Identifying human rights barriers and how they affect universal health coverage, including for vulnerable and key populations
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A critical first step to developing national plans, investment cases, Global Fund funding requests or other related national policies and strategies for effective national responses to health requires a country-led, multi-stakeholder consultative dialogue, acting on a strong evidence base and with the meaningful engagement and participation of all, to identify and understand:
- Who are the vulnerable and key populations whose health is most at risk?
- What legal, human rights and gender-related inequalities and barriers drive HIV and poor health for these populations?
- How can countries best respond to address these critical enablers, by creating an enabling legal and policy environment that protects human rights, promotes gender equality, reduces stigma, discrimination, inequality and violence and empowers and includes vulnerable and key populations?
UNDP supports countries to undertake these consultations, describe and use this information in a national strategic health plan, investment case, Global Fund and other funding requests and/or other relevant strategies. This evidence guides the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes to reduce inequalities against and promote enabling legal and policy environments for strengthened access to health services, including HIV, TB and malaria services, for adolescent girls and young women, key populations and other vulnerable populations.
Holding a country dialogue or conducting a country-level legal environment assessment (LEA) is a recommended step towards identifying human rights and gender equality issues, including for key populations, and the barriers they create for access to HIV, TB and malaria health services, and programming accordingly.
The process of conducting a country dialogue or an LEA promotes country-led, multistakeholder, rights-based responses to HIV, TB and malaria, helping to:
- Ensure an evidence informed approach to HIV, TB and malaria that takes into account human rights and gender equality issues facing all key stakeholders
- Promote accountability and commitment to rights-based responses to HIV, TB and malaria
- Ensure the participation and voices of key populations in programming for law and policy review and reform, access to justice and strengthened law enforcement
- Build the capacity of all key stakeholders to participate in interventions to strengthen legal and policy frameworks
- Build consensus and promote national advocacy around common priorities, and
- Lead to the development of national multi-sectoral action plans with integrated, institutionalised responses that work at various levels.
Guidance: Global Fund: Available resources and technical assistance
The Global Fund recognises the importance of identifying key and vulnerable populations and the human rights and gender equality barriers they face, when developing a funding request.
Country stakeholders are encouraged to engage with their Fund Portfolio Managers to discuss the availability of technical cooperation from partners, and additional financial support to identify, reach and gather data on key populations from the Global Fund’s special initiatives.
Country stakeholders may wish to undertake capacity strengthening activities and technical assistance, to strengthen partners’ understanding of critical enablers. This helps to promote meaningful country dialogue that includes the participation of key populations, to support effective planning. There is also support to ensure the engagement of key populations in country dialogues, in order to ensure that the design and development of interventions addresses human rights and gender-related barriers affecting key populations.