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Global Fund Poised to Do More to Promote Human Rights
GFO Issue 144

Global Fund Poised to Do More to Promote Human Rights

Author:

David Garmaise

Article Type:
News

Article Number: 4

ABSTRACT Several organisations have released reports on human rights and the Global Fund. As well, Michel Kazatchkine, the Fund's Executive Director, has spoken publicly about this issue several times in the past year.

In 2011 and beyond, the Global Fund is likely to be more active in promoting the inclusion of human rights approaches in programmes supported by the Fund. Global Fund E.D. Michel Kazatchkine has spoken publicly about this issue many times in the past year, including in several sessions at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna in July 2010. At a press conference in Vienna, Kazatchkine said, “We will only be able to get people into treatment early, and retain them in treatment, if we finally move from rhetoric to real action on HIV and human rights.”

More recently, in his report to the Global Fund Board for its December 2010 meeting, referring specifically to the human rights of drug users, Kazatchkine said, “More high-level advocacy is needed to overcome the political, legal and sociocultural obstacles to providing appropriate interventions for drug-users.”

Meanwhile, two reports have been issued on the topic of human rights and the Global Fund. First, a report published in December 2010 by two U.N. agencies and two NGOs argued that human rights should represent a key part of the next strategic plan of the Global Fund. The report, produced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNAIDS, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and the Open Society Institute (OSI), stated,

“A new strategic plan that clearly addresses how human rights should be incorporated at multiple levels into Global Fund programmes, processes and advocacy, including how the Fund should respond to alleged human rights violations at the country level, would make a tremendous contribution to delivering HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria results as well as broader health and development goals.”

The report recommended, among other things, that the Global Fund (a) identify what role human rights considerations should play in its processes for making funding decisions; (b) ensure that human rights programmes financed by the Fund are evaluated; and (c) strengthen the Secretariat’s capacity on human rights.

Second, a report prepared by Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and the Open Society Foundations examined the human rights content and impact of the Global Fund’s work in three areas – grant-making processes, grants and advocacy. This report is the subject of the next two articles in this issue of GFO.

[Editor’s note: Between the release of the two reports mentioned above, the Open Society Institute changed its name to “Open Society Foundations.”]

In addition, in December 2010, the Global AIDS Alliance sent an open letter to the Chair and E.D. of the Global Fund calling on the Global to embed international human rights principles into its strategic plan. The letter said,

“The Global Fund has funded proposals addressing fundamental issues of human rights, including violence against women and girls and needle and syringe exchange programs, but there has not been a strategy to include human rights principles in Global Fund proposals nor have human rights been underscored as an area for increased attention.This is a major gap that must be filled in order to increase the Global Fund’s overall effectiveness and for programs and interventions to be truly comprehensive.”

“Human Rights as a Key Part of the Next Strategic Plan of the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria,” the paper prepared by the United Nations Development Programme, UNAIDS, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and the Open Society Institute is available here.

“Human Rights and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria,” the report prepared by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and the Open Society Foundations is available here.

“Remarks from Dr. Michel Kazatchkine,” Human Rights Press Conference, AIDS 2010 is available here. The Executive Director’s report to the Global Fund Board, December 2010, is available here (document GF/ B22/3). The GAA letter is available here.

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