05 Nov 2018

Civil Society Calls For Rapid International Response to the Human Rights Crisis in Tanzania

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To: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization
Seth Berkley, CEO Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
Mariam Claeson, Director Global Financing Facility
Henrietta Fore, Executive Director UNICEF
Natalia Kanem, Executive Director UNFPA
Jim Kim, President World Bank Group
Peter Sands, Executive Director Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
Michel Sidibé, Executive Director UNAIDS
Achim Steiner, Administrator UNDP
Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

 

2 November 2018

We, the undersigned civil society and global key constituency-led organizations and networks, met as members of the Community, Rights and Gender (CRG) Advisory Group for the Global Fund CRG department, in Geneva on 1-2 November 2018. During our meeting, we received an update on the shocking developments that pose a direct threat to the health, safety and wellbeing of LGBT people, sex workers and other key and vulnerable populations in Tanzania.

We therefore urgently call on the heads of the UN and the multilateral health and development organizations, collaborating under the recently launched SDG3 Action Plan, to mobilize a coordinated response to the escalating crisis of state sanctioned violence facing the communities of LGBT people, sex workers and people who use drugs in Tanzania.

In an era of rising populism and heightened political repression around the world, communities most affected by HIV, TB and malaria, including people who use drugs, sex workers, LGBT people, with specific concern for transgender people, gay men and other men who have sex with men, are experiencing an escalation in state-sanctioned violence. Trends in state sanctioned violence, including gender-based violence, are fueled by pervasive levels of stigma, discrimination, and conservative populism. It has become all too common for political demagogues to use key populations as a political wedge to subjugate, oppress, debase, and belittle its citizens.

Urgent, Joint, Coordinated Action Is Needed to Immediately:

  • Create an interagency Situation Roomto enable rapid, better coordinated and impactful responses between the relevant institutions.
  • Establish a Crisis Fund to rapidly support civil society groups on the ground or groups that have access to communities on the ground, working to coordinate communications and ensure safety and security of individuals who are the targets of acute violence.
  • Support the development of a Human Rights Risk Index that describes a country’s human rights conditions to help inform their eligibility for funding, including for global catalytic funding, that couldbolster crisis mitigation measures.
  • Enhance the efforts of all institutions and other stakeholders to structurally invest in building Community Systems and Responses that will enable more flexible and effective responses at country level and help to support and protect key and vulnerable populations.
  • Encourage UN member states and UN institutions to condemn human rights abuses and to reaffirm their commitment to improving the legal, policy and social conditionsagainst which effective national health responses occur.

We stand in solidarity with community members and health workers on the front lines in Tanzania and around the world who are working relentlessly to ensure unfettered access to high quality, rights-based HIV, TB, and malaria prevention, treatment, care and support services.

 

In Solidarity,

International Civil Society Support (ICSS)

The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+)

Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE)

MPact Global Action for Gay Men’s Health and Rights

African Men for Sexual Health and Right (AMSHeR)

The Lean on Me Foundation

Alliance for Public Health

Eurasian Network of People Who Use Drugs (ENPUD)

Ukrainian Network of People Who Use Drugs (PUD.UA/VOLNA)

International Network of People who use Drugs (INPUD)

Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Programme

Civil Society Movement Against Tuberculosis

TB People

Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP)

Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives

International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW)

Regional Malaria CSO Platform, Greater Mekong Sub-region

AIDS & Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA)

Youth Voices Count – Asia and the Pacific

Developing Country NGO Delegation to the Global Fund to Fights AIDS, TB & Malaria

 

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