UN Human Rights Council and HIV
12 March 2010
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé met with UN Human Rights Council President Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi on 11 March. The Tenth Session of the Human Rights Council is currently taking place in Geneva.
A progress report from the United Nations Secretary-General on HIV and human rights has been submitted to the Tenth Session of the Human Rights Council which is taking place in Geneva from 2-27 March 2009.
The report notes some advances in recent years, but it also underlines that “a number of human rights challenges remain, which pose barriers to achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.” These include stigma and discrimination; legal and policy barriers to accessing HIV-related services, including harm reduction services; and human rights violations against women and girls, men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who use drugs, and prisoners.
UNAIDS Executive Director meets UN Human Rights Council President
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé hosted a meeting with UN Human Rights Council President Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi on 11 March. They discussed the importance of raising the profile of HIV in the work of the Council, and mobilising leadership to address difficult human rights issues that stand in the way of universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support.
The UNAIDS Executive Director spoke of the vital importance of paying attention to human rights to protect the most vulnerable in the AIDS epidemic.
Mr Sidibé added that communities and individuals most affected by AIDS have to remain at the centre of all efforts – locally, nationally and globally and that civil society must be supported to stand by those most affected and amplify their voice.
UNAIDS Statement to the Human Rights Council
"If we build on momentum, universal access is a goal within reach."
UNAIDS Statement to UN Human Rights Council, 4 March 2009
On 4 March the UNAIDS Secretariat addressed the Human Rights Council during its High Level Segment, underlining that the commitment that governments made to universal access by 2010 is a critical human rights imperative. The statement, delivered by Senior Human Rights and Law Adviser Susan Timberlake, noted that gains in recent years mean that nearly 4 million people are on antiretroviral treatment today, and numbers of new infections are falling. “If we build on momentum, universal access is a goal within reach.”
UNDP took the floor of the Council during the presentation of the report on HIV and human rights. It called on governments to promote an enabling legal environment in order to achieve universal access by 2010, including by repealing laws that discriminate against and criminalise men who have sex with men, sex workers and people who use drugs. It also stressed concern over the inappropriate criminalisation of HIV transmission and exposure in a number of countries, and the risk that such actions will undermine public health efforts to increase uptake of HIV testing and access to HIV prevention, treatment and care services.
The next session of the Human Rights Council will take place in June 2009