Legal Work

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The global AIDS epidemic is not only a health crisis; it is also a colossal human rights failure. Endemic discrimination against women, sexual minorities, and certain groups outside mainstream society—sex workers and intravenous drug users, amongst others—created fertile ground in which the seeds of HIV could take root and flourish. When this public health crisis is framed in human rights terms, international human rights law becomes a critical tool in efforts to ameliorate the pandemic.

AIDS-Free World’s legal program examines the failures to address the pandemic’s root causes, and utilizes legal tools to right those wrongs and ensure justice and accountability for abuses associated with HIV and AIDS.

Our legal work is driven by the recognition that by putting an end to impunity, accountability is prevention. We direct our limited resources selectively, aiming for maximum impact and systematic change. And we corral resources – experts in international law, the pro bono services of law firms, universities, law students, interns and legal clinics — to help us chip away at the most fundamental and egregious forms of discrimination and stigma that sustain and propel HIV.

Investigation, research, documentation, litigation, augmenting the capacities of the legal experts and advocates in high-burden countries who are struggling against formidable odds to take full advantage of the legal tools already available and the justice systems they’ve built, pressing for reforms where needed... Through these legal means, we are striving to hold the powerful accountable when they violate human rights – by commission, by omission, or by failing in their duties to stop the abuses that undergird the AIDS pandemic.