Remove laws that harm, create laws that empower – UNAIDS AP launches campaign on Zero Discrimination Day
Bangkok, Thailand, 5 May 2022 – To mark Zero Discrimination Day, UNAIDS AP launched a regional social media campaign that showcases the voices of people, communities and networks on the need to take action against discriminatory laws and stigma and discrimination in Asia and the Pacific.
On Zero Discrimination Day this year, UNAIDS highlighted how people can become informed about and promote inclusion, compassion, peace and, above all, a movement for change. Zero Discrimination Day is helping to create a global movement of solidarity to end all forms of discrimination.
In many countries, laws result in people being treated differently, excluded from essential services or being subject to undue restrictions on how they live their lives, simply because of who they are. Such laws are discriminatory—they deny human rights and fundamental freedoms.
People may experience more than one form of discrimination. A person may experience discrimination because of their real or perceived health status and because of his or her race, gender identity or sexual orientation, compounding the effects on the individual and the wider community. Laws—such as laws on sex work, consensual same-sex sexual relations, the use or possession of drugs for personal use and the non-disclosure, exposure or transmission of HIV—may discriminate by criminalizing conduct or identity.
As part of the social media campaign, ahead of Zero Discrimination Day, UNAIDS AP disseminated a Call to Action inviting CSOs and other partners to send in a quote and photo reflecting on the theme ‘Remove Laws That Harm, Create Laws That Empower’. With this material, a set of postcards has been created and disseminated in a series of batches across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The public was also encouraged to share their thoughts on how enabling legal environments can contribute to ending the AIDS pandemic and what does ending discrimination mean to you?
Everyone has a responsibility to hold states accountable, call for change and contribute to efforts to remove discriminatory laws and everyone can play a part in ending discrimination and can try to make a difference, in ways both big and small. The Zero Discrimination Day 2022 campaign challenges people to advocate against laws that discriminate in their country.
This year, UNAIDS AP UNAIDS received 27 submissions from people and organizations across the region. We thank all the partners who joined the call and united their voices to raise awareness about inequalities.
On the side, UNAIDS in collaboration with United Nations Resident Coordinator Office in Thailand and selected entities from the UN Country Team in Thailand gathered short stories, featuring examples of HIV activism in Thailand. The article – Dignity and resilience in the HIV response: four inspiring stories of courage, perseverance and determination to end discrimination in Thailand was published on Zero Discrimination Day, bringing attention to the stories of untold HIV activism across the country that contribute to creating laws that empower people and communities.
Social media postcards