Hivos International

Sexual Rights and Diversity

The World Health Day commemorated annually on April 7 was this year themed:  Depression: Let’s Talk. For Africa, the theme was highly appropriate highlighting a pervasive problem that is largely shrouded in silence, especially among adolescents, and needs to be urgently brought out into the open to save lives.

During the performance review of the grants allocated by the grant Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Guatemala, Hivos got graded with an A1 grade! This mark was given to our team based on progress report on the implementation of the grant between January–September 2016. This feedback received from the Global Fund, reflects the excellent programmatic performance and financial execution of our projects in Guatemala.

Photographs by Ángel Damián Reyes / Text by Ángel Damián Reyes and Alonso Jiménez

Lea esta entrada en español.

Within the first week of assuming office, US President Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule. Simply, this policy prohibits any entity that receives US Government (USG) funding from carrying out any abortion-related activity, regardless of the source of funds. 

On 26 January 2017, Lebanese LGBT activists celebrated a significant victory. For the fourth time in the past eight years, a Lebanese judge ruled that homosexuality was not illegal, applying a liberal interpretation of the Lebanese penal code. The abolition of the legal article in question, no. 534, which criminalizes sexual acts contradictory to the ‘laws of nature’, has long been the aim of Hivos’ partner Helem, a local LGBT rights grassroots organization.

How often can you say you’ve attended a ‘historic event’? Not too often, but I think the consultation of - here’s a mouthful -  the Independent Expert on Protection against Violence and Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (UN IE SOGI) qualifies as one. This is the first time ever that an official has been mandated within the UN system to work on these issues.

Above: Official signing of the MoU between Hivos, KNCV and the DOH; in presence of Dutch Amb Marion Derckx / Credit: Andre Villanueva from KNCV

As programme officer for the Hivos HIV & Human Rights Programme, I joined our team in Manila this January for the launch of our newest project. During the course of my visit, I also met several of our partners working on HIV issues in the Philippines. I would like to tell you about the situation of HIV, and Tuberculosis in the country and how we are planning to address both epidemics.

Latin America is suffering from an epidemic. It seems very contagious, but it does not affect the entire population equally. Neither water nor air borne - it is basically unpredictable. We are talking about violence against women, a widespread problem that is not new, but only very recently becoming visible.