Thursday, December 16, 2010

HealthRight and Others Urge the Global Fund to Adopt a Human Rights Framework

AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria are three of the world’s most devastating diseases. People who are already marginalized because of poverty and social and political exclusion are most at risk of these diseases, and in turn they are least likely to get care. Human rights violations like discrimination and abuse increase vulnerability to these diseases.

In 2002, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was established as a central funding mechanism to help poor countries address the growing spread of these three killers. Donor governments and the private sector contribute to the Fund, which disburses the money in grants to provide treatment, support prevention, and strengthen health systems. Now, two-thirds of all international funding to fight TB and malaria, and nearly a quarter of all funding against AIDS, is channeled through the Global Fund. The Fund represents a breakthrough in international cooperation that has supported significant increases in access to care for many suffering from AIDS, TB, and malaria.

However, we still have a long way to go against these three diseases and the human rights abuses that are linked to them. The Global Fund is under-resourced for the enormous scale of the epidemics, and in the current economic downtown, donor governments have been slow to commit more

Additionally, the Global Fund itself is still developing and learning the best ways to work with communities and governments to ensure that everyone who is infected or at risk gets treatment and prevention. One important way the Global Fund can improve is by adopting a human rights framework for all of its work. Another is to expand to give special consideration for maternal and child care.

HealthRight has joined many other voices from around the world to encourage the Global Fund to make these fundamental changes to expand its impact and work as effectively as possibly. Read more about the call for the Global Fund integrate human rights principles into all its operations here.

And read more about the recommendation that the Global Fund strengthen its engagement in newborn, child, maternal and reproductive health here.