NATIONAL DIALOGUE ON HUMAN RIGHTS, LAW AND HIV HELD
The second day of a National Dialogue on Human Rights, Law and HIV in Belize is underway in Belize City. Representatives from Government, civil society and concerned citizens are discussing the advancement of human rights and HIV sensitive legal reform in Belize and increased awareness on these matters. It is the first national dialogue of its kind and is organized by WIN Belize and UNDP. Carolyn Reynolds, Executive Director of WIN Belize tells us more about the event.
Carolyn Reynolds – Executive Director, WIN Belize
“The national dialogue we see it as a way for us to get civil society and the government representatives to really have a rich discussion on the way forward when we are talking about human rights, the law and HIV. We also wanted it to be in the framework of human rights when it comes to health on a whole and so that is the reason why we decided to have this dialogue and also a spin off from the regional dialogue that was done in Trinidad and Tobago in April of this year. The dialogue is important because we have been looking at HIV and issues relating to HIV for a number of years and some of our population are still faced with stigma and discrimination in accessing services. Yes, we have developed policies; we have some laws that are on the books but we are also seeing how we can analyse these laws and make changes that will assist these groups when they access these services. For women and children for example we have women who experience gender based violence and they are also very vulnerable to HIV and there are times when they report their cases but it is not being seen as a priority and so when you look at that in looking at the law there is the Domestic Violence Act and yes we have revised, we have repealed that Act but there are still practices, so that is one of the things, what is practiced on the ground.”
The dialogue will also initiate the development of a national action plan to strengthen the human rights based approach on HIV related issues in Belize. The national dialogue concluded today. LOVEFM