New issue brief on advancing human rights, equality and inclusive governance to end AIDS

UNDP has released a new Issue Brief, titled Advancing Human Rights, Equality and Inclusive Governance to End AIDS. The Issue Brief provides a short overview of the report of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law and a snapshot of outcomes that it has contributed to. 

Despite the significant progress in scaling up work on HIV human rights, violations and stigma remain serious barriers to better HIV and health responses. Greater focus on protecting, upholding and fulfilling the rights of people living with HIV and those most affected is essential for delivering on the pledge made by Member States in Agenda 2030 to leave no one behind.

The Global Commission on HIV and the law issued its landmark report in July 2012 and made several recommendations how the law can be used to respond to HIV in an evidence informed, rights based manner. Since the release of the Global Commission's report, UNDP, working in partnership with UN Member States, civil society, UNAIDS cosponsors, the UNAIDS Secretariat, and other partners has supported the advancement of the Commission's recommendations in at least 88 countries.

Download the Issue Brief

Vulnerable to violence: empowering women in South Sudan

It is a violation of women's rights, a major global health problem, and is experienced by approximately one in three women worldwide. Yet the fight to end violence against women is too often overlooked and underfunded. To mark International Women's Day, meet the woman working to raise awareness and get survivors the support they need in crisis-affected South Sudan.

Women and girls across South Sudan have long faced the threat of physical and sexual violence as well as early and forced marriage. The current conflict has further compounded the situation, making South Sudan a truly dangerous place to be a woman or a girl.

"Things are different now because we are in a crisis, things are not the same as they were," said Viola (32).


Do more than make some noise…

By Mandeep Dhaliwal, Director, HIV, Health and Development Group, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP

The theme of this year's Zero Discrimination Day is make some noise. Raising our voices in solidarity for compassion, diversity, equality, inclusion and tolerance is core to our common humanity. Today we renew our commitment to achieving a world free of stigma and discrimination and a world where no one is left behind.

History has taught us that noise can be a powerful tool. Today we pay tribute to the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Intersex) community, people living with HIV and their friends, lovers, family members and allies who courageously mobilized to push past the chronic indifference and fear that characterized the early days of AIDS. Their tenacious advocacy means that today we have 18.2 million people on life-saving treatment and communities continue to hold governments to account, claiming their rights to participation, non-discrimination, information, access to treatment and new prevention technologies like pre-exposure prophylaxis.

The global AIDS response has also taught us that noise alone is not enough.


Why we must fight harder for the rights of young women and girls

By Mandeep Dhaliwal

In her 2013 memoir, activist Malala Yousafzai recounts a moment that changes not only the course of her destiny but that of many other young girls across the world. On a trip in northwest Pakistan, she comes across a girl selling oranges who is unable to read or write. Disturbed by the discovery that this girl had not received an education, Malala makes a decision that she famously continues to see through: "I would do everything in my power to help educate girls just like her. This was the war I was going to fight."

This year, Human Rights Day calls on everyone to stand up for someone's rights. Malala's example is what we all need to do more of: stand up for the rights of young women and girls in health, education and beyond.


The Keystone Of The Global AIDS Response

By Helen Clark & Michel Sidibé

Clark and Sidibé explain how the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS delivers results through strategic partnerships across the AIDS response.

On World AIDS Day, we mourn the tragic loss of 1.1 million people to AIDS this year, and reiterate that we must all redouble our efforts to prevent the estimated 6000 new HIV infections which continue to occur each day. Today we gather our strength to confront new and continuing challenges, for the future of AIDS — and of UNAIDS.

We are worried about rising levels of new HIV infections in some parts of the world, and declining funding from some sources. One thing is clear: the end of AIDS is achievable, but not near. So how do we continue to deliver results for people?