcers to engage with people living with HIV and other stakeholders in order to respond to the issues they raise in a safe and moderated environment.
With the National AIDS Control Council pushing for county ownership of the HIV response, addressing the legal barriers has become more important than ever as evidenced by the findings of the study conducted by Global Commission on HIV & the Law.
The presence of all stakeholders at these forums is critical to efforts to ensure an effective, sustainable response to HIV that is consistent with human rights obligations, as one of the recommendations of the Global Commission on HIV & the Law.
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Source: KELIN Kenya
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. There is wide recognition that the judiciary can play a critical role in generating jurisprudence that can uphold the rights of people infected and affected by HIV. Responding to this, a number of Senior Judges across Africa expressed an interest in sharing experiences, challenges and new developments in HIV-related jurisprudence in order to uphold human rights, and to support and sustain judicial excellence on HIV and the law. As a result, the Africa Regional Judges' Forum on HIV, Human Rights and the Law convened their initial meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa on 14th–15th October, 2014, with support from UNDP RSC A.
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). The Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie, through its Network of Francophone Parliamentarians on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Réseau parlementaire de lutte contre le VIH/sida, la tuberculose et le paludisme), serves as a space for francophone parliamentarians to debate and share knowledge and strategies on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. It also seeks to raise awareness and promote concrete actions and activities in the continued responses to these pandemics, such as pressure for the allocation of necessary resources, the protection of human rights, the control of budgets allocation for public health and the facilitation of access to medicine.
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.
NEPAD in collaboration with African Union Commission (AUC) and Pan-African Parliament (PAP) have spearheaded the development of the AU Model Law aimed at assisting RECs and African countries to enact or review their national laws and subsequently harmonize them with regional policies.
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. The court was deciding on a petition that called for the nullification of the Act challenging several of its provisions that violated Uganda's 1995 Constitution. Among the rights under threat were those on equality, non-discrimination, privacy and dignity. But the petition also challenged the procedure of passing the law without the requisite quorum. The rules of procedure in parliament require the presence of at least one-third of MPs before any bill is voted upon, and for the Speaker to take certain steps whenever a question is raised about quorum.