International legal obligations, indigenous peoples, and HIV/AIDS
J S Matiation
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Ottawa, Canada
Issues: What are the international legal obligations of states towards indigenous peoples as regards HIV/AIDS? How are these obligations different from those towards non-indigenous people? How can states satisfy these obligations?
Description: The rates of HIV and AIDS among indigenous peoples in some states are disproportionately high compared to rates among non-indigenous people (for example, in Canada). In some cases, various factors make indigenous peoples particularly vulnerable to HIV. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 1995-2004 the Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. So far during the Decade the international legal obligations of states towards indigenous peoples have become more developed. Although a declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples existsl only in draft form, these obligations are now more clearly established. For one thing, it is clear that states have obligations towards indigenous peoples that are different from their obligations to non-indigenous people. Canada is used as one example throughout the paper.
Lessons Learned: The HIV/AIDS epidemic among indigenous peoples requires special attention. HIV/AIDS related policies and programmes must be designed to address the particular circumstances of indigenous peoples. Developments in international law respecting the rights of indigenous peoples are relevant to policy and programme design. Indeed, such developments create obligations that must be met in policy and programme making.
Recommendations: Developments in international law are relevant to HIV/AIDS policy and programme design. States must satisfy their international legal obligations towards indigenous peoples generally, and particularly as regards HIV/AIDS, when designing policy and programme responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and/or, must assess existing policies and programmes in light of developments in international law respecting indigenous peoples.
The XIV International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. ThPeG8240
” J S Matiation , International legal obligations, indigenous peoples, and HIV/AIDS . Poster Exhibition: The XIV International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. ThPeG8240″