What is opposition language?

In short: Lan­guage pro­posed as an alter­na­tive to key lan­guage by those opposed to rights-affirm­ing and evi­dence-based responses

Oppo­si­tion lan­guage com­prises the terms and con­cepts pro­posed by those seek­ing to under­mine evi­dence-based and rights-affirm­ing responses to HIV and related sex­ual repro­duc­tive health chal­lenges. These oppo­si­tion terms and con­cepts are pro­posed in nego­ti­a­tions as alter­na­tives that are intended to dis­place, negate and weaken key lan­guage.

Later edi­tions of the Com­pendium will have a ded­i­cated sec­tion on oppo­si­tion lan­guage. This sec­tion will pro­vide exam­ples of the often euphemistic, seem­ingly agree­able and even banal lan­guage that is pro­posed as a means of under­min­ing and dis­plac­ing key lan­guage. These exam­ples will help ensure those involved in nego­ti­a­tions are fore­warned of these oppo­si­tion alter­na­tives and, there­fore, pre­pared to dis­pute their inclu­sion. They will also pro­vide exam­ples of when this lan­guage has been pro­posed and rejected in past nego­ti­a­tions and, in this way, pro­vide prece­dents for rejec­tion that can be used in dis­put­ing the inclu­sion of lan­guage that denies rights and fails to fol­low the evi­dence.

Exam­ples of oppo­si­tion lan­guage include:

If you have sug­ges­tions on oppo­si­tion lan­guage we should include in the next edi­tion of the Com­pendium, please reach out to us at pol­i­cy­lab@george­town.edu.