HIV, the Law and Human Rights in the African Human Rights System: Key Challenges and Opportunities for Rights-Based Responses

Report on the Study of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The report presents the current state of the HIV epidemic in Africa through a human rights and gender lens by showing the populations and locations most affected by HIV and those underserved by the response to the epidemic. It also describes the global, regional and national norms and standards relating to HIV and health, as well as their interpretation and application by African regional mechanisms, United Nations (UN) bodies and national courts and institutions. It further provides a detailed analysis of the key human rights challenges affecting the response to HIV on the continent.

General Comments No.1 on Article 14 (1) (d) and (e) of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa

The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol) is the first international legally binding human rights instrument to recognize the intersection between women’s human rights and HIV. In Article 14 (1) (d) and (e), the Maputo Protocol lays down women’s right to self-protection and to be protected from HIV infection, as well as their right to be informed of their HIV status and the HIV status of their partners in accordance with international standards and practices in force. As such, the Maputo Protocol is therefore, in practice, an important tool towards the alleviation of the disproportionate effect of the HIV pandemic on the lives of women in Africa. Even though considered as a landmark, the provisions of the Maputo Protocol on HIV are not very explicit on the measures to be taken by States Parties to ensure the full implementation of women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health. In order to meet this objective, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) adopted these General Comments on Article 14 (1) (d) and (e) at its 52nd Ordinary Session held from 9 to 22 October 2012 in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire.

Removing legal barriers to treatment: Legal training on health and human rights

On 27-29 June 2016, the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) hosted a regional training meeting for African lawyers on “Removing legal barriers to treatment: Legal training on health and human rights” in Johannesburg, South Africa. A large amount of resources relating to the training  can be found here, including judgements relating to HIV criminalisation in Africa.

Access to Justice for Healthcare Violations: A Guidance Note for Complaints Bodies

This Guidance Note aims to provide concrete recommendations to alternative complaints mechanisms on how to provide safe, accessible and effective remedies for vulnerable and key populations who experience health rights violations.

Alternative complaints mechanisms are, for the present purposes, understood as those processes identified to be able to receive and determine complaints relating to health care outside of formal court procedures. These include healthcare regulatory bodies, such as health professions councils and nursing councils; decentralised complaints processes, such as complaints processes within ministries of health or health facility-based complaints mechanisms; and national human rights commissions and ombudspersons.