Monthly Archive August 2018

ByNyarwek

Engagement of African MSM in HIV prevention research

Join Us in a conversation about Engagement of African MSM in HIV prevention research.

click below for the LSK Document

Save the date-HIVR4P

 

ByNyarwek

THE NEED FOR INCLUSIVE SRHR SERVICES TO THE KEY POPULATION

The vision for inclusive SRHR services has come a long way over a period of time dedicated to advocacy, policies, and campaigns. Objectives have been achieved and statistics show the milestones covered by indicators. However, there are sections of the population that need more work to be done to elevate the inclusivity of SRHR for all. This is summed up in the words ‘key populations’.

 

 

To answer the question, ‘what is a key population?’; Key populations are the general LGBT community, people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, sex workers (including MSWs) and prisoners. Globally, they face much higher risks of HIV/AIDS than the general population. The UNAIDS estimated that between 40-50% of all new HIV infections occur between individuals in key populations and their immediate partners. Underreporting is, however, common within key populations due to widespread stigma and discrimination. This makes it difficult to track the statistics of prevalence and improvement.

 

 

In the words of Hillary ClintonUS Secretary of State (AIDS 2012), “If we’re going to beat AIDS, we can’t afford to avoid sensitive conversations, and we can’t fail to reach the people who are at the highest risk (read, key population). Few countries provide prevention services to these groups, and some take actions that, far from discouraging risky behavior, drive people into the shadows”(by stigmatization). The need for inclusive SRHR services for the key population is a tactical approach towards combating HIV/AIDS conclusively in a society where the right to lead a healthy and fulfilling life is universal and constitutional, but not accessible for all due to these forms of discrimination. Statistics show that the key population much more likely to become infected by HIV while only 8% of them have access to HIV services which is a far cry from the expected service delivery. In many countries, there are laws, regulations or policies in place that diminish access to health and legal services for key populations at higher risk. As a result, human rights get disrespected and violated.

 

 

These populations have many connections to the general population, including sexual and drug-injecting relationships which act to bridge HIV transmission between key populations and members of the general population. This translates that making the SRHR services able to cater for key populations is a joint fight against new infections through these mutual relationships and concurrent sexual partner transmissions. Interventions have been put in place to implement this since the prioritization of key populations in Kenya National AIDS Strategic Plan III, but they need to be stepped up through the respective organizations in order to expand interventions to unreached locations and improve the existing programs to meet unmet needs and ensure that all members of key populations are able to access a full range of services in their area and Without these key population-focused services through rights-based approaches such as LINKAGES, the vision of a world free from HIV and AIDS cannot be achieved.

 

For Submissions of Blogs/Articles Email: blogs@nyarwek.org

ByNyarwek

#REPEAL162 Podcast

The #Repeal162 movement is a part of a long struggle for the recognition and protection of the rights of the LGBTQI community in Kenya. It consists of 2 ongoing court cases: Eric Gitari v Attorney General & another (Petition no. 150 of 2016) and John Mathenge and 7 others v Attorney General (Petition no. 234 of 2016). These petitions ask the court to declare Section 162 (a) and (c) and section 165 of the Penal Code (Cap 63) as unconstitutional, and therefore inapplicable, in Kenya.

 

Click the audio link above to access the podcast by Brenda Wambui and Kari Mugo of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) talking about

#Repeal162 as well as the human rights environment in Kenya for LGBTQI persons.

ByNyarwek

On LSK Annual Edition (Understanding Gender Rights)

 

Click the link below to access our article on "understanding Gender Rights" on the Law Society of Kenya Annual Conference Edition, 2018.

#LSKAnnualConference2018

 

By Ms Rebecca 

Programme Officer Advocacy 

 

click below for the LSK Document

Understanding Gender Rights

ByNyarwek

INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY 2018

“Safe Spaces for Youth”

 

International Youth Week-

 

Alternatively known as the IYD, the International Youth Day is a global annual awareness day that highlights legal and social issues related to the youth.

 

The brainchild of the United Nations (1999) is celebrated annually in August the 12th, and is often preceded by a series of meetings, activities and forums that involve the youth, local authorities and governments around the world. Each year is accorded an accompanying theme, and the theme for 2018 IYD is Safe Spaces for Youth. The theme was designed in order to promote open talk with confidence without being exposed to any form of discrimination, criticism, physical or emotional harm.

 

The UN, for statistical consistency across regions, defines ‘Youth’ as those persons between the ages of 15-24 years, without prejudice to other definitions by member states (UNESCO). According to this bracket of age, they constitute about 1.1 billion, or about 18% of the global population. Youth and children altogether (under 24 years) account for nearly 40% of the global population. Altogether, the access to sexual, reproductive health and rights has not been fully catered for, if not for the majority. The figures in SRHR still lag behind and are attributed majorly towards discrimination of minority groups. Even though the constitution outlaws any kind of discrimination and disregard to human dignity, whilst promoting health including reproductive health, much more has to be done and a youth focused approach is required to enable the success of SRHR for the youth.

 

A youth focused approach functions to increase access to information and uptake of services by focusing on the youth specifically as target groups. The use of modern technology and social media has set a pace that is steadily picking, and if harnessed properly, could lead to increased outcomes in the area of SRHR for the youth, with Kenya having over 90% of mobile penetration and topping the world in mobile internet usage. This also exposes them to modern mass media methods of information dispensing and education that are used by a number of civil society organizations in working for youth SRHR outcomes.

 

Furthermore, the concept of meaningful youth participation needs to be adopted widely. The processes for youth by youth are designed to cater for issues that are directly experienced by the youth and occupying positions in decision/ policy making regarding SRHR issues is a certain way to increase the access to information, uptake and provision of services. These policies should also be able to be inclusive of minority groups and key populations as an umbrella way of tackling youth SRHR deficits.
Finally, the success of any youth focused approach is driven by recognition of young people’s rights which allows systems to be programmed alongside global standards for respect, protection and fulfillment of the same rights.