Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input into the drafting of the next Kenya National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan (KNASP), 2009/10-2013/14. Our organization carries out worldwide research and advocacy on the linkages between human rights and health issues, including HIV/AIDS. We document human rights abuses that contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS and human rights abuses against those living with HIV or affected by the epidemic. We also analyze prevention, testing, and treatment policies from a human rights angle.

While the link between HIV/AIDS and human rights violations is now widely acknowledged, HIV/AIDS strategies and implementation programs are still sometimes focused on technical advances or vertical interventions that fail to specifically address human rights abuses and the critical obstacles to prevention and treatment that stem from them. It is vital that the new Strategic Plan adopts a rights-based approach that permeates all aspects of strategy, policy, and programming.

This contribution concentrates on children’s rights, a policy area that we believe needs to be strengthened. Human Rights Watch has carried out research on HIV and children’s rights in Kenya since 2001, most recently on access to HIV treatment.