Sexual health, human rights and the law

The World Health Organization has released a new report entitled "Sexual health, human rights and the law". The report demonstrates the relationship between sexual health, human rights and the law. Drawing from a review of public health evidence and extensive research into human rights law at international, regional and national levels, the report shows how states in different parts of the world can and do support sexual health through legal and other mechanisms that are consistent with human rights standards and their own human rights obligations.

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African academics challenge homophobic laws

Scientific report demolishes assertions used to back criminalization of homosexuality.

Linda Nordling

A Western import. Unnatural. Contagious. Un-African. All of these arguments and more have been invoked to support the numerous laws criminalizing homosexuality in Africa. But now African academics have used scientific evidence to argue against such laws and to urge African nations to abandon them.

In a report published on 10 June by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), the academics, most of whom are scientists, make the case that laws criminalizing homosexuality have no basis in science and hamper efforts to prevent and treat HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (see go.nature.com/q3rr4k).

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Malawi: Commercial Sex Workers Who Were Forced for HIV Test Win Case in Court

By Luke Bisani

The High Court of Malawi has today ruled that subjecting people to mandatory HIV Test is a violation of fundamental human rights such the right to equality and non-discrimination, right to dignity and right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

Justice Ivy Kamanga has ruled that Police in Mwanza violated human rights of 11 sex workers who were forced to go for HIV testing after been round up from Sangala Leisure Center.

The court has condemned the conduct of Mwanza Police Station and Mwanza Hospital personnel for subjecting women to Mandatory HIV test in 2009.

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Banning Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria - A Major Step Forward

Last week, as word spread about girls kidnapped by Boko Haram last year returning to their communities having been raped and impregnated, the Nigerian Senate passed the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill, which seeks to prohibit multiple forms of gender-based violence including economic abuse, female genital mutilation, and depriving persons of their liberty among others.

Globally, 35 percent of women have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. Violence against women and girls is a worldwide problem that crosses cultures, religions, and regions. It is not only a gross human rights violation, it is a public health epidemic and a major impediment to global development efforts to reduce poverty.

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UN Secretary-General Reiterates Commitment to Equality for LGBT People in Video and Blog Post

Submitted by Saurav Jung Thapa, Associate Director of Research, HRC Global

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) launched a video yesterday to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT).  The video is part of the United Nations Free & Equal campaign, which seeks to combat homophobia and transphobia.

Faces: can you see past the label?” is a unique two-minute video that shows real people from all over the world, who just happen to be LGBT, going about their daily lives as doctors, athletes, teachers, and other professionals.  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a prominent world leader and straight ally, joins everyone at the end of the video.

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