“I urge all countries to remove punitive laws, policies and practices that hamper the AIDS response… Successful AIDS responses do not punish people; they protect them…We must ensure that AIDS responses are based on evidence, not ideology, and reach those most in need and most affected.”
Ban Ki Moon
The UN has established an Independent Commission on AIDS and the Law to develop actionable, evidence-informed and human rights based recommendations for law and policy reform, which will facilitate supportive national legal environments. The Commission will focus on some of the most challenging legal issues in the context of HIV, including criminalization of HIV transmission and behaviours and practices such as drug use, sex work and same sex sexual relations.
The Commission will comprise eminent leaders from public life who will provide global leadership on issues of AIDS and the law by: (1) fostering evidence-informed public dialogue on the need for rights-based law and policy reform in the context of HIV and (2) identifying clear and actionable recommendations with a concrete plan for follow up.
The Independent Commission will issue findings and recommendations. It will be advised by a Technical Advisory Group, (TAG) to advise on associated research activities to generate and build consensus around the evidence base. Regional Hearings will provide interfaces between the Commission and affected communities and law- and policy-makers to ensure appropriate regionalization.
The Commission is chaired by the Hon Michael Kirby and Cheryl Overs of PLRI is a member of the TAG.