The Global Fund is committed to protecting and promoting human rights. To defeat HIV, TB and malaria, we must focus on key populations and those that are most vulnerable. That means removing human rights barriers to health services for women and girls, sex workers, people who use drugs, men who have sex with men, transgender people, people in prison, migrants and refugees, indigenous peoples and others who are particularly impacted by one or more of thee three diseases. Discrimination and criminalization reduce access to health programs, and undermine efforts toward effective responses to HIV, TB and malaria. Our commitment also means ensuring that programs supported by the Global Fund do not violate human rights.
The Global Fund is building human rights concerns into the grant cycle. It is taking specific steps including training on human rights, gender and other cross-cutting issues for grant management, developing new tools and procedures for grant-making and setting up systems to explicitly track funding spent on interventions that address human rights barriers to accessing health services.
This work is being developed based on consultations held over the past two years with human rights experts, civil society organizations, including key population networks, and technical partners.
The Global Fund Human Rights Reference Group advises the Secretariat, supplemented by a staff human rights task force. The task force includes staff from across the Secretariat. The Global Fund Human Rights Reference Group 2013-14 currently includes:
Permanent observers: UNAIDS Human Rights and Law Department (Susan Timberlake), WHO Global TB Programme (Diana Weil)
Members: Alberto Colorado, Michaela Clayton, Joanne Csete, Mandeep Dhaliwal, Elly Macha, Amani Massoud, Joel Gustave Nana, David Ruiz, and Rebecca Schleifer. In 2013, Andrew Hunter and Karyn Kaplan were also founding members of the Reference Group.
The members of the Human Rights Reference Group are selected periodically by the Secretariat, in consultation with the permanent observers, through an open application process. The members serve in an individual capacity.
In July 2013, the Global Fund began on an eighteen-month timeline to put its strategic objective on human rights into practice:
During this period, the Global Fund worked with UNDP and the Human Rights Reference Group to develop the Human Rights for HIV, TB, Malaria and HSS Grants Information Note, which explains which interventions the Global Fund will support to address human rights barriers to accessing health services. This is now available online [ PDF - 386 KBEnglishEspañolFrançaisРусский ]. Community Rights and Gender Regional Focal Points in each regional team in the Grants Management Division have been trained in basic human rights principles and standards, and human rights and gender principles are now part of induction for all staff. Country teams that manage grants have resources to analyse human rights and gender context in each country.
Beginning in early 2014, the Global Fund will fund civil society organizations and networks to provide technical support to applicants on community, rights and gender.
In this period, the Global Fund will review and revise policies and tools to ensure clear procedures are in place for reporting and management of allegations of rights violations.
Internal and external working groups are conducting research and formulating recommendations in collaboration with human rights experts, community networks and civil society to share with senior management and the Global Fund Board.
Consultations with civil society and human rights experts have created recommendations for the Global Fund. Read them here:
Future consultations will be shared here as the schedule is updated.
If you work on health and human rights and have specific recommendations for the Global Fund, please write to share them at
Infonote: Human Rights for HIV, TB, Malaria and HSS Grants
[PDF - 386 KB]
Also available in:
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FAQ: Human Rights in the New Funding Model
[PDF - 141 KB]
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