‘Bridging the Gap’ Report Addresses Health and Rights for Sex Workers, LGBT, Drug Users
A new Dutch publication has been released that addresses the human rights violations and challenges faced by sex workers, people who use drugs, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, in accessing much-needed HIV and health services.
The report, Bridging the Gap – Health and Rights for Key Populations, was launched as a joint initiative of five Dutch non-governmental organisations: Aids Fonds, AIDS Foundation East West (AFEW), Federation of Dutch Associations for the Integration of Homosexuality (COC), Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+), and Mainline.
The reports looks at the efforts the Dutch Government has made in addressing these key populations – including legislative processes, assistance to grassroots groups, and focus on HIV/AIDS as well as strategic partnerships.
The Bridging the Gap initiative supports and builds the capacities of local organisations and activists to ensure the human rights of marginalised groups.
‘We strive for a world free from hostility against homosexuals, a world where people who use drugs can access clean needles without the risk of arrest, and where sex workers do not need to fear violence from clients or the police. Ensuring that the human rights of these key populations are respected, protected and fulfilled is also an essential precondition to improving their health,’ the reports says.
The Bridging the Gaps programme (2011-2015), funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is currently the largest programme in the world combining services and advocacy activities for these three key populations.
Among the key achievements of this global initiative have been:
- Improved quality of and access to HIV prevention, treatment, care, support, and other services for key populations in several countries such as Kenya, South Africa.
- Improved human rights of key populations in countries such as Zimbabwe, Ecuador
- Integrating services for key populations into general health systems e.g. such as in Costa Rica
- Strengthened the capacity of civil society organisations working on HIV and key populations e.g. in Uganda; and
- The development and strengthening of a comprehensive and concerted approach on HIV and key populations by the alliance partners e.g. in Brazil, Botswana, Indonesia.
The report can be accessed here.