Call for Submissions: Second Africa Regional Dialogue on HIV, TB and the Law

Deadline June 12 2017

Second Africa Regional Dialogue on HIV, TB and the Law
The AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) and UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa, under the Africa Regional Grant on HIV: Removing Legal Barriers, will host the second Africa Regional Dialogue on HIV, TB and the Law on 3-4 August 2017 in Johannesburg,South Africa.

The first Africa Regional Dialogue on HIV and the Law called for evidence on the impact of laws,policies and practices on the lives of key populations and on universal access to HIV-related health care services. The second Africa Regional Dialogue will continue to identify key HIV, as well as TB, issues of critical concern. However, it will include a strong focus on understanding what has been done to follow up the recommendations from the first Africa Regional Dialogue, and what has worked to bring about change. The Dialogue would like to hear how laws and policies have changed, if at all and whether this changes lives; how education and training have helped to empower populations and to change attitudes, if at all and whether populations are better able to access support and mechanisms to enforce their rights.

The second Africa Regional Dialogue will bring together 140 government and civil society participants from across Africa to discuss progress on the implementation of the findings and recommendations of the Commission on HIV and the Law in the region, highlight issues and concerns that continue to face challenges and make strategic suggestions and recommendations on the way forward.

1. To provide a platform for a range of stakeholders from different sectors, including people living with HIV/TB, key populations, civil society and government, to engage in evidence informed discussions on priority HIV, law and human rights issues of regional and national concern;

2. To reflect on the extent to which the findings and recommendations of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law have been implemented and to evaluate the impact of these initiatives on HIV, law and human rights issues;

3. To identify current challenges and obstacles that continue to impede access to justice and to HIV/TB treatment, care and support services; and

4. To share Model Laws, good practices and lessons learned from work undertaken in the region to date on implementing the findings and recommendations of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law and strengthening the legal and policy environments regarding access to HIV/TB, health and social services.

1. Increased understanding of ongoing, key HIV/TB, law and human rights issues of regional and national concern, the impact of rights-based responses, as well as current and ongoing gaps, challenges and barriers to universal access to HIV-related health care.

2. The prioritisation of regional and national recommendations for action in the short, medium and long term to strengthen HIV/TB, law and human rights in Africa; and

3. A strengthened network of CSOs, academia, activists and other stakeholders to provide continued engagement on HIV/TB and the law in Africa

Thematic areas of the Dialogue
• Stigma and discrimination, legal aid responses, legal frameworks and access to justice

• Laws and practices that mitigate or sustain violence and discrimination lived by women

• Laws and practices that facilitate or impede HIV-related treatment access

• Law and HIV pertaining to children

• Laws and practices that effectively criminalise people living with HIV and Key populations.

How can the law play a central role in the HIV and TB response?
Imagine living in a world where the law fully protects the human rights and dignity of all. In that world women, children and key populations– sex workers, people who use drugs, gay men and men who have sex with men, transgender people, prisoners and migrants – could safely and freely take steps to protect themselves against HIV infection and to stay healthy if they are living with HIV. They would be able to access services that benefit not only them but those that they come into contact with.

The law can protect those vulnerable to and living with HIV and those with TB, against abuse and harassment by the police and against discrimination by healthcare workers and employers. The law can make it possible for people at risk of HIV to access the tools they need to stay HIV-free. Likewise, the law can make it possible for people living with HIV to access life-sustaining treatment.

Knowledge of and respect for the law and how to enforce it can help to create an safe, protective environment for all affected populations. A world in which laws support human rights for all can be a world without HIV and TB!

Why is your submission important?
To have the greatest impact, the Second Regional Dialogue’s planning team is seeking inputs from diverse civil society groups and individuals, including those advocating for human rights, women’s issues, key populations, etc. We are looking to learn from the experiences and knowledge of those most affected, to find out about empowering laws and practices and how they’ve led to change, and disempowering laws and practices that remain. The Dialogue wants to hear what’s been done to create change, what works and why, or why not. By speaking out now, your experience and knowledge will help to shape the Regional Dialogue’s thinking and recommendations, and influence advocacy efforts in the region.

1. In many parts of Africa, as in other parts of the world, the law treats people vulnerable to HIV as criminals. Many African countries criminalise a wide range of behaviours that may expose a person to HIV, making potential criminals of people living with HIV. In other countries, it is illegal to be a sex worker, a homosexual, a transgender person, a drug user or a migrant. Even in places where these behaviours are not crimes, law enforcement agencies, including police officers, harass or abuse members of these groups. Are you a member of one these groups who has been cast as a criminal or mistreated by police because of who you are? Do you work with marginalised people whose lives are criminalised? Share your experience of how the law impacts your life or the lives of those you work with.

2. Similarly, women and children often experience violence, discrimination and inequality, and are unable to access basic rights for survival, increasing their vulnerability to HIV. Too often, the law does little to promote equal access to their rights, prevent discrimination and violence or to help those who have suffered. Have you lived this experience? Do you work with people who have? Share your experience with us.

3. In many places, intellectual property laws create barriers to HIV-related treatment access, resulting in inflated prices and reduced supplies of life-saving medicines. Are you an academic, researcher or human rights advocate who has been working on intellectual property rights in the context of HIV-related treatment access in your country? Share your work and your perspective with us.

1) Countries covered by this call: You are invited to make a submission if your experience has been in a country within the African Union. Submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of the Africa Regional Grant on HIV: Removing Legal Barriers’ Sub recipients (ARASA, KELIN, SALC and Enda Santé), the Principal recipient (UNDP) and a number of regional key populations groups, a number of authors of submissions will be invited to Johannesburg to participate in the Second Regional dialogue, which will be conducted with simultaneous translation between English, French and Portuguese.

2) Languages: Submissions are welcome in English, French and Portuguese.

3) Confidentiality of Submissions: Submissions can be made at two levels: Public or Confidential. You should clearly state if you would like it to remain confidential. All submissions will be collected by ARASA for an objective review by the Regional Review Panel, based on a range of criteria. ARASA will then submit the relevant submissions to a Regional Selection Committee which will select the submissions to be shared at the Regional Dialogue.

If you would like your submission to be treated as confidential, then please provide two versions of the submission: (1) a confidential version, which will be viewed only by ARASA, (2) a public version with all confidential information removed, which will be submitted to the Regional Selection Committee for review.

Please note that while only some submissions will be selected for the Regional Dialogue, all submissions sent to the Regional Selection Committee are important and will in form and shape the Dialogue’s agenda, conclusions and recommendations.

4) Format of Submissions
All submissions must follow the template for submissions prescribed below:

• Letter format: Submissions should be no more than 3 pages long (maximum 1500 words in the main body of the submission), on A4 size paper. If sent by email, submissions should be in PDF (.pdf), RTF (.rtf) or Word Doc (.doc; docx) format. (Please note if your submission is confidential, only the public version will be shared with the Regional Selection Committee for review).

• Audio/Video format: Submissions in audio or video format should be no more than 10 minutes long. (If your audio or video submission is confidential, please do not mention your name and contact details in the submission. Instead, please include this information in the submission template accompanying your submission.)

• Online Audio/Video submissions: Submissions that cannot be sent via mail or email can be submitted online. They may be uploaded on “” or “” using a personal account. Please make sure to secure your video as “private” and send us the link and password to your video.

Please note that only 1 submission per individual or organisation will be accepted.

Send your entries to:
• Via Email to:

Subject line should be: “Submission Second Africa Regional Dialogue-level of Confidentiality-Key issue(s)”. (e.g. Submission Africa Regional Dialogue-Public- Criminalisati on of drug use).

• Via Mail to: ARASA, Unit 203 Saltcircle, 374 Albert Road, Woodstock. Cape Town, South Africa, 7915

Post Author: Opportunity Point

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