The purpose of the toolkit is to provide a practical resource to help to improve the quality and impact of HIV-related legal services and to expand their availability. The toolkit provides guidance on factors to be taken into account when designing and scaling up an HIV-related legal services programme. It also provides guidance about different models and approaches for delivering, monitoring and evaluating HIV-related legal services and gives information about resource mobilization.
Who is This Toolkit For?
This toolkit is for people working to establish, strengthen or expand HIV-related legal services.
The toolkit is primarily for:
- Lawyers, legal service managers and other staff involved in delivering legal services for people living with HIV, people affected by HIV and key populations.
- People planning to establish or expand HIV-related legal services and those involved in preparing proposals to funders. This may include networks of people living with HIV, HIV-focused organizations and organizations that are providing other services to people living with HIV, people affected by HIV and key populations.
- The toolkit is also for government staff, funders, technical support providers and organizations, including donors and United Nations agencies, that are engaged in the planning of legal services as a component of national HIV responses.
Background and Rationale
HIV-related legal services are an essential component of an effective national HIV response. HIV-related legal services:
- Protect and promote the human rights of people living with HIV, people affected by HIV and key populations.
- Are essential to ensure good public health and development outcomes.
HIV-related legal services contribute directly to building an enabling environment for effective HIV programmes. Legal services help to ensure access
to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services. Legal services enable people to claim and enforce their rights to access HIV services and thereby create demand for access to HIV services.
Examples of how legal services can support HIV prevention, treatment, care and support include the following.
- HIV prevention:
- Police behaviour can make HIV prevention efforts more difficult by driving key populations away from HIV prevention and testing services. Legal services can counteract illegal police behaviour in the context of law enforcement, such as harassment, discrimination, violence, arbitrary arrest and rape, of those vulnerable to or affected by HIV, such as sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people and people who use illicit drugs.
- HIV treatment, care and support:
- Legal services can help people living with HIV to access health services, income support and housing and deal with debt relief and end-of-life planning.
- Legal services can ensure that people living with HIV, sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people and people who use illicit drugs are not denied access to social and health services because of discriminatory attitudes or rules.