• Journal Article

A reporting system to protect the human rights of people living with HIV and key populations

Citation

Williamson, R. T., Fiscian, V., Olson, R. U., Poku, F. N., & Whittal, J. (2017). A reporting system to protect the human rights of people living with HIV and key populations. Health and Human Rights, 19(2), 211-222.

Abstract

People living with HIV and key populations face human rights violations that affect their access to health services, relationships in their communities, housing options, and employment. To address these violations, government and civil society organizations in Ghana developed a discrimination reporting system managed by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice that links people living with HIV and key populations to legal services. This article presents findings on how Ghanaian stakeholders built this reporting system and discusses preliminary data on its impact. To organize our analysis, we used a conceptual framework that outlines the legal frameworks that protect human rights, the institutions that promote access to justice, and the mechanisms that link people living with HIV and key populations to legal services. Using in-depth interviews, we show that targeted technical assistance increased stakeholders' knowledge of issues that affect people living with HIV and key populations, strengthened these stakeholders' commitment to address discrimination, streamlined case management systems, and improved relationships between civil society and the government. Through case review, we find that most discrimination happens when accessing government services, inside communities and families, and in the workplace. Finally, we describe implications for other human rights commissions that are considering using a reporting system to protect human rights, including using legal frameworks, developing case management systems, and working with civil society.