Civil Society Participation
It was vital that the Global Commission on HIV and the Law be informed by and responded to regional, national and community experiences and perspectives. The Regional Dialogues aimed to provide an opportunity for community members to share experiences of enabling and repressive legal environments on their lives in the context of HIV, and to engage in dialogue with experts and representatives from governments and the legal community in the respective regions.
A selection process for civil society participants was developed to ensure that Regional Dialogues reflected diverse experiences and a range of perspectives from within the regions on the issues of HIV and the law concerning the Global Commission on HIV and the Law.
Civil society from the respective regions who responded to the Call for Submissions from Global Commission on HIV and the Law were eligible to be selected to participate in the Regional Dialogue.
Civil society was able to submit in written, audio or video formats and as far as possible, the Call for Submissions was disseminated in the languages common to a region. Translation support was made available at the Regional Dialogues.
A civil society representative/individual was selected if:
1. In the submission, s/he shared an experience and/or acquired knowledge that would contribute to the Commission’s understanding of the key legal and human rights issues in the context of HIV within the region, as mentioned in the Call for Submissions;
2. This experience or acquired knowledge was obtained through one of the following means:
- Direct, personal experience;
- Work with affected and vulnerable populations;
- Academic work, research or advocacy.
3. The submission contributed to a particularly critical understanding of the impact of law, law enforcement practices and/or human rights violations on:
- the epidemic in the region;
- the lives of vulnerable populations;
- the vulnerability of women and children to HIV; or
- access to HIV-related treatment.
All measures were taken to ensure confidentiality was protected and that any concerns regarding security were addressed.
Even submissions which are were selected for participation in the Regional Dialogue were made available to Commissioners and thus contributed to informing the work of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law.
The Selection Process
Selections was made by a Regional Advisory Group, comprising civil society and other stakeholders from the region. The Regional Advisory Group ensured that:
1. The selection process was fair, equitable and transparent – each submission was scored by three members of the Regional Advisory Group and then submissions were ranked based on a composite score;
2. Participation in the Regional Dialogue was balanced, paying particular attention to:
- Representation across constituencies (e.g. people living with HIV, other key populations, women’s groups, child rights groups, indigenous peoples, youth, legal academics and others with expertise related to law and treatment access, and issue-based NGOs: social justice, development, human rights, etc.);
- Representation across countries;
- Epidemic burden;
- Gender; and
3. The selection process took into account the difficulties faced by grassroots, community-based groups to produce submissions.