Presentation on theme: "Www.aids2014.org Defending Human Rights: Advocacy challenges for making policy changes in conservative social settings Afsar Syed Mohammad, ILO, Geneva."— Presentation transcript:
www.aids2014.org Defending Human Rights: Advocacy challenges for making policy changes in conservative social settings Afsar Syed Mohammad, ILO, Geneva Satellite: Overcoming HIV in conservative social settings Organized by OFID and International AIDS Society, 23 July 2014
www.aids2014.org What are the key advocacy challenges in conservative social settings? Bringing stakeholders out of “denial” Changing “attitudes” towards people living with HIV and key populations. Changing “norms” and discriminatory policies/punitive laws. Addressing gender dimensions. Strengthening collaboration between different stakeholders.
www.aids2014.org Story of Gita - a migrant worker from Sri Lanka Gita went to Kuwait as a domestic worker. Her passport was taken by the employer. She was sexually abused by the employer. She ran away and landed in a brothel. Finally, she could contact her brother, who helped her return home. Back home: Her husband, who had built a house with her earning, threw her out of the house. After some time she fell ill, diagnosed with HIV. Now, she is working and is on Anti Retroviral Treatment.
www.aids2014.org Gita’s is not just a one-off instance… A South African Journalist lost his job with Al Jazeera, and deported from Qatar. 40 countries currently impose some form of restriction on entry, stay and residence based on HIV status. Six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates—impose HIV-related restrictions for migrant workers.(UNAIDS) Criminalisation of key populations remains widespread. These laws and practices are discriminatory, violate human rights and impede effective HIV responses.
…the response to HIV and AIDS should be recognized as contributing to the realization of human rights… there should be no discrimination against or stigmatization of workers…on grounds of real or perceived HIV status … or the fact that they belong to segments of polulations perceived to be at greater risk of or more vulnerable to HIV infection. No worker should be required to undertake an HIV test or disclose their HIV status. HIV testing should not be required of workers, including migrant workers… …. ILO Recommendation No. 200
www.aids2014.org Objectives of advocacy in conservative social settings To protect human rights of people living with HIV and key populations and end stigma and discrimination. To change discriminatory policies, legislation and practices. To enhance the risk perception of stakeholders.
www.aids2014.org Lessons of successful advocacy efforts in conservative settings Explain - why should you address HIV and AIDS? Present human rights-based messages under the larger public health goal. Be careful in presenting the evidence. Generate knowledge to demonstrate that Punitive laws and practices hamper effective HIV responses (e.g futility of mandatory testing of migrant workers). Engage with religious leaders Partner with people living with HIV and Key populations. Present examples of successful initiatives in conservative settings.
www.aids2014.org Opportunities The AIDS Arab Strategy “Review existing policies and study the costs and the impact of travel restrictions on people living with the HIV”; The Treatment initiative in the MENA region. Replicate the success of rights-based HIV response in the post 2015 Development Agenda. Integrating HIV response in other initiatives, e.g youth employment. Implement the Call to Action, adopted in the Vienna consultation, organized by OFID and IAS in April 2014
www.aids2014.org Thank you very much firstname.lastname@example.org www.ilo.org/aids Prevent HIV, Protect Human Rights at Work