Sensitization of law-makers and law enforcement agents
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Sensitizing law makers and law enforcers helps to strengthen protection for health and human rights
Sensitization and capacity strengthening interventions are critical enablers that aim to sensitize law and policy makers to the importance of rights-based laws and policies, support strategic litigation by informed lawyers and sensitized decision-making by members of the judiciary and national human rights institutions, and improve law enforcement by the police.
- Sensitization of parliamentarians on the impact of law, human rights and gender equality on health, vulnerable and key populations
- Working with the judiciary to increase information and understanding of how the law, human rights and gender equality impacts on the health of vulnerable and key populations
Regional Judges Forum in Africa sensitizes judiciary on HIV, TB, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
In Africa, the Regional Judges Forum, supported by UNDP Regional Service for Africa, brings together members of the judiciary from countries across Africa to meet and discuss HIV and TB law and human rights issues in the region.
The Judges Forum provides an opportunity for judges to hear expert medical, scientific and legal evidence on matters relating to HIV, TB and the law as well as to hear about the impact of the law directly from key populations, including sex workers, gay and bisexual men and men who have sex with men, transgender people, women and girls and prisoners on sexual and reproductive health and rights. The judiciary discuss landmark judgements affecting the rights of people in the context of HIV and TB and share experiences and insights. Members of the Regional Judges Forum are increasingly knowledgeable and sensitized on matters relating to HIV, TB, law and human rights and have presided over important judgements in the region. For example, they have acted as resource persons to train paralegal staff and clerks in courts in Kenya. Some of the Forum members were part of the High Court of Kenya that ruled as unconstitutional the criminalization of HIV transmission in law. In Botswana a member of the Forum was part of a ruling that entitled HIV treatment to foreign prisoners.
Appropriate law enforcement protects vulnerable and key populations from police abuse and strengthens justice for rights violations
Ensuring appropriate law enforcement practices protects vulnerable and key populations from abuse, harassment, illegal detention, involuntary testing, denial of health care, confiscation of needles, syringes and condoms. This improves their ability to access services and protect their health.
Recommended programmatic activities include:
- Sensitizing police and other law enforcement officials on health and human rights issues affecting vulnerable populations and the negative public health impact of harsh police activity
- Facilitated discussions and negotiations among service providers and law enforcement officials to address practices that impede on public health and access to services
- Development of codes of conduct for police
- Health workplace policies and programmes for law enforcement officials, and
- Engagement of lawmakers and personnel in health and justice ministries with regard to law enforcement practices.
When prisoners are empowered and know their health rights, they are able to advocate for the health care they need to survive.
In Thailand, police training has been implemented through a partnership between the Royal Thai Police, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Public Health, Foundation for AIDS Rights and UNDP. Since 2013, the Innovative Learning Programme on HIV and Human Rights in the Context of Law Enforcement has sensitized police to issues concerning human rights, people living with HIV and key populations.
Together, national human rights institutions and four civil society organisations - Alliance LGBT, Pro LGBT, PINK Embassy and OMSA – have influenced law and policy to promote human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex populations in Albania.
A strong partnership between civil society organisations advocating and lobbying for protective laws and policies, and statutory institutions such as the People’s Advocate, the Albanian Ombudsperson and the Commissioner for Protection from Discrimination, has helped to increase awareness of the discrimination faced by LGBTI populations in Albania and sensitize political leaders to the need for protections in law and policy.
The People’s Advocate’s subsequent report and recommendations on strengthening the legal and regulatory framework for LGBTI persons in Albania was considered and referred to by a Parliamentary Sub-Commission on Human Rights. In May 2015, this ultimately led to the Albanian Parliament approving a resolution “On the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of LGBTI community", which amongst other things:
- Promoted the development of a National Plan of Measures to protect the rights of LGBTI people in Albania
- Urged the revision of the legal framework to strengthen human rights protection
- Approved the amendments to the Labour Code as recommended by the People’s Advocate’s report
- Urged government to implement the Recommendation CM/Rec (2010)5 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to strengthen anti-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity
- Called for the Ministry of Education and Sports to train educators to combat homophobia and transphobia in learning environments
- Urged government to conduct inspections to guarantee the implementation of anti-discrimination provisions in the workplace
- Called for government to support civil society organisations protecting the rights of LGBTI persons and
- Nominated the People’s Advocate to monitor the observation of the fundamental and constitutional rights of LGBTI people in Albania.