Social Health of Inter-Ethnic LGBT Networks for Empowerment (SHINE) SOCCSKSARGEN – in partnership with TLF Share Collective and Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare (PNGOC) as the recipient of ISEAN-Hivos Program – is hosting an advocacy forum on key affected populations (KAPs), and on HIV and AIDS in General Santos City.
The event is organized to gather the lead offices of Central Mindanao (or SOCCSKSARGEN, to include South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City) involved in the promotion and protection of the rights of the KAPs, including sex workers, men having sex with men, transgender, prisoners, and people who inject drugs; as well as of people living with HIV (PLHIVs). The activity also aims to map out the existing local ordinances, policies and measures that address stigma and discrimination towards HIV and AIDS, and PLHIVs. The discussion among the participating offices will lead to formulation of policies and measures that are effective, sustainable and consistent with the human rights obligations.
“This gathering is relevant because the national government is making a leap in addressing stigma and discrimination against HIV and AIDS. We have circularls from government offices like the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) already. But what we need to do now is to bring them to the ground for an effective and sustainable implementation,” said Inad Quiñones Rendon, Human Rights Officer of SHINE SOCCSKSARGEN.
The event gathered participants from the offices of the Governor of South Cotabato and Sarangani Province, Provincial Committees on Health of South Cotabato and Sarangani Province, Provincial Committees on Gender of South Cotabato and Sarangani, Provincial Police Office of Sarangani, Provincial Population and Management Office, Commission on Human Rights Region XII Office, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Region XII Office, General Santos City Council on Gender, Women and Children, General Santos City Council on Health, City Population Management Office, and local barangays.