UNAIDS warns of dangers of failing to respect human rights in the COVID-19 response

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UNAIDS

UNAIDS has released a new report focusing on policy responses in the very early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing attention to the experiences of some of the most marginalised and vulnerable communities.

“This 16-country review of policy responses restricting the movement of people as a strategy to halt COVID-19 finds that current responses in many countries have resulted in significant breaches of rights, including of people who are living with or vulnerable to HIV—some of which have already cost lives. Discriminatory enforcement, violence, overly restrictive lockdown orders, prison overcrowding and overreliance on criminal law enforcement are harmful in and of themselves, disproportionately impact key populations and are likely to undermine public health strategies and community trust in government.”

Rights in a pandemic – Lockdowns, rights and lessons from HIV in the early response to COVID-19 outlines 10 immediate areas for action for governments towards building effective, rights-based COVID-19 responses.

Recommended actions include taking proactive measures to ensure that people, particularly people in vulnerable groups, can access HIV treatment and prevention services, designating and supporting essential workers, including community-led organisations, and implementing measures to prevent and address gender-based violence.

You can download the full PDF report on the UNAIDS website.

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