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ICW: The International Community of Women with HIV/AIDS - www.icw.org

CIVIL SOCIETY CONSENSUS IN ASIA PACIFIC AND AFRICA CALL FOR STRONG FOCUS ON KEY ISSUES IMPACTING WOMEN LIVING WITH HIV IN BEIJING +20 REGIONAL REVIEWS

November 18, 2014 - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia/ Bangkok, Thailand- Recently released CSO statements from both the Asia Pacific and Africa Beijing+20 regional reviews issue a strong call to action for the critical issues impacting women living with HIV to be included in ongoing regional and global discussions such as the 59th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 59) in March 2015. At this year's session of CSW, governments will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and will be reviewing and appraising implementation of its Platform for Action. The reviews in Asia Pacific and Africa have been part of a process of regional reviews leading up to CSW. ICW applauds this strong focus on key issues for women living with HIV in these regions in addition to other critical goals around gender equality, freedom from violence, and women's economic security in advance of the upcoming deliberations on the post-2015 development agenda.

In a declaration released yesterday by the African NGO forum ahead of the country negotiations at the 9th Africa Regional Conference on the 20 Year Review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPfA), African NGO's affirmed the need for a strong focus on the issues of women living with HIV. In particular, the NGO declaration asks country delegates to " Guarantee sexual and reproductive health and rights for all women, including young women, adolescents, and women with disability, women living with HIV and other marginalized groups, by ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, information and comprehensive sexuality education ." Critically, the NGOs issue a call to " Repeal laws that criminalize the transmission of HIV, particularly those that single out women and other marginalized groups living with HIV , " and demand an end to " coercive HIV testing of women, forced sterilization and abortion for women living with HIV." 

"We are very glad that the sexual and reproductive rights of women living with HIV are front and center in this call to action on the issues impacting African women - We must not be forgotten in the global discourse." Aminat Alli-Agboola, ICW member, Nigeria.

CSOs in Asia Pacific echoed this call to action, demanding sexual and reproductive rights for all women including marginalized populations such as women living with HIV. Additionally, CSOs in Asia Pacific advocated an end to " laws and policies that discriminate and/or criminalize sex workers, people who use drugs, mobile and migrant women and transgender people, including policies that conflate sex work with trafficking, criminalize HIV transmission, and deport migrants on the basis of HIV status. " and requested that governments " scale up interventions that end stigma and discrimination in health care settings for key affected women and girls, including prohibition of compulsory HIV and pregnancy testing, denial of services; subjection to degrading and/or humiliating treatment; forced contraception; forced sterilization and forced abortion."

ICW representative at the CSO forum in Asia Pacific and ICW Global Director Rebecca Matheson says "the inclusion of language calling for an end to mandatory testing and human rights violations including forced and coerced sterilization and abortion is absolutely critical to securing the rights of women living with HIV and ensuring their well being."   ICW urges governments to hear this call to action and ensure that the critical issues impacting women living with HIV are addressed in any outcome documents from the regional Beijing reviews and in key upcoming global spaces including the development of the post-2015 agenda.

ICW advocates from Nigeria, Kenya, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Nepal and Australia have been participating simultaneously in these regional reviews to a secure a better future for women living with HIV.

Useful Links:

ASIA PACIFIC BEIJING+20 CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM STATEMENT available at:

http://isiswomen.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1728:asia-pacific-cso-forum-on-beijing-20&catid=211&Itemid=468

9TH AFRICA REGIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE 20-YEAR REVIEW OF THE BEIJING DECLARATION AND PLATFORM FOR ACTION (BDPfA) NGO FORUM DECLARATION available at: http://femnet.co/index.php/en/beijing-plus-20/item/326-africa-cso-position-statement

For more information contact:

ASIA PACIFIC BEIJING+20  - Rebecca Matheson, icwglobaldirector@gmail.com

AFRICA BEIJING+20 -Rachel Oostendorp, rachelicwglobal@gmail.com


Reproduced with permission - "ICW: The International Community of Women with HIV/AIDS"

ICW: The International Community of Women with HIV/AIDS
www.icw.org



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