Communities and civil society share their successes and challenges in rolling out human rights work

(picture by the Communities Delegation)

A special session to show case the success and challenges of implementing  human rights programmes  funded by the GF was held ahead of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) 40th Board Meeting on 13 November 2018 at the Global Health Campus, in Geneva, Switzerland.

The session aimed to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To showcase the results and impact of the Global Fund’s work to reduce human rights-related barriers to services across the three diseases through country allocations and catalytic funding;
  2. To learn about existing challenges in this work, and potential ways to overcome them;
  3. To learn how key barriers and challenges have been addressed by implementers of Global Fund funded human rights programmes;

Advocates from Costa Rica, Namibia and Ukraine brought the session to life with personal experiences on the front lines of their work to protect the right to health. The session was moderated by the French Ambassador for Global Health, Stéphanie Seydoux.

Dayana Hernandez, Head of Transvida, Costa Rica’s first organisation for and by transwomen created in 2009 to fight for transwomen’s human rights, shared her experiences of fighting for human rights through Global Fund-supported projects. Two of their top achievements included the development of technical manuals for the integrated health care of men who have sex with men and transgender women and advocacy actionsfor the regulation or draft law against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Felicita Hikuam, Deputy Director of the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA), one of the sub-recipients of the Africa Regional Grant on Removing Legal Barriers with ENDA-Santé, KELIN and the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, and UNDP as the principal recipient, highlighted that the grant aims to address human rights barriers faced by vulnerable communities in ten African countries, and to facilitate access to lifesaving health care. The grant has successfully implemented capacity strengthening of lawyers, judges, parliamentarians, law enforcement officials, health care workers, and key population and civil society organisations; strategic litigation; Legal Environment Assessments (LEA) and engagement with African Union Commission and other Regional Economic Communities. A summary of the key results from the grant can be found here.

Dmytro Sherembey is the Head of Coordination Council of All Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS known as 100% Life that implement programs to reduce human rights-related barriers in Ukraine with support from the Global Fund. Important results have been achieved, including developing international procurement mechanisms that led to 60% savings in the costs of antiretroviral therapy and developing and implementing state-of-art protocols aligned with international best practices.

The meeting was co-hosted by the Communities, Developed Country NGO and Developing Country NGO Delegations to the Global Fund Board, with support from the Community, Rights and Gender (CRG) Department of the Global Fund. It was attended by over 100 people representing the Global Fund Board, Secretariat and technical partners. The Global Fund has taken steps toward embedding human rights components into core programming, yet human rights barriers to health remain serious in many countries, and partners uniformly agreed that much more needs to be done.

“Our investments cannot have impact if we do not continue to ensure that people’s humans rights are protected and promoted. This is the only way that people can access health care. The Global Fund will continue to work to ensure that human rights are guaranteed,” remarked Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund, during the closing of the session.

Going forward we will continue to advocate for more funding for human rights programmes to be able to realise the Global Funds Strategic Objective 3 to promote and protect human rights and gender equality.

You can find the Global Fund 40th Board Meeting Special Session on Human Rights Concept Note here: Concept Note-40 BM Special Session on Human Rights Meeting Final.

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