A project of the Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation
Funded by Levi Strauss and the MAC AIDS Fund – June 2011
The Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR)www.hivandrehab.ca undertook a project, Working Together for Human Rights: HIV and Disability in the context of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), to develop and promote tools and strategies for people living with HIV and other disabilities and those who work with and care for them, to decrease stigma and discrimination in their daily lives through the use of the newly ratified CRPD. The project developed information resources to increase opportunities for the protection of human rights of people with HIV and other disabilities both in Canada and internationally. The information resources include information, strategies and opportunities to use the CRPD to recognize and reduce HIV and disability related discrimination, other barriers and human rights violations relayed to employment, education, housing, health care etc. experienced by both people living with HIV as well as other disabilities.
Project Resources Developed (2012)
- Information Sheets:
- Making Services Accessible for People with Disabilities (presentation to CWGHR Annual Forum/Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network Symposium)
- Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Overview and Next Steps for an Accessible and Inclusive Society (presentation to CWGHR Annual Forum/Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network Symposium)
- The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act – June 2012 (presentation to CWGHR Annual Forum/Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network Symposium)
- HIV, Disability and Mental Health: What are the Links? (presentation to International Policy Dialogue on HIV and Mental Health
The intersectionality of HIV and disability is gaining recognition in both the HIV and disability worlds. Yet, HIV programs do not necessarily include people with other disabilities, and other disability groups do not necessarily include people living with HIV (PHAs) and both groups describe the double stigma, social exclusion and human rights violations related to both HIV and disability. As both the disability and HIV communities experience many similar challenges, there is a need and opportunity for these communities to work together to prevent and/or address these violations.
Scope of Work
In 2010 Canada ratified the CRPD. This provided an important opportunity as a catalyst for linking HIV, disability, and the promotion and protection of human rights of people living with HIV and other related disabilities in the Canadian and international context. This project worked with the HIV and disability communities in Canada and internationally to build awareness and capacity about HIV in the context of the CRPD.
Guided by an advisory committee composed of key stakeholders (including national and international disability and HIV organizations, people living with HIV and other disabilities and human rights organizations.), activities included:
- Identifying information and resources needed to use the CRPD as a tool for the protection and promotion of the rights of people living with HIV and people living with other disabilities,
- Developing resources on HIV in the context of the CRPD,
- Holding educational sessions with key stakeholders (e.g. front-line organizations, employers, unions, government and other policy makers) to promote awareness and access to resources and,
- Developing a strategy for next steps in HIV and disability in relation to the CRPD ensuring integration of Canadian initiatives with related international initiatives to benefit both.
The benefits of this project include:
- Strengthened capacity for collaboration between the HIV communities and other disability communities,
- Increased awareness of the ways that the CRPD can be used as a tool for the promotion and protection of human rights of people living with HIV, and
- Identified opportunities and strategies for increased collaboration between/among HIV and disability communities for human rights protection and the elimination of stigma and discrimination.
For more information on this project please contact Wendy Porch, Disability Specialist and Education Coordinator, Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 416 513 0440 ext 244.