The ESCAP Roadmap to 2015 includes the national reviews and multisectoral consultations on legal and policy barriers to effective HIV prevention, care, treatment and services as contained in commitments made under the 2011 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS and ESCAP resolutions 66/10 and 67/9.
To support Asia-Pacific stakeholders in organizing and conducting national reviews and consultations, the "Creating Enabling Legal Environments: Conducting National Reviews and Multisectoral Consultations" guidance document is developed by ESCAP, UNAIDS Regional Team for Asia and the Pacific and UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre. Download the document here.
According to the information prepared by UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific and UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre as well as the responses of the 2014 ESCAP intergovernmental survey on progress in achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support in Asia and the Pacific, 28 ESCAP members and associate member States have initiated the review and/or consultation on legal and policy barriers to HIV responses. The following list summarizes the progress of the reviews and consultations conducted in the region.
If available, click icon next to the country name for the country's national review and for the national consultation report.
The national consultation was conducted in 2012. The Ministry of Public Health and the National AIDS Control Programme oversee the implementation of the recommendations arising from the consultation, namely issues relating to condom and clean sryinge distribution in closed settings.
Azerbaijan's multisectoral consultation outlined key recommendations that highlighted the prominence of integration and decentralization of HIV services and expansion of rapid testing for key populations.
The national multisectoral consultation was held in Dhaka on 18-19 May 2013. The consultation produced an action plan focused on five key populations - people living with HIV, female sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people (hijras), people who inject drugs and migrant workers - based on over 30 recommendations that were developed during the consultation.
The consultation, held on 25 May 2012, focused on MSM and transgender population. A broader consultation was scheduled for last quarter of 2014. No written review of laws has been undertaken at the national level. The Government of Bhutan, however, conducted a study that focused on the stigma among health care providers. The study is currently being copy edited.
The national multisectoral consulation in Cambodia was an integral part of the national legal review process . The consultation, held on 16-17 September 2013, contributed to the finalization of the national review report by serving as a validation mechanism bringing together relevant stakeholders to discuss key issues identified in the review as well as to make recommendations for moving forward.
The consultation process started with a partnership between UNDP and Renmin University School of Law in the preparation of an HIV and Law Review Report, which was completed in late 2013. The HIV and Law Review Report formed the basis for a National Dialogue on HIV and the Law organized by UNDP, UNAIDS and Renmin University School of Law. The report highlights the discussions and recommendations that came out of the consultation meeting which was held in December 2013.
The national consultation meeting on transgender issues and the 2014 landmark Supreme Court judgment on transgender rights was organised in partnership with relevant national stakeholders in March 2015.
Both Indonesia's national review and multisectoral consultation, which was held on 11 - 12 September 2013, were directly linked to the country's midterm review process for its National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan. The national review has been finalized in Indonesian language and its summary will be translated to English. The report of the consultation will be finalized soon.
Islamic republic of Iran
Key recommendations produced in the national multisectoral consultation of Islamic Republic of Iran included an effort to improve partnership between religous leaders and HIV programmes.
The national legal review served as a substantive input for the National AIDS Prevention Guidelines that had been revised in 2012. The review mainly highlighted the barriers faced by MSM population, foreigners living in the country and young people.
A national consultation on legal and policy barriers is planned for the second half of 2015.
Malaysia conducted the national multisectoral consultation on October 2013.
Mongolia's national legal review, which was conducted in 2012, contributed to the country's progress in monitoring and reforming laws and regulations relating to the protection for the rights of people living with HIV.
Myanmar's national consultation, which acted as the consultative validation of the national review, was convened on 25-26 November 2013. The civil society stakeholders in Myanmar are currently developing options for a national HIV law as a result of the review and consultation process.
Nepal conducted its national multisectoral consultation on 26 January 2015. A consultation on enabling legal and policy environment for MSM and transgender persons is planned for the second half of 2015.
A document consolidating national reviews from seven Pacific countries (Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) has been published in May 2013. A subregional consultation involving the aforementioned countries was held in Fiji from 17 to 19 April 2013.
The country action plan developed at the consultation has been fully adopted by HIV/AIDS Board of Fiji, which is overseeing its implementation.
Nauru held its national HIV consultation on 26-30 May 2014.
Pakistan commissioned a comprehensive review of laws and policies affecting human rights, discrimination and access to HIV and health services by key affected populations subsequent to the 2012 Asia-Pacific High-level Intergovernmental Meeting on the Assessment of Progress against Commitments in the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.The resulting document 'Scan of laws and policies affecting human rights, discrimination and access to HIV and health services by key populations in Pakistan' establishes a baseline for enabling legal environments in Pakistan.
In January 2015 Pakistan held a national consultation based on the national review of laws and policies as contained in the Scan of Laws and Policies document.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea held its national multisectoral consultation on 26-27 May 2015. The consultation brought together civil society organizations representing sex workers, males of diverse sexuality and transgender persons, Government officials and development partners to discuss issues of legislative reform to improve access to HIV services for these key populations. The participants discussed decriminalization of consensual adult same-sex sexual activities and sex work, addressing issues of discrimination and updating national policies on HIV to reflect best practice.
The national consultation, which was held on 6 July 2012, took the form of a national dialogue meeting that occured against the backdrop of several separate and ongoing national review processes (such as a series of reviews and consultations on development of the revised AIDS law) and as a national level follow-up to the Asia-Pacific Regional Dialogue of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law.
A written comprehensive national review of Russian Federation was conducted in the course of the development of the country’s national HIV strategy. The country also conducted the national consultation that concluded, among others, the importance of access to affordable antiretroviral medication.
On 27 February 2013, the AIDS Foundation of Sri Lanka convened a national roundtable meeting drawing upon information and data from the regional multisectoral consultation for South and South-West Asia, held in November 2011.
In April 2015 Sri Lanka started a review of policy and legal environment related to HIV services. A multisectoral consultation on policy and legal environment related to HIV services is planned to be held in the second half of 2015.
Tajikistan’s national review was part of the country’s 2013 evaluation of the implementation of the national HIV programmes. The review examined and suggested, among others, an abolition of HIV travel restrictions. The national consultation, on the other hand, discussed and recommended eradication of barriers to voluntary counseling and testing, antiretroviral treatment and outreach for key populations.
The national review report of Thailand was validated at the national consultation, which was convened on 29 August 2013. Both national review and consultation gave priority consideration to laws affecting people who inject drugs and implementation of policies relating to health insurance and migrant workers.
Vietnam conducted a national consultation on HIV-related laws within the national policy dialogue on the review of law and administrative sanctions that was held on September 2012. The consultation produced recommendations that contributed to the process of reforming laws and policies relating to community-based care and treament for people who inject drugs.
Nepal is planning to conduct the national multisectoral consultation in the last quarter of 2014.
Note: In addition to the analysis above, the Asia-Pacific regional legal environment analysis conducted as part of the work of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law can be accessed here.