Original HRC document

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Document Type: Final Resolution

Date: 2018 Jul

Session: 38th Regular Session (2018 Jun)

Agenda Item: Item3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development

GE.18-11832(E)

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Human Rights Council Thirty-eighth session

18 June–6 July 2018

Agenda item 3

Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 5 July 2018

38/8. Human rights in the context of HIV and AIDS

The Human Rights Council,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and all relevant

international human rights treaties,

Reaffirming also that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,

and recognizing that these rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,

Reaffirming further that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interrelated,

interdependent and mutually reinforcing,

Recalling Human Rights Council resolutions 12/27 of 2 October 2009, 30/8 of 1

October 2015, 32/15 of 1 July 2016, 35/23 of 23 June 2017 and 36/13 of 28 September

2017, and other relevant resolutions of the Council and the Commission on Human Rights,

Reaffirming the Political Declarations on HIV and AIDS adopted by the General

Assembly on 2 June 2006, 10 June 2011 and 8 June 2016, and the Declaration of

Commitment on HIV/AIDS adopted by the Assembly on 27 June 2001,

Recalling the International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, annexed to

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1997/33 of 11 April 1997, which provide

guidance on ensuring respect for and the protection and fulfilment of human rights in the

context of HIV,

Recalling also resolution 60/2 on women, the girl child and HIV and AIDS, adopted

on 24 March 2016 by the Commission on the Status of Women,

Recalling further the panel discussion held on 11 March 2016, at the thirty-first

session of the Human Rights Council, to review the progress in and challenges of

addressing human rights in the context of efforts to end AIDS by 2030,1

Welcoming the 2017 Social Forum, on the promotion and protection of human rights

in the context of the HIV epidemic and other communicable diseases and epidemics, and

taking note with appreciation of its report,2

1 See A/HRC/32/25.

United Nations A/HRC/RES/38/8

Recognizing the leading role of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

and its co-sponsor organizations, such as the World Health Organization, in the global

effort to end AIDS by 2030,

Reaffirming General Assembly resolution 70/1 of 25 September 2015, entitled

“Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, in which the

Assembly adopted the outcome document of the United Nations summit for the adoption of

the post-2015 development agenda and pledged that no one would be left behind,

Welcoming the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 3 on ensuring

healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages, and its specific and interlinked

targets, particularly target 3.3, which envisages ending by 2030 the epidemics of AIDS,

tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combating hepatitis, waterborne

diseases and other communicable diseases, as well as all other health-related Goals,

Recognizing that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is guided by the

purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, including full respect for

international law, and is grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

international human rights treaties, the United Nations Millennium Declaration and the

2005 World Summit Outcome, and is informed by other instruments, such as the

Declaration on the Right to Development,

Recognizing also that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda must be consistent

with a State’s obligations under international human rights law,

Recognizing further that universal health coverage anchored in respect for and the

protection and fulfilment of the human right to health is essential in the response to HIV

and AIDS,

Noting with grave concern that, in spite of recent progress in the response to the

HIV epidemic, approximately 36.7 million people are living with HIV globally, that an

estimated 11.2 million people living with HIV are unaware of their HIV status, and that

another 6 million who know of their infection have no access to antiretroviral therapy,

Particularly concerned that progress against the HIV epidemic is uneven across

regions, countries and populations, that in some parts of the world new infections are

increasing and access to HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and support remains

limited, and that populations most in need of HIV services continue to be left behind,

Recognizing that women and girls are more vulnerable to HIV infection and that

they bear a disproportionate burden of the impact of the HIV and AIDS epidemic, which

includes care of and support for those living with and affected by HIV and AIDS, and that

this negatively affects girls by depriving them of their childhood and diminishing their

opportunities to receive an education, often resulting in their having to head households and

increasing their vulnerability to the worst forms of child labour and to sexual exploitation,

Concerned at the continuing high prevalence of HIV among key populations,

Recognizing that addressing the holistic needs and rights of persons living with, at

risk of or affected by HIV throughout the course of their life will require close collaboration

with efforts to end poverty and hunger everywhere, to improve food and nutrition security

and access to free, non-discriminatory primary and secondary education, to promote healthy

lives and well-being, to provide access to HIV-sensitive social protection for all, including

for children, to reduce inequalities within and among countries, to achieve gender equality

and the empowerment of all women and girls, to provide for decent work and economic

empowerment and to promote healthy cities, stable housing and just and inclusive societies

for all,

Reaffirming that the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms

for all is an essential element in the global response to the HIV epidemic, including in the

areas of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and support, and that such a response reduces

a person’s vulnerability to HIV,

2 A/HRC/37/74.

Recognizing that addressing stigma, discrimination, violence and abuse against all

persons living with, presumed to be living with, at risk of or affected by HIV is a critical

element in ending AIDS,

Mindful of the importance of national, regional and international legal environments

ensuring universal access to HIV-related prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and support,

including for key populations,

Recognizing the critical role and space of civil society, including communities,

affected populations and community-based organizations, as a catalyst for rights-based and

evidence-informed responses to HIV, and recognizing their long-standing contribution to

the global response to AIDS,

Stressing the need for the international community to continue to assist developing

countries in promoting the full realization of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the

highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, including through access to

medicines, in particular essential medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and medical devices that

are affordable, safe, efficacious and of quality; financial and technical support and training

of personnel, while recognizing that the primary responsibility for respecting, protecting

and fulfilling all human rights rests with States; and recognizing the fundamental

importance of the transfer of environmentally sound technologies on favourable terms,

including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed,

Reaffirming the right to use, to the fullest extent, the provisions contained in the

World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property

Rights (TRIPS Agreement), which provides flexibilities for the protection of public health

and promotes access to medicines for all, in particular for developing countries, and in the

Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which recognizes that

intellectual property protection is important for the development of new medicines and also

recognizes the concerns about its effects on prices,

Bearing in mind paragraph 5 (h) of General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 15

March 2006, in which the Assembly decided that the Human Rights Council should work

in close cooperation with regional organizations,

Reaffirming the fact that regional arrangements play an important role in promoting

and protecting human rights and should reinforce universal human rights standards, as

contained in international human rights instruments, including in the context of the

response to HIV,

1. Affirms that respect for and the protection and fulfilment of human rights in

the context of HIV, including universal access to HIV-related prevention, diagnosis,

treatment, care and support, are an essential element in achieving the full realization of the

right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental

health and in ending AIDS;

2. Welcomes the Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS: On the Fast Track to

Accelerating the Fight against HIV and to Ending the AIDS Epidemic by 2030, adopted by

the General Assembly in its resolution 70/266 of 8 June 2016, and urges States to take all

steps necessary to implement the commitments therein;

3. Calls upon all States and relevant United Nations funds, programmes and

specialized agencies, and international and regional intergovernmental and non-

governmental organizations, to continue to take all steps necessary to ensure respect for and

the protection and fulfilment of human rights and to prevent and eliminate stigma,

discrimination, violence and abuse in the context of HIV as an essential part of efforts to

achieve the goal of universal access to HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and

support;

4. Urges States to ensure full and unimpeded access for all persons living with,

presumed to be living with, at risk of or affected by HIV, including key populations, to HIV

prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and support, in a public health environment free from

discrimination, harassment or persecution against those seeking HIV-related services, while

respecting and protecting their right to privacy, confidentiality and free and informed

consent;

5. Also urges States to bring their laws, policies and practices, including their

strategies for implementing the HIV- and other health-related Sustainable Development

Goals, fully into compliance with their obligations under international human rights law,

and to review or repeal those that are discriminatory or that adversely affect the successful,

effective and equitable delivery of HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and support

programmes for all persons living with, presumed to be living with, at risk of or affected by

HIV, including key populations;

6. Expresses grave concern that discriminatory attitudes and policies towards

persons living with, presumed to be living with, at risk of or affected by HIV, including

those co-infected by tuberculosis, continue to be reported, and that restrictive and punitive

legal and policy frameworks continue to discourage and prevent people from having access

to prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and support services;

7. Welcomes and encourages regional efforts to set ambitious targets and design

and implement strategies to accelerate the response to end AIDS;

8. Encourages the exchange, among countries and regions, of information,

research, evidence, best practices and experiences for implementing the measures and

commitments relating to the global response to HIV and AIDS, as well as subregional,

regional, interregional and global cooperation and coordination;

9. Reaffirms that access to safe, effective and affordable medicines, diagnosis

and treatment for all, without discrimination, in the context of epidemics such as HIV and

AIDS, is fundamental to the full realization of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the

highest attainable standard of physical and mental health;

10. Recognizes the need to scale up national, regional and international efforts,

including by increasing investments, funding, official development assistance, and

technology transfer on mutually agreed terms, to reduce the rate of new HIV infections and

AIDS-related deaths, in order to avoid the epidemic rebounding in some countries, which

may not reach the ambitious, time-bound targets and commitments already set, including

the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS 90-90-90 treatment targets by 2020 and

the target of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030;

11. Strongly encourages States, in the context of HIV prevention, diagnosis,

treatment, care and support, to provide human rights education and training for health

workers, the police, law enforcement officers and prison staff, and other relevant

professions, with a special focus on non-discrimination, free and informed consent and

respect for the will and preferences of all, confidentiality and privacy, and non-harassment,

so as to allow outreach and other service activities and to exchange best practices in this

regard;

12. Stresses that the lack of respect for and of protection and fulfilment of the

human rights of all women and girls and their sexual and reproductive health and

reproductive rights in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International

Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for

Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences, and of their enjoyment of

the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, aggravates the

impact of the epidemic among them and increases their vulnerability;

13. Calls upon States to address as a priority the vulnerabilities faced by children

affected by or living with HIV, providing those children and their families with social

protection, support and rehabilitation, including social and psychological rehabilitation and

care, paediatric services and medicines, free from stigma and discrimination, and

intensifying efforts to eliminate vertical transmission and to develop and provide early

diagnosis tools, child-friendly medicine combinations and new treatments for children,

particularly for infants living in resource-limited settings, and building, where needed, and

supporting social security systems that protect them;

14. Emphasizes that addressing the specific needs of adolescents and young

people, especially girls and young women, in the response to HIV is a key element in

efforts to achieve an AIDS-free generation, and urges Member States to develop accessible,

available and affordable primary health-care services of high quality, including sexual and

reproductive health care, as well as comprehensive education programmes, including those

related to sexually transmitted infections, and to strengthen efforts in this regard, including

by ensuring the active involvement of young people living with or affected by HIV in the

response;

15. Calls upon States to accelerate efforts to scale up scientifically accurate, age-

appropriate comprehensive education, relevant to cultural contexts, that provides adolescent

girls and boys and young women and men, in and out of school, consistent with their

evolving capacities, with information on sexual and reproductive health, sexuality and HIV

prevention, gender equality and women’s empowerment, human rights, and physical,

psychological and pubertal development;

16. Recalls that the multiple or aggravated forms of discrimination, stigma,

violence and abuse often faced by persons living with, presumed to be living with or

affected by HIV and by members of key populations have negative consequences for their

enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of mental health;

17. Emphasizes the need to take into account the public health dimension of the

world drug problem, in accordance with the operational recommendations of the outcome

document of the thirtieth special session of the General Assembly, entitled “Our joint

commitment to effectively addressing and countering the world drug problem”;3

18. Stresses that breaking the cycles of HIV transmission requires ensuring that

all people receive adequate HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and support

throughout their life cycles, including specialized care for HIV and other chronic conditions

linked to ageing, response to drug-resistant strains of HIV, and resistance to antiretrovirals

as well as antimicrobial resistance;

19. Urges States to address the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination

and the specific health-care needs experienced by migrant and mobile populations, and by

refugees and crisis-affected populations, in the context of HIV and to eliminate stigma,

discrimination and violence, as well as to review policies related to restrictions on entry on

the basis of HIV status with a view to eliminating such restrictions and the return of people

on the basis of their HIV status, and to support their access to HIV prevention, diagnosis,

treatment, care and support;

20. Stresses the need to ensure that gender equality strategies also address the

impact of harmful gender norms, including delayed health-seeking behaviours, lower

coverage of HIV testing and treatment and higher HIV-related mortality among men, in

order to ensure better health outcomes for men and to reduce HIV transmission to partners;

21. Also stresses that comprehensive HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care

and support should be available in prisons and other custodial settings;

22. Encourages States, United Nations agencies, funds and programmes,

international, regional and non-governmental organizations, national human rights

institutions and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the meaningful participation of

persons living with or affected by HIV and of key populations both in decision-making

processes relating to, and in the implementation of, policies and programmes on HIV;

23. Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to

organize a consultation, in the first half of 2019, in coordination with the Joint United

Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, lasting one and a half days, to discuss all relevant issues

and challenges pertaining to respect for and the protection and fulfilment of human rights in

the context of the response to HIV, with a focus on regional and subregional strategies and

best practices;

3 General Assembly resolution S-30/1.

24. Also requests the High Commissioner to invite to the consultation Member

States and all other stakeholders, including relevant United Nations bodies, agencies, funds

and programmes, the special procedures, in particular the Special Rapporteur on the right of

everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health,

the treaty bodies, regional human rights and health organizations and bodies, national

human rights institutions and civil society, including persons living with, presumed to be

living with, at risk of or affected by HIV;

25. Further requests the High Commissioner to prepare a report on the outcome

of the consultation, in which the High Commissioner identifies regional and subregional

strategies and best practices to respond to the HIV epidemic and to respect, protect and

fulfil the rights of persons living with, presumed to be living with, at risk of or affected by

HIV, and to present the report to the Human Rights Council at its forty-first session.

37th meeting

5 July 2018

[Adopted without a vote.]