Stigma and discrimination against the MSM, the human rights and advocacy in the Cambodian setting

Published: August 1, 2008

Stigma and discrimination against the MSM, the human rights and advocacy in the Cambodian setting

Issues: MSM group was considered as the most-at-risk group in the current HIV/AIDS epidemic in Cambodia. Planning and programmatic managers have made tremendous allocation of funding support to the above group. However, social and political denial is a major constrain in the implementation of such an MSM programme.

Description: A National MSM Working Group was recently established by the National AIDS Authority. The HIV/AIDS Law enforcing together with the advocacy activity promoting the human rights and ethical consideration was chosen as the main activity of the above working group. Members of the National Assembly and key decision-makers of the Ministry of Health were lobbied and sensitized for the basic human needs of the MSM which include the HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support services. A national MSM policy and the Ministry of Health Standard Operating Procedure were highlighted in the momentum, subsequently to the above advocacy activity.

Lessons learned: 
(1)-Successful services provision of the basic minimum needs of MSM that moves beyond the health intervention such as the access to the human rights information; ethical consideration in the design of all IEC/BCC materials and the rights for expressing of needs in the public gathering. Legislators are influential in moving forward to the respect of the human rights and substantial programmatic inclusion of the basic MSM needs. 
(2)- Coordination and commitments of the national coordination body played pivotal role in bringing the needs of MSM into a reality. 

(3)- MSM group has to voice for their rights and ethical consideration.
(4)-HIV/AIDS Law Chapters would have the MSM topic. 
Next steps: The MSM human rights issue will be raised at the political platform. To sustain the acceptance of the MSM, more participation from all social strata is needed to increase the social norm, which is in turn contributing to sustain political will. 

-Abstract can be found at link below-

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