Commonwealth Civil Society Statement

Published: September 22, 2011

Health

16. Noting that human rights and legal frameworks underpin health and
wellbeing, including progress on HIV and AIDS;
17. Recognising that poor physical and mental health has a double
impact in that unhealthy people are less able to contribute to the
economy, and health care provision is an increasing economic
burden on scarce resources;
18. Noting with concern that although Commonwealth Member States
have approximately 30% of the world’s population they have
approximately 60% of the world’s people living with HIV;
19. Concerned that 41 out of 54 Commonwealth Member States
criminalise sex between men; and concerned about the sexualisation
of women and children, which leads to poor health and mental health
outcomes for women and children.
20. We call on Commonwealth Member States to:
a. ensure there is adequate equitable health care for all citizens and
achieve all health MDGs by 2015;
b. commit to programmes that mitigate the HIV and AIDS pandemic,
including decriminalising same-sex sexual conduct, repealing all
laws that impede an effective response and ensuring that all citizens
have equal rights and protection, regardless of sexual orientation,
marital status, gender, age, race, religion and disability, so as to
ensure the health and wellbeing of its citizens;
c. tackle the reduction of non-communicable diseases including the
eradication of polio; and
d. adopt a collaborative and holistic approach to mental health across
government departments and sectors, in particular with reference
to co-morbidity, alcohol and drug issues, poverty, homelessness
and violence

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