|Handbook for Legislators on HIV/AIDS, Law and Human Rights - Action to Combat HIV/AIDS in view of its Devastating Human, Economic and Social Impact (UNAIDS, 1999, 152 p.)|
(A) Institutional responsibilities and processes
Guideline 1: National framework
States should establish an effective national framework for their response to HIV/AIDS which ensures a coordinated, participatory, transparent and accountable approach, integrating HIV/AIDS policy and programme responsibilities, across all branches of Government.
Depending upon existing institutions, the level of the epidemic and institutional cultures, as well as the need to avoid overlapping of responsibilities, the following responses should be considered:
(a) Formation of an interministerial committee to ensure integrated development and high-level coordination of individual ministerial national action plans and to monitor and implement the further HIV/AIDS strategies, as set out below. In federal systems, an intergovernmental committee should also be established with provincial/state, as well as national representation. Each ministry should ensure that HIV/AIDS and human rights are integrated into all its relevant plans and activities, including:
· law and justice, including police and corrective services
· science and research
· employment and public service
· welfare, social security and housing
· immigration, indigenous populations, foreign affairs and development cooperation
· treasury and finance
· defence, including armed services
(b) Ensuring that an informed and ongoing forum exists for briefing, policy discussion and law reform to deepen the level of understanding of the epidemic, in which all political viewpoints can participate at national and subnational levels, e.g. by establishing parliamentary or legislative committees with representation from major and minor political parties.
(c) Formation or strengthening of advisory bodies to advise Government on legal and ethical issues, such as a legal and ethical subcommittee of the interministerial committee. Representation should consist of professional (public health, legal and educational, scientific, biomedical and social), religious and community groups, employers' and workers' organizations, NGOs and ASOs, nominees/experts and people living with HIV/AIDS.
(d) Sensitization of the judicial branch of Government, in ways consistent with judicial independence, on the legal, ethical and human rights issues related to HIV/AIDS, including through judicial education and the development of judicial materials.
(e) Ongoing interaction of government branches with United Nations Theme Groups on HIV/AIDS and other concerned international and bilateral actors to ensure that governmental responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic will continue to make the best use of assistance available from the international community. Such interaction should, inter alia, reinforce cooperation and assistance to areas related to HIV/AIDS and human rights.
Guideline 2: Supporting community partnership
States should ensure, through political and financial support, that community consultation occurs in all phases of HIV/AIDS policy design, programme implementation and evaluation and that community organizations are enabled to carry out their activities, including in the fields of ethics, law and human rights, effectively.
(a) Community representation should comprise PLWHAs, CBOs, ASOs, human rights NGOs and representatives of vulnerable groups. Formal and regular mechanisms should be established to facilitate ongoing dialogue with and input from such community representatives into HIV-related government policies and programmes. This could be established through regular reporting by community representatives to the various government, parliamentary and judicial branches described in Guideline 1, joint workshops with community representatives on policy, planning and evaluation of State responses and through mechanisms for receiving written submissions from the community.
(b) Sufficient government funding should be allocated in order to support, sustain and enhance community organizations in areas of core support, capacity-building and implementation of activities, including in areas concerning HIV-related ethics, human rights and law. Such activities might involve training seminars, workshops, networking, developing promotional and educational materials, advising clients of their human and legal rights, referring clients to relevant grievance bodies, collecting data on human rights issues and human rights advocacy.
(B) Law review, reform and support services
Guideline 3: Public health legislation
States should review and reform public health legislation to ensure that they adequately address the public health issues raised by HIV/AIDS, that their provisions applicable to casually transmitted diseases are not inappropriately applied to HIV/AIDS and that they are consistent with international human rights obligations.
Public health legislation should contain the following components:
(a) Public health law should fund and empower public health authorities to provide a comprehensive range of services for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, including relevant information and education, access to voluntary testing and counselling, STD and sexual and reproductive health services for men and women, condoms and drug treatment, services and clean injection materials, as well as adequate treatment for HIV/AIDS-related illnesses, including pain prophylaxis.
(b) Apart from surveillance testing and other unlinked testing done for epidemiological purposes, public health legislation should ensure that HIV testing of individuals should only be performed with the specific informed consent of that individual. Exceptions to voluntary testing would need specific judicial authorization, granted only after due evaluation of the important privacy and liberty considerations involved.
(c) In view of the serious nature of HIV testing and in order to maximize prevention and care, public health legislation should ensure, whenever possible, that pre- and post-test counselling is provided in all cases. With the introduction of home-testing, States should ensure quality control, maximize counselling and referral services for those who use such tests and establish legal and support services for those who are the victims of misuse of such tests by others.
(d) Public health legislation should ensure that people are not subjected to coercive measures such as isolation, detention or quarantine on the basis of their HIV status. Where the liberty of persons living with HIV is restricted due to their illegal behaviour, due process protections (e.g. notice, rights of review/appeal, fixed rather than indeterminate periods of orders and rights of representation) should be guaranteed.
(e) Public health legislation should ensure that HIV and AIDS cases reported to public health authorities for epidemiological purposes are subject to strict rules of data protection and confidentiality.
(f) Public health legislation should ensure that information related to the HIV status of an individual is protected from unauthorized collection, use or disclosure in the health-care and other settings, and that the use of HIV-related information requires informed consent.
(g) Public health legislation should authorize, but not require, that health-care professionals decide, on the basis of each individual case and ethical considerations, to inform their patients' sexual partners of the HIV status of their patient. Such a decision should only be made in accordance with the following criteria:
· the HIV-positive person in question has been thoroughly counselled
· counselling of the HIV-positive person has failed to achieve appropriate behavioural changes
· the HIV-positive person has refused to notify, or consent to the notification of his/her partner(s)
· a real risk of HIV transmission to the partner(s) exists
· the HIV-positive person is given reasonable advance notice
· the identity of the HIV-positive person is concealed from the partner(s), if this is practically possible
· follow-up is provided to ensure support to those involved, as necessary
(h) Public health legislation should ensure that the blood/tissue/organ supply is free of HIV and other blood-borne pathogens.
(i) Public health law should require the implementation of universal infection control precautions in health-care and other setting involving exposure to blood and other bodily fluids; persons working in these settings must be provided with the appropriate equipment and training to implement such precautions.
(j) Public health legislation should require that health-care workers undergo a mini-mum of ethics and/or human rights training in order to be licensed to practice and should encourage professional societies of health-care workers to develop and enforce codes of conduct based on human rights and ethics, including HIV-related issues such as confidentiality and the duty to provide treatment.
Guideline 4: Criminal laws and correctional systems
States should review and reform criminal laws and correctional systems to ensure that they are consistent with international human rights obligations and are not misused in the context of HIV/AIDS or targeted against vulnerable groups.
(a) Criminal and/or public health legislation should not include specific offences against the deliberate and intentional transmission of HIV but rather should apply general criminal offences to these exceptional cases. Such application should ensure that the elements of foreseeability, intent, causality and consent are clearly and legally established to support a guilty verdict and/or harsher penalties.
(b) Criminal law prohibiting sexual acts (including adultery, sodomy, fornication and commercial sexual encounters) between consenting adults in private should be reviewed, with the aim of repeal. In any event, they should not be allowed to impede provision of HIV/AIDS prevention and care services.
(c) With regard to adult sex work that involves no victimization, criminal law should be reviewed with the aim to decriminalize, then legally regulate occupational health and safety conditions to protect sex workers and their clients, including support for safe sex during sex work. Criminal law should not impede provision of HIV/AIDS prevention and care services to sex workers and their clients. Criminal law should ensure that children and adult sex workers who have been trafficked or otherwise coerced into sex work are protected from participation in the sex industry and are not prosecuted for such participation but rather are removed from sex work and provided with medical and psychosocial support services, including those related to HIV
(d) Criminal law should not be an impediment to measures taken by States to reduce the risk of HIV transmission among injecting drug users and to provide HIV-related care and treatment for injecting drug users. Criminal law should be reviewed to consider:
· The authorization or legalization and promotion of needle and syringe exchange programmes;
· The repeal of laws criminalizing the possession, distribution and dispensing of needles and syringes.
(e) Prison authorities should take all necessary measures, including adequate staffing, effective surveillance and appropriate disciplinary measures, to protect prisoners from rape, sexual violence and coercion. Prison authorities should also provide prisoners (and prison staff, as appropriate), with access to HIV-related prevention information, education, voluntary testing and counselling, means of prevention (condoms, bleach and clean injection equipment), treatment and care and voluntary participation in HIV-related clinical trials, as well as should ensure confidentiality, and should prohibit mandatory testing, segregation and denial of access to prison facilities, privileges and release programmes for HIV positive prisoners. Compassionate early release of prisoners living with AIDS should be considered.
Guideline 5: Antidiscrimination and protective laws
States should enact or strengthen antidiscrimination and other protective laws that protect vulnerable groups, people living with HIV/AIDS and people with disabilities from discrimination in both the public and private sectors, that will ensure privacy and confidentiality and ethics in research involving human subjects, emphasize education and conciliation and provide for speedy and effective administrative and civil remedies.
(a) General antidiscrimination laws should be enacted or revised to cover people living with asymptomatic HIV infection, people living with AIDS and those merely suspected of HIV or AIDS. Such laws should also protect groups made more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS due to the discrimination they face. Disability laws should also be enacted or revised to include HIV/AIDS in their definition of disability. Such legislation should include the following:
· The areas covered should be as broad as possible, including health care, social security, welfare benefits, employment, education, sport, accommodation, clubs, trade unions, qualifying bodies, access to transport and other services;
· Direct and indirect discrimination should be covered, as should cases where HIV/AIDS is only one of several reasons for a discriminatory act, and prohibiting HIV/AIDS vilification should also be considered;
· Independent, speedy and effective legal and/or administrative procedures for seeking redress, containing such features as fast-tracking for cases where the complainant is terminally ill, investigatory powers to address systemic cases of discrimination in policies and procedures, ability to bring cases under pseudonym and representative complaints, including the possibility of public interest organizations bringing cases on behalf of people living with HIV/AIDS;
· Exemptions for superannuation and life insurance should only relate to reasonable actuarial data, so that HIV/AIDS is not treated differently from analogous medical conditions.
(b) Traditional and customary laws which affect the status and treatment of various groups of society should be reviewed in the light of antidiscrimination laws. If necessary, these should be reformed to promote and protect human rights, so that legal remedies are made available, if such laws are misused, and information, education and community mobilization campaigns are conducted to change these laws and attitudes associated with them.
(c) General confidentiality and privacy laws should be enacted. HIV-related information on individuals should be included within definitions of personal/medical data subject to protection and should prohibit the unauthorized use and/or publication of HIV-related information on individuals. Privacy legislation should enable an individual to see his or her own records and to request amendments to ensure that such information is accurate, relevant, complete and up-to-date. An independent agency should be established to redress breaches of confidentiality. Provision should be made for professional bodies to discipline cases of breaches of confidentiality as professional misconduct under codes of conduct discussed below. Unreasonable invasion of privacy by the media could also be included as a component of professional codes governing journalists. People living with HIV/AIDS should be authorized to demand that their identity and privacy are protected in legal proceedings in which information on these matters will be raised.
(d) Laws, regulations and collective agreements should be enacted or reached so as to guarantee the following workplace rights:
· a national policy on HIV/AIDS and the workplace agreed upon in a tripartite body
· freedom from HIV screening for employment, promotion, training or benefits
· confidentiality regarding all medical information, including HIV/AIDS status
· employment security for workers living with HIV until they are no longer able to work, including reasonable alternative working arrangements
· defined safe practices for first aid and adequately equipped first-aid kits
· protection for social security and other benefits for workers living with HIV including life insurance, pension, health insurance, termination and death benefits
· adequate health care accessible in or near the workplace
· adequate supplies of condoms available free to workers at the workplace
· workers' participation in decision-making on workplace issues related to HIV/AIDS
· access to information and education programmes on HIV/AIDS, as well as to relevant counselling and appropriate referral
· protection from stigmatization and discrimination by colleagues, unions, employers and clients
· appropriate inclusion in workers' compensation legislation of the occupational transmission of HIV (e.g. needle-stick injuries), addressing such matters as the long latency period of infection, testing, counselling and confidentiality.
(e) Protective laws governing the legal and ethical protection of human participation in research, including HIV-related research, should be enacted or strengthened in relation to:
· non-discriminatory selection of participants, e.g. women, children, minorities
· informed consent
· confidentiality of personal information
· equitable access to information and benefits emanating from research
· counselling, protection from discrimination, health and support services provided during and after participation
· the establishment of local and/or national ethical review committees to ensure independent and ongoing ethical review, with participation by members of the community affected, of the research project
· approval for use of safe and efficacious pharmaceuticals, vaccines and medical devices.
(f) Antidiscrimination and protective laws should be enacted to reduce human rights violations against women in the context of HIV/AIDS, so as to reduce vulnerability of women to infection by HIV and to the impact of HIV/AIDS. In particular, laws should be reviewed and reformed to ensure equality of women regarding property and marital relations and access to employment and economic opportunity, so that discriminatory limitations are removed on rights to own and inherit property, enter into contracts and marriage, obtain credit and finance, initiate separation or divorce, equitably share assets upon divorce or separation, and retain custody of children. Laws should also be enacted to ensure women's reproductive and sexual rights, including the right of independent access to reproductive and STD health information and services and means of birth control, including safe and legal abortion and the freedom to choose among these, the right to determine number and spacing of children, the right to demand safer sex practices and the right to legal protection from sexual violence, outside and inside marriage, including legal provisions for marital rape. The age of consent to sex and marriage should be consistent for males and females and the right of women and girls to refuse marriage and sexual relations should be protected by law. The HIV status of a parent or child should not be treated any differently from any other analogous medical condition in making decisions regarding custody, fostering or adoption.
(g) Antidiscrimination and protective laws should be enacted to reduce human rights violations against children in the context of HIV/AIDS, so as to reduce the vulnerability of children to infection by HIV and to the impact of HIV/AIDS. Such laws should provide for children's access to HIV-related information, education and means of prevention inside and outside school, govern children's access to voluntary testing with consent by the child or by the parent or appointed guardian, as appropriate, should protect children against mandatory testing, particularly if orphaned by HIV/AIDS, and provide for other protections in the context of orphans, including inheritance and/or support. Such legislation should also protect children against sexual abuse, provide for their rehabilitation if abused and ensure that they are considered victims of wrongful behaviour, not subject to penalties themselves. Protection in the context of disability laws should also be ensured for children.
(h) Antidiscrimination and protective laws should be enacted to reduce human rights violations against men having sex with men, including in the context of HIV/AIDS, in order, inter alia, to reduce the vulnerability of men who have sex with men to infection by HIV and to the impact of HIV/AIDS. These measures should include providing penalties for vilification of people who engage in same-sex relationships, giving legal recognition to same-sex marriages and/or relation-ships and governing such relationships with consistent property, divorce and inheritance provisions. The age of consent to sex and marriage should be consistent for heterosexual and homosexual relationships. Laws and police practices relating to assaults against men who have sex with men should be reviewed to ensure that adequate legal protection is given in these situations.
(i) Laws and regulations that provide for restrictions on the movement or association of members of vulnerable groups in the context of HIV/AIDS should be removed in both law (decriminalized) and law enforcement.
(j) Public health, criminal and antidiscrimination legislation should prohibit mandatory HIV testing of targeted groups, including vulnerable groups.
Guideline 6: Regulation of goods, services and information
States should enact legislation to provide for the regulation of HIV-related goods, services and information, so as to ensure widespread availability of qualitative prevention measures and services, adequate HIV prevention and care information and safe and effective medication at an affordable price.
(a) Laws and/or regulations should be enacted to enable implementation of a policy of widespread provision of information about HIV/AIDS through the mass media. This information should be aimed at the general public, as well as at various vulnerable groups that may have difficulties in accessing such information. HIV/AIDS information should be effective for its designated audience and not be inappropriately subject to censorship or other broadcasting standards.
(b) Laws and/or regulations should be enacted to ensure the quality and availability of HIV tests and counselling. If home tests and/or rapid HIV test kits are permitted on the market, they should be strictly regulated to ensure quality and accuracy. The consequences of loss of epidemiological information, the lack of accompanying counselling and the risk of unauthorized uses, such as for employment or immigration, should also be addressed. Legal and social support services should be established to protect individuals from abuses arising from such testing.
(c) Legal quality control of condoms should be enforced and compliance with the International Condom Standard should be monitored in practice. Restrictions on the availability of preventive measures, such as condoms, bleach, clean needles and syringes, should be repealed and the provision of these through vending machines in appropriate locations should be considered, in the light of the increased accessibility and anonymity afforded to clients by this method of distribution.
(d) Duties, customs laws and value-added taxes should be revised so as to maximize access to safe and effective medication at an affordable price.
(e) Consumer protection laws or other relevant legislation should be enacted or strengthened to prevent fraudulent claims regarding the safety and efficacy of drugs, vaccines and medical devices, including those relating to HIV/AIDS.
Guideline 7: Legal support services
States should implement and support legal support services that will educate people affected by HIV/AIDS about their rights, provide free legal services to enforce those rights, develop expertise on HIV-related legal issues and utilize means of protection in addition to the courts, such as offices of Ministries of Justice, ombudspersons, health complaint units and human rights commissions.
States should consider the following features in establishing such services:
(a) State support for legal aid systems specializing in HIV/AIDS casework, possibly involving community legal aid centres and/or legal service services based in ASOs;
(b) State support or inducements (e.g. tax reduction) to private sector law firms to provide free pro bono services to PLWHAs in areas such as antidiscrimination and disability, health care rights (informed consent and confidentiality), property (wills, inheritance) and employment law;
(c) State support for programmes to educate, raise awareness and build self-esteem among PLWHAs concerning their rights and/or to empower them to draft and disseminate their own charters/declarations of legal and human rights; State support for production and dissemination of HIV/AIDS legal rights brochures, resource personnel directories, handbooks, practice manuals, student texts, model curricula for law courses and continuing legal education, and newsletters to encourage information exchange and networking should also be provided. Such publications could report on case law, legislative reforms, national enforcement and monitoring systems for human rights abuses;
(d) State support for HIV legal services and protection through a variety of offices, such as Ministries of Justice, procurator and other legal offices, health complaint units, ombudspersons and human rights commissions.
(C) Promotion of a Supportive and Enabling Environment
Guideline 8: Women, children and other vulnerable groups
States should, in collaboration with and through the community, promote a supportive and enabling environment for women, children and other vulnerable groups by addressing underlying prejudices and inequalities through community dialogue, specially designed social and health services and support to community groups.
(a) States should support the establishment and sustainability of community associations comprised of members of different vulnerable groups for peer education, empowerment, positive behaviour change and social support.
(b) States should support the development of adequate, accessible and effective HIV-related prevention and care education, information and services by and for vulnerable communities and should actively involve these communities in the design and implementation of these programmes.
(c) States should support the establishment of national and local forums to examine the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on women. They should be multisectoral to include government, professional, religious and community representation and leadership and examine issues such as:
· the role of women at home and in public life
· the sexual and reproductive rights of women and men, including women's ability to negotiate safer sex and make reproductive choices
· strategies for increasing educational and economic opportunities for women
· sensitizing service deliverers and improving health care and social support services for women
· the impact of religious and cultural traditions on women.
(d) States should implement the Cairo Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women. In particular, primary health services, programmes and information campaigns should contain a gender perspective. Harmful traditional practices, including violence against women, sexual abuse, exploitation, early marriage and female genital mutilation, should be eliminated. Positive measures, including formal and informal education programmes, increased work opportunities and support services, should be established.
(e) States should support women's organizations to incorporate HIV/AIDS and human rights issues into their programming.
(f) States should ensure that all women and girls of child-bearing age have access to accurate and comprehensive information and counselling about the prevention of HIV transmission and the risk of vertical transmission of HIV, as well as access to the available resources to minimize that risk, or to proceed with childbirth, if they so choose.
(g) States should ensure the access of children and adolescents to adequate health information and education, including information related to HIV/AIDS prevention and care, inside and outside school, which is tailored appropriately to age level and capacity and enables them to deal positively and responsibly with their sexuality. Such information should take into account the rights of the child to access to information, privacy, confidentiality, respect and informed consent and means of prevention, as well as the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents. Efforts to educate children about their rights should include the rights of persons, including children, living with HIV/AIDS.
(h) States should ensure that children and adolescents have adequate access to confidential sexual and reproductive health services, including HIV/AIDS information, counselling, testing and prevention measures such as condoms, and to social sup-port services if affected by HIV/AIDS. The provision of these services to children/adolescents should reflect the appropriate balance between the rights of the child/adolescent to be involved in decision-making according to his or her evolving capabilities and the rights and duties of parents/guardians for the health and well-being of the child.
(i) States should ensure that child care agencies, including adoption and foster care homes, are trained with regard to HIV-related children's issues in order to be able to take into account the special needs of HIV-affected children and protect them from mandatory testing, discrimination and abandonment.
(j) States should support the implementation of specially designed and targeted HIV prevention and care programmes for those who have less access to mainstream programmes due to language, poverty, social or legal or physical marginalization, e.g. minorities, migrants, indigenous peoples, refugees and internally displaced persons, people with disabilities, prisoners, sex workers, men having sex with men and injecting drug users.
Guideline 9: Changing discriminatory attitudes through education, training and the media
States should promote the wide and ongoing distribution of creative education, training and media programmes explicitly designed to change attitudes of discrimination and stigmatization associated with HIV/AIDS to understanding and acceptance.
(a) States should support appropriate entities, such as media groups, NGOs and networks of PLWHAs, to devise and distribute programming to promote respect for the rights and dignity of PLWHAs and members of vulnerable groups, using a broad range of media (film, theatre, television, radio, print, dramatic presentations, personal testimonies. Internet, pictures, bus posters). Such programming should not compound stereotypes about these groups but instead dispel myths and assumptions about them by depicting them as friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbours and partners. Reassurance concerning the modes of transmission of the virus and the safety of everyday social contact should be reinforced.
(b) States should encourage educational institutions (primary and secondary schools, universities and other technical or tertiary colleges, adult and continuing education), as well as trade unions and workplaces to include HIV/AIDS and human rights/non-discrimination issues in relevant curricula, such as human relation-ships, citizenship/social studies, legal studies, health care, law enforcement, family life and/or sex education, and welfare/counselling courses.
(c) States should support HIV-related human rights/ethics training/workshops for government officials, police, prison staff, politicians, as well as village, community and religious leaders and professionals.
(d) States should encourage the media and advertising industries to be sensitive to HIV/AIDS and human rights issues and to reduce sensationalism in reporting and inappropriate use of stereotypes, especially in relation to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. Included in such training should be the production of useful resources, such as handbooks containing appropriate terminology, to eliminate use of stigmatizing language and a professional code of behaviour to ensure respect for confidentiality and privacy.
(e) States should support targeted training, peer education and information exchange for PLWHA staff and volunteers of CBOs and ASOs and leaders of vulnerable groups to raise their awareness of human rights and the means to enforce them. Conversely, education and training should be provided on HIV-specific human rights issues to those working on other human rights issues.
(f) States should support the use of alternative efforts such as radio programmes or facilitated group discussions to overcome access problems for individuals who are located in remote or rural areas, illiterate, homeless or marginalized, without access to television, films and videos, and specific ethnic minority languages.
Guideline 10: Development of public and private sector standards and mechanisms for implementing these standards
States should ensure that Government and the private sector develop codes of conduct regarding HIV/AIDS issues that translate human rights principles into codes of professional responsibility and practice, with accompanying mechanisms to implement and enforce these codes.
(a) States should require or encourage professional groups, particularly health-care professionals, and other private sector industries (e.g. law, insurance) to develop and enforce their own codes of conduct addressing human rights issues in the context of HIV/AIDS. Relevant issues would include confidentiality, informed consent to testing, the duty to treat, the duty to ensure safe workplaces, reducing vulnerability and discrimination and practical remedies for breaches/misconduct.
(b) States should require individual government portfolios to articulate how HIV-related human rights standards are met in their own policies and practices, as well as in formal legislation and regulations, at all levels of service delivery. Coordination of these standards should occur in the national framework described in Guideline 1 and be publicly available, after involvement of community and professional groups in the process.
(c) States should develop or promote multisectoral mechanisms to ensure accountability. This involves the equal participation of all concerned (i.e. government agencies, industry representatives, professional associations, NGOs, consumers, service providers and service users). The common goal should be to raise standards of service, strengthen linkages and communication and assure the free flow of information.
Guideline 11: State monitoring and enforcement of human rights
States should ensure monitoring and enforcement mechanisms to guarantee HIV-related human rights, including those of people living with HIV/AIDS, their families and communities.
(a) States should collect information on human rights and HIV/AIDS and, using this information as a basis for policy and programme development and reform, report on HIV-related human rights issues to the relevant United Nations treaty bodies as part of their reporting obligations under human rights treaties.
(b) States should establish HIV/AIDS focal points in relevant government branches, including national AIDS programmes, police and correctional departments, the judiciary, government health and social service providers and the military, for monitoring HIV-related human rights abuses and facilitating access to these branches for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. Performance indicators or benchmarks showing specific compliance with human rights standards should be developed for relevant policies and programmes.
(c) States should provide political, material and human resources support to ASOs and CBOs for capacity-building in human rights standards development and monitoring. States should provide human rights NGOs with support for capacity-building in HIV-related human rights standards and monitoring.
(d) States should support the creation of independent national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, including HIV-related rights, such as human rights commissions and ombudspersons, and/or appoint HIV/AIDS ombudspersons to existing or independent human rights agencies, national legal bodies and law reform commissions.
(e) States should promote HIV-related human rights in international forums and ensure that they are integrated into the policies and programmes of international organizations, including in United Nations human rights bodies, as well as in other agencies of the United Nations system. Furthermore, States should provide intergovernmental organizations with the material and human resources required to work effectively in this field.
Guideline 12: International cooperation
States should cooperate through all relevant programmes and agencies of the United Nations system, including UNAIDS, to share knowledge and experience concerning HIV-related human rights issues, and should ensure effective mechanisms to protect human rights in the context of HIV/AIDS at the international level.
(a) The Commission on Human Rights should take note of the present Guidelines and of the report on the Second International Consultation on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights and request States to carefully consider and implement the Guidelines in their national, subnational and local responses to HIV/AIDS and human rights.
(b) The Commission on Human Rights should request human rights treaty bodies, special rapporteurs and representatives and its working groups to take note of the Guidelines and include in their activities and reports all issues arising under the Guidelines relevant to their mandates.
(c) The Commission on Human Rights should request UNAIDS, its Cosponsors (UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNDCP, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank) and other relevant United Nations bodies and agencies to integrate the promotion of the Guidelines throughout their activities.
(d) The Commission on Human Rights should appoint a special rapporteur on human rights and HIV/AIDS with the mandate, inter alia, to encourage and monitor implementation of the Guidelines by States, as well as their promotion by the United Nations system, including human rights bodies, where applicable.
(e) The Commission on Human Rights should encourage the United Nations High Commissioner/Centre for Human Rights to ensure that the Guidelines are disseminated throughout his Office and the Centre and are incorporated into all its human rights activities and programmes, particularly those involving technical cooperation, monitoring and support to human rights bodies and organs.
(f) States, in the framework of their periodic reporting obligations to United Nations treaty monitoring bodies and under regional conventions, should report on their implementation of the Guidelines and other relevant HIV/AIDS-related human rights concerns arising under the various treaties.
(g) States should ensure, at the country level, that their cooperation with UN Theme Groups on HIV/AIDS includes promotion and implementation of the Guidelines, including the mobilization of sufficient political and financial support for such implementation.
(h) States should work in collaboration with UNAIDS, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and nongovernmental and other organizations working in the field of human rights and HIV/AIDS to:
· support translation of the Guidelines into national and minority languages
· create a widely accessible mechanism for communication and coordination for sharing information on the Guidelines and HIV-related human rights
· support the development of a resource directory on international declarations/treaties, as well as policy statements and reports on HIV/AIDS and human rights, to strengthen support for the implementation of the Guidelines
· support multicultural education and advocacy projects on HIV/AIDS and human rights, including educating human rights groups on HIV/AIDS and educating HIV/AIDS service organizations and vulnerable groups on human rights issues, and strategies for monitoring and protecting human rights in the context of HIV/AIDS, using the Guidelines as an educational tool
· support the creation of a mechanism to allow existing human rights organizations and HIV/AIDS organizations to work together strategically to pro-mote and protect the human rights of people living with HIV/AIDS and those vulnerable to infection, including through implementation of the Guidelines
· support the creation of a mechanism to monitor and publicize human rights abuses in the context of HIV/AIDS
· support the development of a mechanism to mobilize grass-roots responses to HIV-related human rights and implementation of the Guidelines, including exchange programmes and training among different communities, both within and across regions
· advocate that religious and traditional leaders take up HIV-related human rights concerns and become part of the implementation of the Guidelines
· support the development of a manual that would assist human rights and AIDS service organizations in advocating for the implementation of the Guidelines
· support the identification and funding of NGOs and ASOs at country level to coordinate a national NGO response to promote the Guidelines
· support, through technical and financial assistance, national and regional NGO networking initiatives on ethics, law and human rights to enable them to disseminate the Guidelines and advocate for their implementation.
(i) States, through regional human rights mechanisms, should promote the dissemination and implementation of the Guidelines and their integration into the work of these bodies.