Statement by the NGO Delegation to the Programme Coordinating Board of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) – May 17th, 2017
On this International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), the NGO Delegation to the UNAIDS PCB celebrates the sexual and gender diversities of our communities and commemorates those who have suffered or lost their lives due to violence against sexual and gender minorities.
The NGO Delegation acknowledges the developments in the rights of LGBT+ individuals towards equality in many regions of the world, but is highly concerned by the continuing discrimination and criminalization of LGBT+ persons.
The recent violent developments in Chechnya, the Russian Federation, where members of the LGBT+ community, especially gay men and transgender people are detained, tortured and murdered is one of the many examples from all over the world proving that there is still a long way to go.
The global phenomenon of scapegoating, stigmatizing and persecution of LGBT+ individuals, communities and their organizations, are clear violations of human rights of sexual minorities, and undermine all commitments and efforts to reach zero discrimination by 2020 and ending AIDS by 2030, particularly Fast Track Commitments 3 (ensuring access to combination prevention among key populations) and 9 (empowering key populations in knowing their rights and prevention of violation of these rights).
Globally we are far from reaching these targets due to the inadequate responses in several regions where key populations, including gay men and other MSM, are left behind, and who are, at best, completely ignored in the national HIV responses.
The NGO Delegation joins the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in its call for Member States to end punitive and stigmatizing laws, policies and practices that criminalize and discriminate against LGBT+ individuals. In addition, we urge UN agencies, including the Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), to provide support and technical assistance to communities and Member States so that everyone can enjoy equal access to prevention, treatment and care services in human dignity regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The NGO delegation to the UNAIDS PCB was established as a civil society representative member to the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board, the UNAIDS governing body. Current members of the PCB include Africa: Musah El-nasoor Lumumba, Uganda Youth Coalition on Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and HIV (CYSRA), Uganda; Kene Esom, AMSHeR, South Africa; Asia and the Pacific: Jeffry Acaba, Asia Pacific Network of Young Key Populations (Youth LEAD), Thailand; Sonal Mehta, HIV Alliance India, India; Europe: Ferenc Bagyinszky, AIDS Action Europe (AAE), Germany; Latin America and the Caribbean: Erika Castellanos, C-NET+, Belize, Alessandra Nilo, Gestos, Brazil; North America: Trevor Stratton, Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, Canada, Marsha Martin, Global Network of Black People Working in HIV (GNBPH), US.