21 February, 2022
Pursuant to the Human Rights Council Resolution 47/17, “Human rights in the context of HIV and AIDS” adopted on 13 July 2021, the International Network of People Who Use Drugs (INPUD), Global Action for Trans Equality (GATE), the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP), and MPact: Global Action for Gay Men’s Health and Rights have provided input to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the Human Rights Council Resolution 47/17, “Human rights in the context of HIV and AIDS,” adopted on 13 July 2021.
As global key population networks representing gay and bisexual men, people who use drugs, sex workers and transgender and gender-diverse people, we strongly recommend the following actions to the Human Rights Council and OHCHR:
1) The Human Rights Council should urgently request Member States to develop and submit a political roadmap towards meeting the 10-10-10 societal enablers, including the decriminalisation of drug use and possession, gender identity and expression, sex work, and sexual orientation, as well as enact legislation such as gender recognition and anti-discrimination that allow people to enjoy their lives more fully and without fear.
2) OHCHR should offer to facilitate state-to-state dialogues and engagements to identify steps towards breaking down barriers and challenges towards legal and policy reform. This includes adopting damage-mitigation measures and initiatives that can be taken in the short-term, such as providing community-led specialist legal services and support for key populations to promote access to justice mechanisms, including for police accountability.
3) Key population communities must be in the driver’s seat. The restrictions from governments on our ability to work on human rights, organise, and receive funds need to be repealed for key population-led networks and organisations to be full partners in the HIV response, and delivery of societal enabler programming. The proportion of funding to communities must be incrementally increased to reach the 60% target on community-led responses towards achieving societal enablers. Adequate investments should be allocated towards the capacity-building of key population-led organisations to engage in human rights mechanisms, shifting public perception, and undertaking community-led research, monitoring, and evaluation.
4) The Human Rights Council should strongly urge Member States to meaningfully engage key population-led networks and representatives in designing the afore-mentioned roadmaps; in the governance of HIV planning and responses; and in other relevant processes. Relationships between key population-led organisations and National Human Rights Commissions, National Joint Programmes, UN Treaty Bodies and Special Procedures require strengthening through active UN leadership.
5) The Human Rights Council should clearly and publicly communicate its position on the importance of funding and actioning comprehensive approaches towards the fulfilment of human rights across all global development areas, including in responses towards infectious diseases and pandemics, and to strongly encourage UN agencies and bodies to declare their unconditional support for the respect, protection and fulfilment of the rights of gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, sex workers and transgender people.
6) The UN system should continue to produce regular calls for submissions, including soliciting inputs from directly impacted communities in the development of resolutions, initiatives, and programmes; and in monitoring and evaluating results and the progress made towards commitments.