Date: 22-23 November, Kyiv, Ukraine
Meeting venue: Hotel Rus, Kyiv

On November 22-23 TBEC organized a Community Rights and Gender Regional Workshop on TB and Human Rights. This was a regional event for TB community activists and CSO leaders from Eastern Europe and Central Asia. TBEC provided a resource platform for this workshop, joining efforts with co-organizing partners – the Alliance for Public Health and STOP TB Partnership. TB People also joined as a technical partner. The workshop was conducted within the auspices of the Community, Rights and Gender Strategic Initiative of the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.

It empowered participants to understand and activate a human right-based response to TB in their countries and communities and equip them with tools to address human rights-related barriers to TB services and protect the human rights of people affected by TB, including key and vulnerable populations. It is acknowledged by an increasing number of stakeholders that reducing legal barriers is the most effective measure to end tuberculosis today.

The key question of the workshop was why a human rights-based approach is necessary for a successful TB response: what framework is provided by international documents to conceptualize rights of people affected by TB, including Nairobi Strategy on TB and Human Rights, UN HLM Declaration and the newly developed Declaration of People Affected by TB. The latter is a community-led manifesto that encompasses principles of TB response with respect to the rights of people with TB. It is also an informative tool as a tool that can educate and empower people affected by TB about their rights and be used for further advocacy.

It was however stressed by several speakers that our current resources are far from enough to build the capacity of TB communities in the EECA region.

STOP TB Partnership presented their new TB Stigma Assessment Tool that was developed to assess how TB stigma acts as a barrier to both accessing and providing services, with special considerations given to the needs of key, vulnerable and underserved populations. It is important that countries include Stigma Assessment in their next national applications to the Global Fund.

The Alliance for Public Health presented TB Community Rights and Gender Assessment Tool that helps to prioritize risk groups on the national level and thus define key activities for National TB Programs.

OneImpact is a mobile app that provides an opportunity to collect genuine feedback from people affected by tuberculosis. People are often afraid to speak openly in hospitals as they are afraid that if they report a problem, they may lose access to treatment or its quality. The mobile application provides a layer of privacy which is so important in situations with these kinds of power dynamics. The tool, therefore, allows us to receive more profound feedback from the TB community.

This workshop had a focus on challenges related to key and vulnerable populations on the example of specific cases related to the protection of rights of prisoners and migrants with TB.

Participants developed actions plans that considered human rights aspects of relevant key populations: migrants, homeless people and prisoners. These recommendations will be taken into account in advocacy work back home at national level.

Special thanks are extended to the unique and valuable contribution of CRG workshop speakers and facilitators:

Timur Abdullaev, TB People 

Brian Citro, JD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law (USA)

Alexandrina Iovita, Technical Adviser, Human Rights, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Daniel Kashnitsky, CRG Project Coordinator, TB Europe Coalition

Olga Klymenko, TB People Ukraine   

Natalia Kryshtafovich, Defeat TB Together, Belarus

Mariya Makovetska, TBEC Capacity Building Manager

James Malar, Country and Community Support for Impact, STOP TB Partnership

Liliya Masyuk, Consultant, Alliance for Public Health

Alexander Morgachev, Public Health Center of Ukraine

Elchin Mukhtarli, chairman of Saglamliga Khidmat, Azerbaijan

Safarali Naimov, STOP TB Partnership Tajikistan and TB Europe Coalition Board Member

Krystyna Rivera, 100% Life

Oxana Ruscineanu, SMIT, Moldova

Paul Sommerfeld, Chair of the Board, TB Europe Coalition

Jonathan Stillo, PhD, Assistant Professor, Wayne State University (USA), board member of TB Europe Coalition

Alex Tarzikhan, Schuette Clinical Fellow in Health and Human Rights at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law


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