March 1, 2019, was Zero Discrimination Day and UNAIDS worldwide is highlighting the urgent need to take action against discriminatory laws still operating in certain countries.

The UNAIDS Ghana Office, therefore, held a round-table discussion with 25 key partners to discuss laws in Ghana that discriminate against HIV and to recommit to strengthening actions to remove or mitigate the impact of these discriminatory laws.

WAAF, one of the few organisations in Ghana committed to the provision of health care for ALL without discrimination in Ghana, was one of the key partners invited to this discussion. Other participating organizations included the Ghana AIDS Commission, the West African Program to combat AIDS and STI (WAPCAS), Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, the Christian Health Association of Ghana, United Nations Commissioner for Refugees among others.

Some of the issues discussed included the following:

  • The realisation by all stakeholders that the promotion and protection of human rights is linked to the management of the spread of HIV in Ghana.
  • Key actors and stakeholders in HIV management should be conversant with the provisions against discrimination in the GAC Act, 2016 (Act 938)
  • There should be increased and sustained education about Human Rights in the country to enable and empower victims to seek redress as and when necessary.
  • Certain segments of the working population like uniformed peace keepers need protection against discriminatory laws that they are subjected to when they apply to go for Peace keeping missions.

Marginalised and vulnerable groups like prisoners, female sex workers, and refugees need extra protection against discriminatory laws because of the issue of double stigmatisation.