Legal Environment Assessment for HIV Response in Nigeria
Apr 22, 2016
The HIV legal environment assessment is aimed at promoting a deeper understanding of the laws and policies of the country especially as they affect the rights of HIV positive persons, vulnerability of women, men, boys and girls to HIV, as well as the implications of related laws for individuals and organisations that work on HIV/AIDS. The LEA is designed to help establish which laws and practices have the potential to mitigate or exacerbate HIV-related stigma, which laws protect against discrimination and, which laws can enable recourse to justice through legal redress of experiences of HIV-related discrimination. It is believed that a thorough assessment of the legal and policy environment will help strengthen the response system to HIV/AIDS in the country.
The UN General Assembly also favours the conduct of LEA. At its Special Session on HIV/AIDS in 2001, and the Political Declarations of 2006 and 2011, the role of the law in any response to HIV was highlighted, including law reform, community education and enforcement mechanisms. Countries are encouraged to “Commit to intensify national efforts to create enabling legal, social and policy frameworks in each national context in order to eliminate stigma, discrimination and violence related to HIV and promote access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support and non-discriminatory access to education, health care, employment and social services, provide legal protections for people affected by HIV, including inheritance rights and respect for privacy and confidentiality, and promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms with particular attention to all people vulnerable to and affected by HIV”.
What the assessment reveals
- Experiences of abuse of human rights of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS as well as Key and Affected Populations
- High cost of and lengthy litigation process hinder progress in seeking redress
- Existence of a weak legal environment for an effective human rights based response to HIV/AIDS
- Need for sensitization, community mobilization for popularization of provisions the Anti-Discrimination Act and the corresponding laws