The first meeting of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law took place in São Paulo, Brazil on 6-7 October 2010. The meeting was hosted by Former President of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the Commission's Chair. The meeting opened with an address by UNDP Administrator Helen Clark followed by an exchange with Commissioners (Helen Clark: Remarks at Inaugural meeting of HIV Global Commission available here).
The São Paulo meeting was an important milestone in the Commission’s process of interrogating and analysing key legal and human rights dimensions of the global HIV response. The aim of the meeting was to discuss priority HIV-related legal and human rights issues on which the Commission’s work will focus over the next 18 months. The Commissioners met over two days at the Instituto Fernando Henrique Cardoso to deliberate on three key areas of inquiry proposed by the Commission's Technical Advisory Group:
Laws and practices that effectively criminalise people living with HIV and vulnerable to HIV;
Laws and practices that mitigate or sustain violence and discrimination as lived by women; and
Laws and practices that facilitate or impede HIV-related treatment access.
The Commissioners endorsed the agenda put forth by the Technical Advisory Group (TAG). With the first meeting of Commissioners now over, the TAG and invited experts will begin the work on preparing state-of-the-art research papers on a range of key issues. Preparations for Regional Dialogues have begun. Submissions from civil society as received and compiled by the World AIDS Campaign (21 networks and individuals made submissions) and from UN bodies and related entities (the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights, UNESCO, the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria) were discussed by Commissioners at their first meeting. Another call for submissions from civil society and other stakeholders will be announced soon. The aim will be to have a call for submissions that reaches out proactively and more broadly to a more diverse range of civil society stakeholders.
The website of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law has been functional since mid-September. Commission materials (the Information Note, Commissioner and TAG Biographies) are now available in English, French, Spanish and Russian and Portuguese.