Civil Society Campaigns

 

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Call to Action: Make your voice heard by Obama: March to the US consulate on June 17th to save lives!

Dear Colleagues

This is a call for the NGO Sector to support this campaign led by the TAC and endorsed by numerous organisations.  
We are asking you to do 2 things:
1.       ENDORSE THE LETTER:
Read the attached letter outlining the campaign and what we are calling for, and then endorse it. Send to as many orgnisations and networks to endorse and support. Sign the letter and send it to Catherine Tomlinson at the Treatment Action Campaign (contact details below).
2.       JOIN THE MARCH:
On 17 June we will be marching to the US Consulate in Johannesburg to make United States President Barack Obama aware of the deaths that will result from his anti-treatment policies. We will hand over a Memorandum to senior US government officials including Deputy President Joe Biden who is visiting for the World Cup. We call on the NGO Sector to mobilise and support the march, send this call far and wide within your networks.

If you would like to know more about the march, please contact  Catherine Tomlinson at the Treatment Action Campaign email  or call (0) 21 422 1700 .

WHAT ARE WE ASKING FOR:
 We are calling on President Barack Obama:

  to reverse the funding cuts for HIV and to ensure that PEPFAR continues to expand funding to meet universal access targets.

We are calling on the United States and Europe:

  to replenish the Global Fund on AIDS TB and Malaria (GFATM) to meet universal access. The Global Fund has indicated that it must raise between $17 and $20 billion for its upcoming round to continue to expand its programmes. nbsp; The United States and Europe must publicly guarantee that this funding is made available to meet the expectations that they themselves have created by their commitments to universal access.

We are calling on President Zuma and Health Minister Motsoaledi:

;  to represent the needs of Africa during this year’s global forums on the MDGs. < To lead developing countries in echoing our calls for expanded and sustainable funding for HIV.

Mobilization:

TAC has mobilised branches and members to attend the march on 17 June. The expected figures include 1500 people from Gauteng, 800 people from Mpumalanga , 600 people from Limpopo and 65 people from the Free State.

By the end of today Phillip will email all partners pick up points in each province.

Media:

TAC has sent out the letters to Obama, Biden and Zuma to all media. TAC has also sent out a press statement announcing the march and with background of the march.

MSF has also published information on the M&G thought leader blog and is preparing an editorial to be published next week. Have other partners sent out statements?

TAC Ekurhuleni has secured a spot on KhaziFM to mobilize communities in Ekurhuleni to join the march. Are other districts raising awareness about the march?

The street posters advertising the march will go up on Monday.

On Monday morning, TAC and partners will send out a press statement on the march as well as march and press conference details. All partners should send this off on their media lists.

On Tuesday the press conference will be held at the COSATU offices in Johannesburg. There will be a TAC, MSF and COSATU speaker.

What else can we do? Will work on a facebook page over the weekend. Any ideas from partners?

Material:

The posters, pamphlets, t-shirts and banner will be delivered to the TAC office on Monday. MSF will be bringing 20 000 kites and XX paper shoes.

March permission and memorandum:

We have received permission to hold the march and will be gathering in George Lea Park at 10:00 am.

The US ambassador has responded to our letters. (will forward response to partners). TAC is trying to organize to meet with representatives of the US Embassy over the weekend to organize who will accept the memorandum.

Please see attached posters for the resources for health march on the 17th June, please all offices print and put them up in the office. Also attached are details of pick up points in Gauteng.

Rally:

More details to be sent.

We call on you to join the march. AIDS is not over. Be seen. Be heard by the world while they are watching the World Cup played in our country.

Thank you

Denise

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Civil Society Consensus Statement. 10/10

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A ten point agenda for saving and bettering lives

Section27
October 2010
 
Meeting the challenges of HIV treatment and prevention through independent mobilisation and work through the SA national aids council (SANAC)

CABSA decided to endorse the Consensus Statement sent to government and SANAC.  The finalised document as it was sent is attached. The statement was also endorsed at the COSATU-civil society conference. By mid November 2010 65 organisations indicated their support.

The Deputy President, Minister of Health and CEO of SANAC are all aware of this statement.  Minister Motsoaledi has read the statement, and SANAC Deputy President Mark Heywood handed it directly to Deputy President Motlanthe.

See the document attached below

The document articulates the concerns of civil society about the challenges around HIV and TB prevention, and the malfunctioning of the SANAC Secretariat. The document makes recommendations as well as outlines demands for SANAC to play its role in co-ordinating and supporting   sectors.



The demands are:

1.    We Demand Sustained Political Leadership and Engagement from the Highest Level of Government on an effective and efficient HIV response!

2.     We Demand a Unified Communications Strategy on HIV and TB Prevention!

3.    We Support the HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) campaign – but implementation must be drastically improved!

4.    We Demand the integration of Community Health Care Workers (CCWs) into the health system!

5.    We Demand a Human Resources for Health plan by March 2011!

6.    We demand expanded access to improved ART regimens, better HIV and TB drug regimens & TB Integration!

7.    We Demand a Plan for Sustainable National and International Financing of the HIV and TB Response!

8.    We demand Social Assistance for people who are chronically ill!

9.    We demand that SANAC be revived as an effective and accountable institution driven by civil society priorities!

10.    Build independent, effective, accountable Civil Society organisations!



Please circulate and discuss the document in your organizations and networks, and forward your input and endorsements to Kate Paterson [paterson@section27.org.za]



 

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OSLO Declaration on HIV Criminalisation. 2/12

Prepared by international civil society in Oslo, Norway on 13th February 2012

1. A growing body of evidence suggests that the criminalisation of HIV non-disclosure, potential exposure and non-intentional transmission is doing more harm than good in terms of its impact on public health and human rights.[1]

2. A better alternative to the use of the criminal law are measures that create an environment that enables people to seek testing, support and timely treatment, and to safely disclose their HIV status.[2]

Download this declaration here(PDF, 117.32 KB, 5pg)
Sign the Declaration

3. Although there may be a limited role for criminal law in rare cases in which people transmit HIV with malicious intent, we prefer to see people living with HIV supported and empowered from the moment of diagnosis, so that even these rare cases may be prevented. This requires a non-punitive, non-criminal HIV prevention approach centred within communities, where expertise about, and understanding of, HIV issues is best found.[3]

4. Existing HIV-specific criminal laws should be repealed, in accordance with UNAIDS recommendations.[4] If, following a thorough evidence-informed national review, HIV-related prosecutions are still deemed to be necessary they should be based on principles of proportionality, foreseeability, intent, causality and non-discrimination; informed by the most-up-to-date HIV-related science and medical information; harm-based, rather than risk-of-harm based; and be consistent with both public health goals and international human rights obligations.[5]

5. Where the general law can be, or is being, used for HIV-related prosecutions, the exact nature of the rights and responsibilities of people living with HIV under the law should be clarified, ideally through prosecutorial and police guidelines, produced in consultation with all key stakeholders, to ensure that police investigations are appropriate and to ensure that people with HIV have adequate access to justice.

We respectfully ask Ministries of Health and Justice and other relevant policymakers and criminal justice system actors to also take into account the following in any consideration about whether or not to use criminal law in HIV-related cases:

6. HIV epidemics are driven by undiagnosed HIV infections, not by people who know their HIV-positive status.[6] Unprotected sex includes risking many possible eventualities – positive and negative – including the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections such as HIV. Due to the high number of undiagnosed infections, relying on disclosure to protect oneself – and prosecuting people for non-disclosure – can and does lead to a false sense of security.

7. HIV is just one of many sexually transmitted or communicable diseases that can cause long-term harm.[7] Singling out HIV with specific laws or prosecutions further stigmatises people living with and affected by HIV. HIV-related stigma is the greatest barrier to testing, treatment uptake, disclosure and a country’s success in “getting to zero new infections, AIDS-related deaths and zero discrimination”.[8]

8. Criminal laws do not change behaviour rooted in complex social issues, especially behaviour that is based on desire and impacted by HIV-related stigma.[9] Such behaviour is changed by counselling and support for people living with HIV that aims to achieve health, dignity and empowerment.[10]

9. Neither the criminal justice system nor the media are currently well-equipped to deal with HIV-related criminal cases.[11] Relevant authorities should ensure adequate HIV-related training for police, prosecutors, defence lawyers, judges, juries and the media.

10. Once a person’s HIV status has been involuntarily disclosed in the media, it will always be available through an internet search. People accused of HIV-related ‘crimes’ for which they are not (or should not be found) guilty have a right to privacy. There is no public health benefit in identifying such individuals in the media; if previous partners need to be informed for public health purposes, ethical and confidential partner notification protocols should be followed.[12]

This document is also available in French, German, Italian, and Spanish here

References

[1] UNAIDS. Report of the Expert Meeting on the Scientific, Medical, Legal and Human Rights Aspects of Criminalisation of HIV Non-disclosure, Exposure and Transmission, 31 August-  2 September 2011. Geneva, February 2012.

[2] UNAIDS/UNDP. Policy Brief: Criminalization of HIV Transmission. Geneva, July 2008; Open Society Institute. Ten Reasons to Oppose the Criminalization of HIV Exposure or Transmission. 2008; IPPF,GNP+ and ICW. Verdict on a Virus. 2008. See also: IPPF. Verdict on a Virus (documentary) 2011.

[3] GNP+/UNAIDS. Positive Health Dignity and Prevention: A Policy Framework. Amsterdam/Geneva, January 2011.

[4] UNAIDS/UNDP. Policy Brief: Criminalization of HIV Transmission. Geneva, July 2008.

[5] UNAIDS. (2012) Op. cit.

[6] Marks G et al. Estimating sexual transmission of HIV from persons aware and unaware that they are infected with the virus in the USA. AIDS 20(10):1447-50, 2006; Hall HI et al. HIV transmissions from persons with HIV who are aware and unaware of their infection, United States. AIDS 26, online edition. DOI: 10.1097/QAD013e328351f73f, 2012.

[7] Bernard EJ, Hanssens C et al. Criminalisation of HIV Non-disclosure, Exposure and Transmission: Scientific, Medical, Legal and Human Rights Issues. UNAIDS, Geneva, February 2012; Carter M. Hepatitis C surpasses HIV as a cause of death in the US. Aidsmap.com, 21 February 2012.

[8] UNAIDS. Getting to Zero: 2011-2015 Strategy. Geneva, December 2010.

[9] Bernard EJ and Bennett-Carlson R. Criminalisation of HIV Non-disclosure, Exposure and Transmission: Background and Current Landscape. UNAIDS, Geneva, February 2012.

[10] GNP+/UNAIDS (2011) Op. cit.

[11] Bernard EJ and Bennett-Carlson R (2012) Op. cit.

[12] UNAIDS. Opening up the HIV/AIDS epidemic: Guidance on encouraging beneficial disclosure, ethical partner counselling & appropriate use of HIV case-reporting. Geneva, 2000.

 

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Global Fund Call to Action. 04/12/2011

PLEASE SIGN ON TO THE CALL TO ACTION BELOW, you can send your reply to jw@icssupport.org, and please also put up the Call to Action on your websites.

The cancellation by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria of all new programming until 2014 is unacceptable. This decision will cost lives and cripple international efforts to deliver on health-related goals, breaking promises made to some of the world’s most vulnerable people, and punishing the Global Fund's success of the last ten years. 

People living with HIV and their supporters, as well as communities affected by TB or malaria, are extremely concerned about the damage under-funding of the Global Fund is causing. We therefore demand that:

 

· The Global Fund Board and Secretariat mobilise the resources necessary to scale-up the response to the three diseases through a new funding opportunity for 2012, estimated at US$2 billion.[1]

 

·       Donors to the Global Fund – particularly governments – urgently deliver on the commitments they made to meet health goals[2] and to fund the Global Fund at its Replenishment Meeting in 2010.[3]

 

·       The Global Fund hold an emergency donor conference and issue a new call for proposals before the International AIDS Conference in July 2012 to fully fund the scale-up of programmes that will fundamentally changing the course of these three epidemics, and put the world on the path towards ending AIDS.

This is 200 days from 1 January. 200 days to save the Global Fund.

We cannot wait until 2014 for the Global Fund to support further scale-up of programmes and life-saving treatment. We urgently call on the Global Fund to meet the timeline above and for donors and affected countries to ensure that interventions with the highest impact on the three epidemics are supported.

The clock is ticking. Millions of lives are at stake.



[1] See “Resource Scenarios 2011-2013”, p 15. Scenario 2 estimates the cost of a new Round in 2011 to be US$2.7 billion. An estimated US$0.6 billion is available in uncommitted assets for continuation of essential programs, which would be assumed to be included in funding requests through new proposals. US$1.1 billion of the funding required could be raised if all 2010 donor pledges to the Global Fund were met.

[2] Including the UN health MDGs (http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/) and the UN High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS (http://www.un.org/en/ga/aidsmeeting2011/)

[3] The US contribution partially falls outside the replenishment and is under threat by Congress; Belgium, Denmark, EC and the Netherlands have not contributed their 2010 pledges and Denmark has since announced a pledge reduction; Spain, Italy, and Ireland did not pledge and have outstanding payments from previous years. For 2010 pledges, see http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/mediacenter/pressreleases/Donors_commit_US$11_7_billion_to_the_Global_Fund_for_next_three_years/ for pledges and http://www.theglobalfund.org/documents/core/financial/Core_PledgesContri...

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Petition to the World Council of Churches - Please support!

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Health and Healing – Healing is part of the churches’ mission and has to remain at the core of the work of Christian communities as well as the World Council of Churches.

What’s it all about?

For more than 2000 years, acts of healing have characterized the life and essence of Christian communities. They are central to the mission of local parishes as well as to the charitable work of churches around the world.

We are worried that issues of 'Health and Healing' will not be represented as an independent programme within the World Council of Churches following the General Assembly in Busan in November this year.

What needs to happen?

Together with our partners we have drafted an appeal pleading to preserve the WCC’s health work. The Appeal can be read below.

We are asking you to take note of this document and to add weight to the concern through your signature. We are collecting the names of all supporters and will forward them to the WCC’s Central Committee.

 

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