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 has increased this disadvantage, not only exposing women to a higher risk of infection, but also in diminishing their ability to cope with the consequences of infection and to take care of themselves and their families. Though the Constitution of Kenya 2010 has guaranteed women's rights, the enjoyment of these rights is yet to be realized for most due to patriarchal attitudes, discriminatory cultural practices, lack of awareness of their rights, limited information, inaccessibility of justice and also fear of being ostracized by their communities for attempting to enforce their rights.
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.The objectives of the manual are: (a) to give readers an idea of the link between HIV and human rights; (b) identify ways in which laws and policies can and should promote an effective response to HIV and AIDS in the DR Congo; (c) provide technical skills to advocate for human rights in general and particularly in times of armed conflict; and (d) provide guidance on ways to strengthen the human rights-based response to HIV and AIDS in DRC. The manual was piloted in a number of provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is being used to sensitise key stakeholders, including members of civil society, parliamentarians and people living with HIV, on the importance of a human rights-based approach to HIV. A key section of the publication focuses on HIV and human rights issues in post-conflict situations. The manual is targeted for use in countries with similar situations to that of the DR Congo, but could be adopted for use in other locations as well.
NAIROBI, 31st October 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. They comprehensively examinedcriminal law and its impact on the management of HIV in the region in the context of the Global Commission on HIV and Law, which identifies the law both as a positive tool for protecting the rights of persons living with HIV, and as a negative tool that can perpetuate stigma and discrimination caused by HIV.
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. This is the first dialogue to be undertaken in Africa as one of the initiatives aimed at taking forward the recommendations of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law. The workshop is organized by the Judiciary Training Institute (JTI) and KELIN in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP- Kenya) and UNAIDS.
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. In the context of recent scientific breakthroughs on HIV prevention and treatment, and the growing epidemic of inequality confounding health and development across the globe, addressing the legal and human rights barriers to effective HIV responses is as important as ever. It is increasingly recognized that protecting the human rights of people living with HIV and key populations is critical to ensuring access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support for all. Members of the judiciary play a crucial role in protecting the rights of people living with HIV, women and girls, as well as the rights of key populations. They also play an important role in ensuring that Member States meet their obligations under international human rights instruments. By interpreting normative standards and by setting important precedents, judges influence social attitudes and shape legal frameworks. In that capacity, they are critical to the realization of a human rights based legal environment for an effective HIV response.