The Human Rights Reference Group challenges the Commission o go beyond existing statements [about decriminalisation] and to contribute to greater knowledge and action on how to break the impasse in human rights-based law reform, enforcement and access to justice related to HIV. It offers six recommendations of which this is the first.
1. The Commission should identify the full range of laws and law-enforcement practices that criminalize vulnerable groups. …A vast range of laws, regulations, bylaws, ordinances, and other legal instruments permit police and other authorities to harass, arrest and detain vulnerable groups, often arbitrarily, in a manner that impedes their access to HIV services and violates their basic rights. These include criminal laws, immigration laws, municipal by-laws, zoning laws, family laws, employment laws, and public health laws. The Commission should delineate these laws and practices in detail, establish their empirical link to HIV vulnerability, and make recommendations on how they can be reformed. The Commission should also explore avenues of redress, such as legal-aid services and know-your-rights campaigns, as essential health interventions for HIV-affected populations.
Human Rights and Law RG Statement for GCHL. 5-9-10.doc
UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights