Tuberculosis and Human Rights

20 September 2018

A side-event on human rights and TB preceding the UN General Assembly high-level meeting on ending TB

Organized by the Open Society Foundation, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Stop TB Partnership, in collaboration with UNAIDS & the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law.

New York City, 24 September 2018, 12:00 to 14:00
Open Society Foundation, 224 West 57th Street, New York NY 10019

Human rights-related barriers remain major obstacles in access to prevention, treatment and care for TB. In particular, TB-associated stigma and discrimination—and overlapping discrimination based on gender, identity, incarceration, poverty, or HIV status—often affect people’s employment, education, housing, social relationships and access to health and social services.

Initiatives and programs that aim to identify and remove such barriers are critical enablers of access to appropriate, responsive and quality health services, and therefore essential to efforts to end TB. Nevertheless, programs to remove human rights-related barriers in access to services are rarely part of national TB strategies and responses. In addition, barriers to equitable access to TB medicines continue to stand in the way of progress against the disease.

The UN General Assembly high-level meeting on ending TB provides a unique opportunity to change this and to promote and ensure scale up of effective programs to reduce human rights-related barriers to TB services, which are critical to the development of inclusive, equitable and effective human rights-based and gender-responsive approaches to TB.

This side event will draw attention to recent efforts to remove human rights-related barriers, including legal barriers, to TB services, and discuss how these can be increased over the next years and what governments, donors, and civil society can contribute to such efforts. These efforts include Stop TB Partnerships’s range of community, rights and gender assessments and other initiatives undertaken by Stop TB Partnership and partners, such as the Nairobi Strategy: A Human Rights-based Approach to Tuberculosis, the Global Fund’s technical briefs on human rights and gender in the context of TB programs and its baseline assessments of human rights-related barriers to TB services, as well as its target to vastly increase spending on programs to reduce these barriers, and OSF’s long-standing effort to support communities impacted by TB and broader civil society to address the human rights issues that underpin the spread of TB, HIV and other diseases.

It will include opening remarks by Patrick Gaspard, President of Open Society Foundations; a panel with Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund, Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership, MP Nick Herbert, Co-Chair of the Global TB Caucus, and Abdulai Sesay, TB survivor and representative of the Affected Communities High Level Meeting Advisory Panel; as well as a moderated discussion with a second panel of TB and human rights experts and advocates. A short background paper has been prepared for the event.

  • Tuberculosis and Human Rights
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