Continental Conference on the Impact of COVID-19 on HIV Responses in Africa
International Justice and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and those at risk, vulnerable to and affected by HIV held a Continental Conference on the Impact of COVID-19 on HIV responses in Africa. The conference revolved around two main objectives: awareness-raising and knowledge-building on the importance of a adopting a human rights-based approach to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and for the protection of HIV-related human rights; and highlighting the importance of learning from the past in order to build resilience against future pandemics and other global challenges.
On August 11th, the Commission made public the outcome of the conference which took place from June 39th to July 2nd, in Namibia. The Conference called on States to develop and implement a legal framework to decriminalize, eradicate stigmatization and enable efficient service delivery to affected people. Such a framework must include the implementation of the Abuja Declaration and measures to advance and promote investments that facilitate the full realization of the plan. Regarding the role played by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, its review, guidelines and monitoring are deemed necessary to protect the rights of PLHIV and those at risk, vulnerable to and affected by HIV, as well as other vulnerable groups and key populations. Last but not least, the conference recognized the fundamental role that National Human Right Institutions and Civil Society Organizations have in assuring compliance with and guiding the development of the legal apparatus, also by monitoring, collecting and presenting data to enable the creating of further recommendations on the matter. On its hand, the international community should be responsible of developing “fair and equitable international laws, policies and systems for the production and distribution of medical products and services” as to provide the most efficient services to PLHIV and people at risk, vulnerable to HIV infection and those affected by the disease, as well as other vulnerable groups and key populations. (African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 2022)
Sources and Further Readings:
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (August 11, 2022), Continental conference on the impact of COVID-19 on the Rights of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) 30 June - 02 July 2022 Windhoek, Namibia Key Conclusions and Recommendations (The Windhoek Declaration), African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights News, retrieved on August 12th, 2022, from https://www.achpr.org/news/viewdetail?id=234.