Global Commission on HIV and the Law

Great summary from the AIVL on the global commission:



The much anticipated final report from the Global Commission on HIV & the Law: “HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights & Health” has been launched this week ahead of AIDS 2012.This landmark report explores how law and human rights can transform the global HIV/AIDS response and is available in English, Spanish, French and Russian. The Global Commission on HIV and the Law chaired by ex-President of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso is an independent body of leaders and experts convened by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on behalf of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The Commission website has access to the Full Report and a range of other key papers and information from the two year process including: key working papers, submissions received, press releases, fact sheets, etc. The Executive Summary of the report can be accessed at:


The Commission was supported in its work by a Technical Advisory Committee (TAG) chaired by one of the Commissioners the Hon. Michael Kirby and also included Commissioner Mr. JVR Prasada Rao. Importantly for people who use drugs (PUD), the membership of the TAG also included a representative of the International Network of People Who Use Drugs (INPUD) who was Annie Madden the Executive Officer of the Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL). The work of the Commission ran over two years and some of the key activities included:

a)      Regional Submission Process – resulting in a large number of submissions from people who use drugs (PUD) and key harm reduction and civil society groups among many others – these submissions are available on the main Commission website:

b)      Regional Dialogues – these were held across seven regions and included consultations and presentations from PUD representatives and other harm reduction and civil society groups – video recordings of all or parts of the Regional Dialogues are available on the main Commission website:

c)       Working Papers and Advice – throughout the process the TAG and various consultants prepared working papers and advice to support the thinking and work of the Commissioners in writing the final report. This work has also contributing to building some key documents relating to specific areas of HIV and the law that are now available to those working on these issues – copies of the papers can be downloaded from the Commission website: . Some of the papers contain issues specifically relating to drug use, HIV and the law including “The Criminalisation of HIV Exposure and Transmission: A Global Review”, Punitive Drug Law and the Risk Environment for Injecting Drug Users: Understanding the Connections” and “How to Best Reach HIV-Vulnerable Groups in Arab States: Drug Abuse in International Laws and Arabic Legislations”.

d)      Final Report – a link to the Full Report can found at:


“HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights & Health” is a extremely important report that now sits alongside a growing list of major international, UN and national reports (including the Global Commission on Drugs Report and the Australia21 Report) that are calling for urgent action to halt the criminalisation of PUD and end the suffering, human rights abuses, health problems, corruption and deaths that result from the vast majority of current legal and policy approaches to drugs, their use and, the people who use them. It is a wide-ranging report that deals with highly complex and inter-related issues. Reports like this one will never be ‘all things for all people’ but, it definitely provides a new source of evidence, information and recommendations at the international, regional and domestic levels and another call to action from yet another eminent group of individuals.


All this information and more can be accessed on AIVL’s website at