World Aids Day: Eliminating stigma and discrimination

1 December, 2018


In commemoration of the 30th  Anniversary of World AIDS Day, RHM welcomes the news that a Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate All Forms of HIV-related Stigma and Discrimination will be launched on December 10 – Human Rights Day 2018 – and commits to publish and promote research which contributes to the elimination of stigma and discrimination in sexual and reproductive health care.

The purpose of the Global Partnership

“The Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate All Forms of HIV related Stigma and Discrimination (Global Partnership) aims to catalyze and accelerate implementation of commitments made to end HIV-related stigma and discrimination by Member States, UN agencies, bilateral and international donors, NGOs and communities as essential for ending AIDS as part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

It aims to translate commitments into measurable policy change and programmatic interventions that result in the enjoyment of HIV-related rights by all and the implementation of commitments established in the 2016 Political Declaration.

The objectives of the Global Partnership

1) To translate into action political and human rights commitments made at global, regional, and national levels toward the elimination of all forms of HIV related stigma and discrimination at the country level;

2) To establish, strengthen, and revitalize partnership among stakeholders to implement and scale up programs towards ending all forms of HIV-related stigma and discrimination;

3) To continuously generate and disseminate evidence-based data to inform policy and programming, to measure progress, and support accountability toward the elimination of HIV related stigma and discrimination

The Rationale for the Global Partnership

Following the presentation of the report Update on actions to reduce stigma and discrimination in all its forms at the 41st UNAIDS PCB, the PCB NGO Delegation recognized that –while human rights obligations and policy commitments are in place and key actions have been taken– accelerated and scaled up actions are required to address stigma and discrimination, and end AIDS by 2030.

The call by the PCB NGO Delegation for the establishment of a Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate all forms of HIV related Stigma and Discrimination was supported and is now being taken forward by UNAIDS’ Executive Director, Michel Sidibé, UN Women’s Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Achim Steiner, and the Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+), who agreed to be the co conveners of the Global Partnership to Eliminate All Forms of HIV related Stigma and Discrimination (Global Partnership).

Generating evidence-based data towards the elimination of HIV related stigma and discrimination

In acknowledgement of the effect of stigma and discrimination in health care settings and the need for evidence-based data, as depicted in the third objective of the Global Partnership, RHM has launched a new call for papers, ‘The elimination of stigma and discrimination in sexual and reproductive health care’. The themed journal issue, which will be published in November 2019, will build on the “No one left behind” principle of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the United Nations’ call on taking coordinated multi-sectoral action to eliminate discrimination in health care.

Stigma and discrimination can be particularly profound when individuals seek specific kinds of SRH care or services, for example those related to HIV, sexually transmitted infections, abortion, contraception, sexual dysfunctions or transgender health services. Stereotypes, fear, biases, religious beliefs, misinformation, bigotry and intolerance in societies at large, and in health care settings in particular, can present formidable barriers to stigmatized individuals’ access to sexual and reproductive health care.

National laws and policies can either protect against or they can foster and perpetuate discrimination in SRH care settings, impeding the uptake services that people need. A lack of rights-based professional standards, along with legal and regulatory barriers, such as conscientious objection to the provision of SRH services, unreasonably set waiting periods and minimum human resources requirements, are proven to be harmful, contradictory to human rights, and counterproductive for the provision of quality SRH services.

RHM invites research articles, perspectives, policy analysis, book reviews, commentaries that investigate and reflect upon the drivers and manifestations of stigma and discrimination in SRH care, and importantly, how those drivers can best be challenged, disrupted, and resolved.

Deadline for submission: 15 March 2019

Find out more:

or download the Call for Papers as PDF


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