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PANCAP hosts Consultation to formulate Regional Advocacy StrategyEmphasis on advocacy for systems reform, access to justice and redress, community and health services and financing and sustainability

October 17, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 (PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat): The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), the mechanism that provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, will host a Consultation to formulate a Regional Advocacy Strategy and Five-Year Implementation Plan. The consultation, which is a collaboration between PANCAP and the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities-Coalition el Centro Orientación e investigación Integral (CVC-COIN), will be held on 25-26 October 2017 in Port-of-Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

The expected outcome of the Consultation is the establishment of a PANCAP Regional Advocacy Strategy and Five-Year Plan that will guide all stakeholders in their efforts to advocate at all levels for revisions to laws and policies that remove barriers to key populations accessing HIV prevention and treatment.

According to Director of PANCAP, Dereck Springer, the consultation is pivotal to the Region’s response to HIV since recent advocacy efforts have been limited in their reach, effectiveness and strategic focus. “As the regional HIV response has evolved, PANCAP has been challenged to shift the focus of its technical expertise and financial resources to provide leadership, strategic guidance and coordination for law and policy reform efforts,” stated the Director. “Addressing these new demands alongside resource reductions and competing priorities of a diverse range of government, donor and civil society partners has been a challenge for PANCAP”.

He further explained that there has been limited ability to dedicate the long-term, careful attention necessary to follow up work on key areas such as country adoption of the PANCAP Model Anti-Discrimination Legislation, endorsement of the Justice For All Declaration and national-level implementation of Justice For All plans. The consultation will establish a framework that will attempt to correct this and aid National AIDS Programme Managers (NAPs) and Civil Society Organisations to streamline efforts to advocate for law and policy reform, access to justice and redress, community and health services and financing and sustainability that will assist in creating an enabling environment for vulnerable groups to access HIV prevention and treatment without the fear of stigma and discrimination.

The consultation will also address the absence of key populations’ voices at the highest levels of regional advocacy efforts. The discussion will seek to build on PANCAP’s work with Key Populations and their network to support capacity building, primarily in terms of organizational development and to ensure their access to CARICOM organs including the Chief Medical Officers Caucus, Council for Human and Social Development and where applicable the Heads of Government Conference.

Participants will include NAPs from Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Commonwealth of Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, selected key population leaders from the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), Caribbean Forum for Liberation and Acceptance of Genders and Sexualities (CariFLAGS), Caribbean Sex Work Coalition (CSWC) and the Caribbean Network of People Living with HIV (CRN+), Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE), Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO); Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL), J-Flag/Equality for All, The University of the West Indies Rights Advocacy Project (U-RAP), United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), the DeMarco Foundation, CARICOM Youth Ambassadors Programme (CYAP) and key population youth, faith leaders, parliamentarians, and private sector, Caribbean Med Labs Foundation (CMLF), Live Up: The Caribbean Media Alliance, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Johns Hopkins Knowledge for Health Project, Linkages, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief-United States Agency for International Development (PEPFAR-USAID), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

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