Civil society, legal experts and human rights lawyers team up to improve access to legal services
UNDP, and its regional and national partners—the Eastern European and Central Asian Union of PLHIV (ECUO), the Moldovan Institute for Human Rights (IDOM) and NGO Viata Noua (“New Life”)—conducted a capacity building training for people living with and affected by HIV in Moldova.
During the training, civil society organizations, legal experts and human rights lawyers learned how to use the law in protecting, upholding and fulfilling their rights, improve legal literacy, and access to legal services by increasing awareness of HIV-related laws, policies and regulations. They also discussed how to officially register complaints and where to access quality legal services for human rights infringements of key populations at higher risk to HIV.
“This training was instrumental in raising legal awareness and uptake of HIV-related legal services among the HIV community in Moldova. Activists from all corners of Moldova will go back home and share the gained knowledge with their colleagues”, said Liudmila Untura, Chair of NGO "CREDINTA".
Moldova is also home to some of the best examples of legislation and legal implementation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. No country in the region can match Moldova’s access coverage for harm reduction services in penitentiaries. Moldova has already adopted legislative and regulatory amendments for removing HIV as grounds for restricting people’s right to entry and residence, as well as other discriminatory provisions.
“International standards provide a key framework for ensuring the rights of people living with and affected by HIV in Moldova. Civil society organizations are central to ensuring the effectiveness of the human rights system. Moldovan HIV/AIDS organizations have already demonstrated that engagement with the UN human rights machinery can bring positive, durable change, said Claude Cahn, Human Rights Adviser to the UN in Moldova. “The review later this year of Moldova by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) provides an important opportunity to raise issues of concern for women living with HIV/AIDS, with a view to further improving policy, law and practice.”
According to UNAIDS, about 15,000 people are living with HIV in the Republic of Moldova, and as of January 2012 there were 1,882 new registered cases of HIV infection. The epidemic is considered to be low prevalence with a concentrated HIV epidemic among injecting drug users and other most-at-risk populations.
The training was organized in the framework of the regional project “HIV, Rights and Universal Access in Eastern Europe” implemented by UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre in partnership with the International Development Law Organisation (IDLO). The project is co-funded by the European Union.
Evgheni Golosceapov, Programme Analyst, Justice and Human Rights, email@example.com, Tel: (+373 22) 269 119, 220 045, ext.119