Press statement in respect of the Consultative Technical Meeting on “HIV, The Law and Human Rights in The African Human Rights System: Key Challenges, Best Practices and Opportunities for Rights-Based Responses to HIV”, 6 -7 June 2014, at the Conference 100, University of Pretoria Conference Centre, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa.

    03 June 2014, Banjul, The Gambia - The Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights wishes to inform the general public that the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission), through its subsidiary mechanism, namely the Committee for the Protection of the Rights of People Living with HIV and Those At Risk (PLHIV), Vulnerable to and Affected by HIV in Africa (the PLHIV Committee), will be organising a Consultative Technical Meeting towards commissioning a study onHIV, The Law and Human Rights in The African Human Rights System: Key Challenges, Best Practices and Opportunities for Rights-Based Responses to HIV”, from 6 to 7 June 2014, at the Conference 100, University of Pretoria Conference Centre, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa.

    The Meeting will be attended by various stakeholders, including: Members of the Commission, Expert Members of the PLHIV Committee, selected experts on the issue of HIV and human rights including the contributors to the research paper on HIV, the law and human rights in the African human rights system: Key challenges and opportunities for rights-based responses to HIV (the Research Paper) which forms the basis of the Meeting, as well as representatives of the Gender Unit, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. The Meeting will be consultative as well as participatory.

    The general objectives of the Meeting are to: analyse the pertinent issues raised in the Research Paper as well as other human rights challenges faced by PLHIV within the context of discriminatory and/or punitive legal environments affecting PLHIV and persons at risk, vulnerable to and affected by HIV in Africa; and also to develop the modalities for the PLHIV Committee to conduct a broader study on this subject, and develop advocacy tools that can assist State Parties to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to create enabling environments for human rights based responses to HIV.

    The specific objectives of the Meeting, amongst others are:

    •  To provide space for various stakeholders, including the contributors to the Research Paper, the Honourable Commissioners and Expert members of the PLHIV Committee and few selected experts on the issue of HIV and human rights, to review, discuss and document the challenges created by punitive legal environments towards effective responses to the HIV pandemic, and to deliberate on opportunities as well as best practices for a rights-based approach to HIV response for effective protection of the rights of PLHIV;
    • To create the momentum for the PLHIV Committee to take these issues forward including by putting in place a group of experts that would conduct a study on “HIV, the Law and Human Rights in the African Human Rights System: Key Challenges, Best Practices and Opportunities for Rights-Based Responses to HIV” (the Study) and also develop related advocacy tools;
    • To develop the terms of reference (ToRs) that would guide the experts in their conduct of the Study and the development of the advocacy tools, and decide other modalities for the conduct of the Study/development of the advocacy tools, including the sources of funding and timelines; and
    • To draft a Resolution that would initiate the Study and commission the experts in accordance with the Commission’s procedures, to be presented for adoption by the Commission, at its 16th Extra-Ordinary Session to be held in July 2014, in Kigali, Rwanda.

    After the two days Meeting, participants are expected to have: deliberated upon and gained up-to-date knowledge on issues pertaining to HIV, Law and Human rights in Africa, especially in the context of legal environments affecting PLHIV and persons at risk, vulnerable to and affected by HIV; constituted a team of experts to develop the Concept Note for and subsequently conduct the Study, and also develop the ensuing advocacy tools (including amongst others Guidelines on State Reporting on the rights of PLHIVs); adopted  the ToRs for the Study and agree on other broad modalities for the Study; and prepared a Draft Resolution on the Study, to be presented to the 16th Extra-Ordinary Session of the Commission for adoption.

    The Meeting is being organised with the support of UNAIDS and the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa.

    For further information, please contact:

     

    Attention: Abiola Idowu-Ojo (Mrs.)

    Secretariat, African Commission

    31 Bijilo Annex Layout, Kombo North District

    Western Region

    PO Box 673

    Banjul, The Gambia

    Tel: 220 4410505/6

    Fax: 220 4410504

    E-mail: au-banjul@africa-union.org; africancommission@yahoo.com

     

     

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      Date: 05 June 2014

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