On 30 November 2017 KELIN participated in consultations with the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Dainius Púras. The meeting provided a platform for the UN Special Rapporteur to engage with regional civil society organizations (CSOs) on issues affecting the right to health and the deprivation of liberty. The one-day meeting, held in Cape Town, was convened by Africa Criminal Justice Reform (ACJR) and Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), and supported by the Special Rapporteur’s team from the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex.
During the meeting, KELIN made submissions to the Special Rapporteur on the unjustifiable, unlawful and unreasonable use of public health concerns as defenses for imprisonment and confinement of TB patients. During this time, KELIN highlighted Petition 329 of 2014 (TB is Not a Crime) case which challenged the practice of incarceration of TB patients who have challenges adhering to medication. In the same context, KELIN discussed how the practice of criminalizing HIV exposure, non-disclosure and transmission negatively impacts on the realization of the right to health, contributes to stigma, discrimination and gender based violence.
The participants also made submission to the Special Rapporteur on the inadequacy of the criminal justice system in protecting the right to health in the region.
The Consultation accorded civil society organizations with an opportunity to provide a regional perspective to inform and support the development of the Special Rapporteur’s upcoming thematic report to the United Nations Human Rights Council on the right to health and the deprivation of liberty.
This forum was useful to KELIN in advancing advocacy for a rights-based approach in the TB and HIV responses. KELIN will continue advocating for integration of human rights frameworks in TB and HIV strategies, both at the national, regional and global levels.
To contribute to the discussion and for live updates follow KELIN on our social media platforms: Twitter: @KELINkenya; Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kelinkenya
For more information contact:
Programme Officer HIV & TB
Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV & AIDS (KELIN)
4th Floor, Somak Building, Mombasa Road
PO Box 112-00200, KNH