#zerodiscrimination for everyone; everywhere
On Zero Discrimination Day, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is highlighting the right of everyone to be free from discrimination.
DAR ES SALAAM, 3 March 2018, Dar es Salaam—Zero Discrimination Day is a global commemorative day which takes place every year on 1 March. In the context of HIV, stigma and discrimination hampers effective HIV programming and is a violation of human rights. Zero Discrimination Day is anchored on the UNAIDS vision of eliminating all forms of discrimination, based on HIV status, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnicity, language, geographical location or migrant status, or for any other reason. This is particularly pertinent in health care, workplace and educational settings.
“We will not achieve our vision for health or realize any of the Sustainable Development Goals if we do not confront discrimination,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS.
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights report, HIV, the law and human rights in the African human rights system: key challenges and opportunities for rights-based responses provides a guide for the continental response to human rights violations in the AIDS response. Some of these include inequality, discrimination towards people living with HIV, limited access to HIV treatment, restrictive intellectual property regimes, conflict and migration, coercive HIV testing and counselling, restrictions on civil society and the criminalization of people living with HIV and key populations. The report also highlights good practices from across the African continent, including law and policy reform, progressive court decisions and programmes to advance human rights protection and access to HIV and health services.
With the commitment and involvement of high-level political leadership, activism and expertise from networks of people living with HIV and civil society, private sector, researchers and development partners, Tanzania is on the Fast-Track to Ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. The Fast-Track approach involves setting ambitious targets to accelerate the delivery of high-impact HIV prevention and treatment services. It uses innovation to expand services to bring them closer to people and focus on the locations and populations with the highest HIV burden. It also addresses social and legal barriers and stigma and discrimination.
“We need to ensure that everyone enjoys the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health,” said Leopold Zekeng, UNAIDS Country Director and Representative to Tanzania. “On Zero Discrimination Day, we call for everyone to promote acceptance, inclusion and compassion towards ensuring zero discrimination”.
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The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.