2019 OHCHR Annual report on human rights and HIV

41st Ses­sion HRC
1 May 2019

Analysis of precedential value

This report was authored by the United Nations High Com­mis­sioner for Human Rights, who reports directly to the UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral–head of the UN sys­tem–and leads the Office of the High Com­mis­sioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), a body within the UN Sec­re­tariat. High Com­mis­sion­ers are human rights experts with man­dates to report and advise on human rights from a the­matic or coun­try-spe­cific per­spec­tive. The sit­ting High Com­mis­sioner for Human Rights at the time of this report’s release was Michelle Bachelet (Chile).

This report was sub­mit­ted to the Human Rights Coun­cil, which is com­posed of elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 47 Mem­ber States; together, they are respon­si­ble for coor­di­nat­ing inves­ti­ga­tions of and responses to human rights vio­la­tions.

Used as precedent

human rights, key and vulnerable populations, structural barriers

States should remove struc­tural bar­ri­ers, includ­ing dis­crim­i­na­tory laws and poli­cies, and apply human rights-based approaches to the response to HIV, putting peo­ple liv­ing with HIV at the cen­tre of their poli­cies, pro­grammes and prac­tices. In order not to leave any­one behind, States should increase their efforts to reach the most mar­gin­al­ized women and ado­les­cents, key pop­u­la­tions vul­ner­a­ble to HIV, includ­ing gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex work­ers, peo­ple who use drugs, trans­gen­der peo­ple, and per­sons in pris­ons and other closed set­tings. Com­mu­ni­ties should be involved in the design, imple­men­ta­tion and deliv­ery of poli­cies, pro­grammes and prac­tices.

human rights, positive legal determinants

States should review their laws in accor­dance with inter­na­tional human rights law. In order to improve the human rights aspect in the response to HIV, States and their par­lia­ments could col­lab­o­rate at the regional and sub­re­gional lev­els to develop human rights-based nor­ma­tive con­tent to inspire the domes­ti­ca­tion of laws at the national level. In order to reach Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goal tar­get 3.3 and to leave no one behind, States should adopt leg­is­la­tion, poli­cies and prac­tices that decrim­i­nal­ize sex work, drug use, same-sex rela­tions, and gen­der iden­tity and expres­sion, and pro­vide access to gen­der recog­ni­tion.

human rights

National human rights insti­tu­tions and civil soci­ety have an impor­tant role to play in strength­en­ing human rights account­abil­ity. The shrink­ing space for civil soci­ety is a key dri­ver in leav­ing behind peo­ple liv­ing with HIV, par­tic­u­larly key pop­u­la­tions. States should respect, pro­tect and pro­mote civil soci­ety space, pro­vide an enabling reg­u­la­tory and fund­ing envi­ron­ment that allows civil soci­ety to work at the national, regional and sub­re­gional lev­els, and repeal laws that cre­ate bar­ri­ers to the activ­i­ties of civil soci­ety bod­ies. Civil soci­ety should be empow­ered to col­lect data, address human rights vio­la­tions, par­tic­i­pate in pol­i­cy­mak­ing and deci­sion-mak­ing, imple­men­ta­tion and mon­i­tor­ing, includ­ing on issues relat­ing to HIV and the rights of peo­ple liv­ing with HIV. In order to improve its effec­tive­ness, civil soci­ety could coop­er­ate at the regional level on joint advo­cacy efforts, includ­ing with regional mech­a­nisms.

negative legal determinants, stigma and discrimination

States should review and adopt leg­is­la­tion, pro­grammes and poli­cies to com­bat stigma and dis­crim­i­na­tion, vio­lence and abuse against peo­ple liv­ing with or at risk of HIV, with par­tic­u­lar atten­tion to key pop­u­la­tions. States should work with United Nations agen­cies, civil soci­ety, com­mu­ni­ties and key pop­u­la­tions to invest in pro­grammes, edu­ca­tion and other actions to elim­i­nate HIV-related stigma and dis­crim­i­na­tion in all areas of life, includ­ing through the Global Part­ner­ship for Action to Elim­i­nate All Forms of HIV-related Stigma and Dis­crim­i­na­tion. Regional and sub­re­gional net­works have an impor­tant role to play in rais­ing aware­ness and elim­i­nat­ing stigma and dis­crim­i­na­tion.

human rights, universal health coverage

States should ensure that uni­ver­sal health cov­er­age pro­motes both the health and rights of all per­sons, includ­ing the most mar­gin­al­ized, such as peo­ple liv­ing with HIV and key pop­u­la­tions, and addresses human rights bar­ri­ers to health. States should ensure that human rights, includ­ing the right to health of per­sons liv­ing with HIV, are inte­grated into dis­cus­sions on uni­ver­sal health cov­er­age, includ­ing in the lead-up to the high-level meet­ing of the Gen­eral Assem­bly on uni­ver­sal health cov­er­age and in its out­come doc­u­ment.