Legal Consultation Center
HIV became a series of uncontrollable epidemics because it preyed disproportionately on people living on the margins of society. And while many countries have enacted laws to protect the most vulnerable populations, stigma and discrimination continue to drive people living with HIV underground, away from counselling and testing services, treatment, and care.
For those whose rights have been targeted, it can seem an insurmountable challenge to even begin to engage with the legal system. And when that first step—finding a lawyer and having an initial discussion—costs more than you can afford to pay, justice can seem out of reach.
That’s why AIDS-Free World has created a Legal Resource Guide— a list of local organizations that provide support and legal assistance in Africa—and why we host a Legal Consultation Center on the sidelines of major international AIDS conferences.
Our Legal Consultation Center brings together pro bono lawyers from around the world and provides an opportunity for conference delegates and members of the public to have an initial conversation with an attorney lawyer, free of charge. Whether they’re seeking information on HIV criminalization, workplace discrimination, disclosing their status, or any other pressing question, people can use the consultation to discuss the challenges they’re facing and learn more about the resources available in their own communities.
We’ve hosted successful Legal Consultation Centers at AIDS 2008 in Mexico City, AIDS 2016 in Durban and ICASA 2017 in Abidjan, and we will be hosting our next Legal Consultation Center at AIDS 2018 in Amsterdam.
At our latest Legal Consultation Center held in Abidjan last December, we were able, thanks to a fantastic team of 28 volunteer lawyers, to offer legal consultations to 90 visitors from Benin, Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, The Gambia, Kenya, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
Are you attending AIDS 2018 in Amsterdam this July? If you’re a lawyer, please come and volunteer with us. Click here for more information.
Please be sure to visit AIDS-Free World's Legal Consultation Center in the conference's Global Village this July!