Imagine living in a world where the law fully protects the human rights and dignity of all. In that world people living on the fringes of society – sex workers, drug users, homosexuals, transgender people, prisoners and migrants – and women and children, could safely and freely take steps to protect themselves against HIV infection and to stay healthy if they are living with HIV. They would be able to access services that benefit not only them but those that they come into contact with.
The law can protect those vulnerable to and living with HIV against abuse and harassment by the police and against discrimination by healthcare workers and employers. The law can make it possible for people at risk of HIV to access the tools they need to stay HIV-free. Likewise, the law can make it possible for people living with HIV to access life-sustaining treatment. A world in which laws support human rights for all can be a world without HIV!
To have the greatest impact, the Commission sought input from diverse civil society groups and individuals, including those working on human rights, women's and children's issues, health and development, etc. The Commission was looking to learn from the experiences and knowledge of those most affected by both disempowering and empowering laws and practices in the context of HIV. By speaking out, your experience and knowledge helped to shape the Commission's thinking and recommendations and influence the HIV response in your region.
By responding to regional calls for submissions, submissions were requested to address the areas of work of the Commission:
(1) Laws and practices that effectively criminalise people living with HIV and vulnerable to HIV;
(2) Laws and practices that mitigate or sustain violence and discrimination as lived by women;
(3) Laws and practices that facilitate or impede HIV-related treatment access; and
(4) Issues of law and HIV pertaining to children.
>To have an idea of what a submission could look like, please click on the following samples: