Legal protections against HIV-related human rights violations: Experiences and lessons learned from national HIV laws in Asia and the Pacific23 May 2013
Increasingly, countries in the Asia-Pacific region have put in place HIV laws to provide legal protections for people living with HIV. In a follow-up to the report of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, Legal Protections against HIV-related Human Rights Violations: Experiences and Lessons Learned from National HIV Laws in Asia and the Pacific systematically examines for the first time how these laws have been used and enforced to address rights violations. The report highlights gaps in laws and law enforcement practices. It identifies gaps that exist between ‘laws on the books’ and ‘laws on the streets’. In some countries good laws are in place, but people living with HIV still confront significant obstacles in gaining access to justice. Based upon the findings, the report provides a number of recommendations, including greater investments to enhance legal protections for people living with HIV and key populations, such as men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender people and people who use drugs, through strengthened engagement of parliamentarians, judiciary, police, lawyers, national human rights bodies and other key institutions. In support of these actions, donors, including the Global Fund, should promote and allocate greater resources to support government and civil society programming on HIV-related human rights programming. Additionally, national HIV strategies and plans should include specific targeted actions for the legal sector, including law reform, provision of legal aid services and education of people living with HIV, lawyers and the judiciary on HIV-related rights issues.