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Chauvel appointed to global HIV commission

Fri 25 Jun 2010 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

Charles Chauvel Labour MP Charles Chauvel has been appointed as a Commissioner to a new UN department seeking to challenge the legal hurdles to HIV justice and equality, which is being spearheaded by former Prime Minister Helen Clark. The Global Commission on HIV and the Law will bring together world-renowned public leaders, and will be supported by experts on law, public health, human rights and HIV. Commissioners will gather and share evidence about the extent of the impact of law and law enforcement on the lives of people living with HIV and those most vulnerable to HIV.They will make recommendations on how the law can better support universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. Chauvel will undertake the Commissioner role alongside his Parliamentary duties, which include being Labour's Associate Spokespeson for Justice. The MP is a former New Zealand AIDS Foundation Chair. He is also a former member of the Board of the New Zealand Public Health Commission, and is currently a board member of the Pacific Friends of the Global Fund Against AIDS, TB and Malaria. NZAF Patron and former Justice of the High Court of Australia Michael Kirby has also been made a Commissioner. The NZAF says it is delighted the new UN organisation has been established to tackle legal and policy challenges surrounding HIV. Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier says the political clout and international prominence of the UN will push these issues to the forefront of the global agenda. "And we're incredibly proud that people from, and close to, the NZAF have been selected to take part." Le Mesurier says from its earliest days, the NZAF was very clear that human rights legislation was a priority if NZ was to have an effective response to HIV. She says it advocated strongly for human rights legislation related to HIV including the Homosexual Law Reform Act in 1986, the Human Rights Amendment in 1993 and the Prostitution Law Reform Act in 2003. "The appointment of people so closely affiliated to NZAF shows that our Human Rights-based approach to tacking HIV is internationally recognised. Across the world people are being socially isolated and deprived of basic human rights because of the law allows it -thanks to the help of New Zealanders we'll make great strides in putting this to an end."    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Friday, 25th June 2010 - 11:03am

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