Sensitization of law-makers and law enforcement agents

Sensitization of law-makers and law enforcement agents

Sensitization and capacity strengthening interventions aim to sensitize law and policy makers to the importance of rights-based laws and policies, support strategic litigation by informed lawyers and sensitized decision-making by members of the judiciary and national human rights institutions and improve law enforcement by the police. Activities include:

  • Sensitization of parliamentarians on the impact of law on human rights, gender equality, HIV, TB and malaria
  • Sensitizing and supporting the work of national human rights institutions to increase  awareness of, monitor and investigate human rights violations against key populations and to advocate for appropriate action
  • Working with the judiciary to increase information and understanding of HIV, TB, malaria, and its interaction with the law and human rights issues
Case Study: Regional Judges Forum in Africa sensitizes judiciary on TB, HIV, law and human rights

In Africa, the Regional Judges Forum, supported by UNDP Regional Service for Africa, brings together members of the judiciary from countries across Africa to meet and discuss HIV and TB law and human rights issues in the region.

The Judges Forum provides an opportunity for judges to hear expert medical, scientific and legal evidence on matters relating to HIV, TB and the law as well as to hear about the impact of the law directly from key populations, including sex workers, gay and bisexual men and men who have sex with men, transgender people, women and girls and prisoners on sexual and reproductive health and rights. The judiciary discuss landmark judgements affecting the rights of people in the context of HIV and TB and share experiences and insights.

Members of the Regional Judges Forum are increasingly knowledgeable and sensitized on matters relating to HIV, TB, law and human rights and have presided over important judgements in the region. For example, they have acted as resource persons to train paralegal staff and clerks in courts in Kenya. Some of the Forum members were part of the High Court of Kenya that ruled as unconstitutional the criminalization of HIV transmission in law. In Botswana a member of the Forum was part of a ruling that entitled HIV  treatment to foreign prisoners.

Sample Case Study: Africa Regional Judges' Forum sensitizes judges on HIV, TB and the law

Ensuring appropriate law enforcement practices protect people living with and affected by HIV, TB and malaria, including key populations from abuse, harassment, illegal detention, involuntary testing, denial of health care, confiscation of needles, syringes and condoms. Recommended programmatic activities include:

  • Sensitizing police and other law enforcement officials on HIV transmission, human rights and engagement of populations, including key populations, and the negative public health impact of harsh police activity
  • Facilitated discussions and negotiations among service providers and law enforcement officials to address practices that impede on public health and access to services
  • Development of codes of conduct for police
  • HIV workplace policies and programmes for law enforcement officials, and
  • Engagement of lawmakers and personnel in health and justice ministries with regard to law enforcement practices.
Case Study: Working with the police in Thailand

In Thailand, police training has been implemented through a partnership between the Royal Thai Police, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Public Health, Foundation for AIDS Rights and UNDP. Since 2013, the Innovative Learning Programme on HIV and Human Rights in the Context of Law Enforcement has sensitized police to issues concerning human rights, people living with HIV and key populations.

Review of Country Progress in Addressing Legal and Policy Barriers to Universal Access to HIV services in Asia and the Pacific
Case Study: National human rights institutions working with CSOs to promote the rights of LGBTI people in Albania

Together, national human rights institutions and four civil society organisations - Alliance LGBT, Pro LGBT, PINK Embassy and OMSA – have influenced law and policy to promote human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex populations in Albania.

A strong partnership between civil society organisations advocating and lobbying for protective laws and policies, and statutory institutions such as the People’s Advocate, the Albanian Ombudsperson and the Commissioner for Protection from Discrimination, has helped to increase awareness of the discrimination faced by LGBTI populations in Albania and sensitize political leaders to the need for protections in law and policy.

The People’s Advocate’s subsequent report and recommendations on strengthening the legal and regulatory framework for LGBTI persons in Albania was considered and referred to by a Parliamentary Sub-Commission on Human Rights. In May 2015, this ultimately led to the Albanian Parliament approving a resolution “On the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of LGBTI community", which amongst other things:

  • Promoted the development of a National Plan of Measures to protect the rights of LGBTI people in Albania
  • Urged the revision of the legal framework to strengthen human rights protection
  • Approved the amendments to the Labour Code as recommended by the People’s Advocate’s report
  • Urged government to implement the Recommendation CM/Rec (2010)5 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to strengthen anti-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Called for the Ministry of Education and Sports to train educators to combat homophobia and transphobia in learning environments
  • Urged government to conduct inspections to guarantee the implementation of anti-discrimination provisions in the workplace
  • Called for government to support civil society organisations protecting the rights of LGBTI persons and
  • Nominated the People’s Advocate to monitor the observation of the fundamental and constitutional rights of LGBTI people in Albania.
Reducing Inequalities & Exclusion and Combating Homophobia & Transphobia experienced by LGBTI people in Albania
Critical Enablers