Who Cares?

The Economics of Dignity

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At the centre of the HIV/AIDS response are the 12 million people who need care and treatment. Those who are ill require support from carers who provide physical, social and psychological support. Yet these carers – essential actors in the response – are often invisible to the system that relies on them.

The writers argue that focusing on the carer, at the household level, directs assistance where it is most effective and most needed, will respect human rights, and will help achieve the millennium development goals in health.



HIV and Gender-based Violence: The Rights of Unpaid Women and Girl Carers

CEDAW General Recommendation 19 (1992) states that ‘genderbased violence, which impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of human rights and fundamental freedoms under general international law or under human rights conventions, is discrimination within the meaning of article 1 of the Convention’.

CEDAW General Recommendations on health say that States should ensure the removal of all barriers to women’s access to health education and information in the area of sexual and reproductive health and allocate resources for programmes directed at adolescents for the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and AIDS. The General Recommendation on HIV/AIDS directs States parties to increase their efforts to disseminate information to increase public awareness of the risk of HIV infection and AIDS, especially in women and children.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child, in its General Comment No. 3 (2003), while setting out that the right to health (article 24) is central to combating HIV among children, notes that HIV affects a child’s civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. It further notes that the right to life, survival and development (article 6) and the right to have his/her views respected (article 12) should be the guiding themes in the consideration of HIV and AIDS at all levels of prevention, treatment, care and support.


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