GENEVA, 8 December 2017—UNAIDS and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) today signed a new cooperation agreement to promote access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for migrants, mobile populations and people affected by humanitarian emergencies.
“Migrants and people displaced through conflict or emergencies must be supported and enabled through their journeys to exercise their right to health,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “This new partnership agreement between UNAIDS and the International Organization for Migration will be essential in strengthening our efforts to make sure that no one is left behind.”
Under the new agreement, UNAIDS and IOM will encourage states to take steps to ensure access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support and to reduce stigma, discrimination and violence. States will also be encouraged to review policies related to restrictions on entry based on HIV status, with a view to eliminating such restrictions.
“Migrants and mobile populations are exposed to a unique set of factors that render them more vulnerable to HIV, including limited access to health services and information as well as exposure to environments that are conducive to engaging in higher-risk behaviours,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. “In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to meet the universal health coverage targets set therein, it is crucial that the rights of migrants to health be realized and effected through evidence-based, whole-of-government and cross-sector approaches, and the International Organization for Migration will continue to work closely with UNAIDS and other actors in jointly addressing these issues,” added Mr Swing.
IOM and UNAIDS will work to ensure a package of care for people living with HIV and/or tuberculosis in humanitarian emergencies and conflict settings to reduce their vulnerability to HIV, reduce the risk of treatment interruption and ensure access to quality healthcare and nutritious food.
UNAIDS and IOM will also tackle the multiple forms of discrimination against refugee and migrant women and girls and promote access to tailored comprehensive HIV prevention services for women and adolescent girls, migrants and key populations.
IOM and UNAIDS have a long-standing partnership. IOM is part of the United Nations joint teams on HIV at the country level and its HIV and population mobility programme complements the work of UNAIDS globally.
During the 108th session of the IOM Council, UNAIDS was granted observer status by IOM, a sign of strengthened cooperation between the two institutions.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. With 169 member states, a further 9 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.