International Guidelines on Human Rights and AIDS
Rights and Humanity assisted in the drafting of the International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights adopted by the UN in 1996. As a background for these guidelines, Rights and Humanity undertook a global study entitled “Strategies to Ensure Respect for Human Rights and Ethics in the Context of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic: A Global Survey”.
Rights and Humanity’s study identified successful strategies adopted by governments and NGOs to promote respect for human rights in the response to AIDS. The results of this survey informed the drafting of the International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights adopted at the UN-sponsored Second International Consultation on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, Geneva, September, 1996. Our President, Ms Häusermann, and a project officer, Ms Aisha Bhatti, participated in the Consultation and contributed Rights and Humanity’s experience to the drafting of the Guidelines.
The Guidelines provided guidance to States on how to take concrete steps to protect human rights in the context of HIV. The Guidelines were revised in 2006 to provide for access to anti-retroviral drugs.
Advocacy for Implementation
Rights and Humanity has consistently advocated for implementation of the International Guidelines by states. For instance, in February, 2001, Rights and Humanity was invited to speak before the UK Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV/AIDS to assist it in its review of implementation of the International Guidelines. In November 2001, we undertook a Mission to the Ukraine to advise on implementation of the Guidelines.
Drafting UN Resolutions
The call for the Guidelines had come from the UN Commission on Human Rights which had passed a series of resolutions on HIV/AIDS and human rights since 1992. These resolutions became progressively stronger and in 1995 the Commission called for the elaboration of international guidelines on the protection of human rights in the context of HIV/AIDS.
Rights and Humanity assisted in the drafting of resolutions in both the Commission and its Sub-Commission on an annual basis. In 1992, working with the Polish delegation to the UN Commission on Human Rights, Rights and Humanity drafted and promoted the adoption of the first resolution on AIDS and human rights by the UN Commission on Human Rights. This called on governments to ensure respect for human rights in the context of HIV/AIDS (Resolution E/CN.4/1992/L.79).