Global Fund urged to review human rights policy and stop funding rehabilitation services

NSWP supports the call for the Global Fund to review its policies on human rights, particularly in relation to programming for key populations.

A workshop was recently held in Geneva that brought together leading experts in health and human rights, technical partners, representatives of networks of key populations and people living with HIV, donors, grant recipients, civil society organizations, scholars and Global Fund board members and staff. Recommendations contained in the workshop report centred around the need for better management of the risks of human rights violations in Global Fund programs, including the urgent need to stop any funding going to health programs in rehabilitation and detention centres for any key population.

Some of the key recommendations related to key populations in the report:

  • Create a Global Fund policy on not funding programs in drug detention centres, as well as sex worker and LGBT "rehabilitation" programs
  • Consider speaking out publically on issues of human rights violations and the need to protect key populations from these
  • Issue policy statements in line with recommendations of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, including on the areas of treatment access and intellectual property
  • Increase the human rights capacity and expertise on the Technical Review Panel
  • Review concept notes to check they are in line with international standards for rights-based HIV programming
  • Develop operational guidance to address human rights and include clear guidance on what types of programmes constitute human rights violations and the process for redress should rights violation take place by grantees
  • Increase funding for data collection and support community-based organisations to gather data (we need data to make the investment case for key populations and this must be collected in partnership with the community to avoid rights-violating data gathering practices)
  • Work with key population networks and other civil society groups to coordinate investigations and complaints into human rights violations

You can download the full 37page report in English here:

Participants recommended that the Global Fund not support any programs that include compulsory “rehabilitation” of sex workers or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual persons; and that the Fund ensure that it does not support or promote mandatory HIV testing. NSWP is engaging in discussions on the best way to ensure rights-violating programs are not funded and the procedures in place for redress are effective and can be accessed by sex workers and members of other key populations.

Continue this discussion by posting a reply to this thread, and voice any concerns and opinions on recommendations that can be made to the Global Fund from sex workers. As one of the biggest health donors, we must hold the Global Fund to account and ensure that key populations are not left behind and not subjected to rights violations in the name of health!