ARASA, SAfAIDS and MANERELA+ to host for Regional Interfaith and Civil Society dialogue on the role of religious leaders in addressing human rights barriers to accessing HIV and TB services

Posted by Michaela on June 29, 2015

ARASA, SAfAIDS and MANERELA+ are jointly hosting a regional dialogue focusing on role of religious leaders in addressing human rights barriers to accessing HIV and TB services on 01 and 02 July 2015. This convening aims to develop consensus amongst civil society and religious leaders on interventions aimed at promoting rights-based responses to HIV, TB and SRHR across southern and east Africa. The primary objective of this convening is to support collaborative movement building through partner engagement at both a national and regional level in order to develop a concrete advocacy agenda and plan. 

The regional interfaith dialogue marks the first collaboration between ARASA, SAfAIDS and MANERELA+ in enhancing collaborative between civil society and religious leaders to promote rights-based responses to access to HIV and TB information and services.

Religious leaders are essential actors in a successful response to HIV, TB and SRHR as they have legitimacy and a durable presence in local communities. Therefore bringing civil society and religious stakeholders together to dialogue on specific right-based HIV, TB and SRHR interventions, which promote collaborative movement building, is essential.

 The dialogue is expected to meet the following specific objectives;

  1. Enhance knowledge and skills of religious leaders to articulate and integrate human rights based approaches in modelling religious sector responses to HIV and TB burdens.
  2. To share in-country good practices from both stakeholders (CSOs, sexual minority networks and religious leadership) on functional approaches in addressing health and human rights issues in the southern and east Africa;
  3. To identify common advocacy issues with regards to HIV, TB and human rights in order to scale up current national and regional level advocacy efforts targeting key populations;
  4. To develop and prioritise a common regional advocacy strategy, which will aid in promoting collaborative movement building between civil society and religious leaders.

 Expected outcomes include;

  1. Religious leadership have improved knowledge and skills to articulate and integrate human rights based approaches in modelling religious sector responses to HIV and TB burdens
  2. Multi-sector stakeholders learn about what works and what does not work in addressing HIV and TB through a human rights based approach with the religious sector.
  3. Common advocacy issues are identified and tabled in line with HIV, TB and human rights in order to scale up current national and regional level advocacy efforts targeting key populations.
  4. A regional advocacy strategy is adopted, which will aid in promoting collaborative movement building between civil society and religious leaders.

 For those who would like to follow discussions during the meeting, please join us on Twitter @_ARASAcomms with the hastag #ReligionHumanRights2015.