To the Government of Zambia
· Design and implement programs that would afford girls some basic protections from sexual violence and exploitation. Such programs should include greatly increased capacity for reporting and investigating abuses and providing counseling and treatment for victims. These should include training of police, social welfare workers and legal officers to improve their capacity to work with girls and encourage them to report sexual violence and other human rights abuses, establishing clear procedures for reporting and follow up, and strengthening coordination among all service providers. The government should consider creating special centers where abuses against girls can be reported, staffed by trained police, medical personnel, and counselors, and should establish monitoring mechanisms to ensure that the procedures are effective and accessible. All of these improvements should be based on wide consultations with governmental and nongovernmental actors. Disseminate information about these initiatives as part of the national strategy to combat HIV/AIDS.
· Take all necessary steps to ensure that police and other law enforcement agencies fully investigate and prosecute cases of sexual violence and coercion of girls. Ensure that prosecutors treat cases of sexual violence seriously and seek appropriate penalties and punishment.
· Train all police officers in the recognition and combat of gender-based violence and child abuse, including developing relevant forensic skills. In particular, target the Victim Support Unit for sustained and in-depth training in investigating sexual violence and child abuse, as well as in national and international law prohibiting sexual violence.
· Strengthen support services for victims of rape and sexual assault, such as counseling, testing, health and medical services, legal and financial services, and providing the indicated short course of antiretroviral drugs (post-exposure prophylaxis) for rape victims. Promote the expansion of youth-friendly health services that address the physical and psychological health needs of girls, including counseling related to sexually transmitted diseases.
· Make spousal rape a crime along with other categories of sexual violence.
· Provide training to develop the capacity of medical, judicial, and law enforcement personnel to assist victims of child abuse and sexual violence. Train teachers, social workers, and counselors to identify vulnerable or abused children and to take steps to provide protection.
· Implement and enforce laws and regulations in conformity with the constitutional provision against discrimination and with international standards, with specific reference to discrimination against women and girls in education, inheritance rights and custody of children. Promote gender equality under law and take steps to remove discriminatory provisions of customary law. Launch awareness campaigns to inform and educate all Zambians about these rights.
· Enact anti-discrimination laws to reduce human rights violations against children affected by HIV/AIDS, including abuses of their property rights. Ensure access of all children to HIV/AIDS-related information and education. Investigate and prosecute cases of police violence against girls who are street children or sex workers.
· Take steps to protect sex workers from violence, including training law enforcement and judicial personnel to treat their cases without discrimination or bias, and to provide them with HIV/AIDS information, counseling and treatment.
· Review and reform the legal system in light of the AIDS crisis to ensure legal protection for people infected with HIV/AIDS, as well as those orphaned or widowed due to HIV/AIDS. Where necessary, enact new laws to deal with specific problems raised by HIV/AIDS.
· Modify education policy to eliminate the practice of banning pregnant girls from school for any amount of time. Design and implement programs to ensure that pregnant students stay in school and return if desired after the birth of a child.
· Promote awareness of the dangers of cultural practices that put girls at risk of HIV infection. Engage traditional leaders, healers, birth attendants, and other guardians of tradition at the community level to recognize and address traditional practices that further girls' vulnerability to HIV infection.
· Enact national laws to ensure compliance with human rights instruments to which Zambia is a party, particularly the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Put in place national institutions to promote and protect these rights and to monitor their implementation.
To the donor community
· Assist in the development of governmental and nongovernmental programs designed to address the link between sexual violence and coercion and HIV/AIDS in Zambia. Target support at programs to enhance protection of girls' rights and to develop mechanisms to monitor these abuses. Provide financial and technical assistance to civil society organizations that seek to address abuses against girls, including legal services, counseling and testing, and medical assistance.
· Contribute to training law enforcement and judicial personnel on the links between sexual violence and HIV/AIDS, and on international legal standards. Assist law enforcement agencies in acquiring necessary forensic skills and equipment for investigating cases of sexual violence.
· Engage publicly and privately with the Zambian government to highlight the importance of including violence against girls and women in broader AIDS prevention programs. Ensure that the specific needs of girls at risk of HIV infection are addressed.
To the United Nations
· Engage in high-profile advocacy about the link between human rights abuses and HIV transmission to girls in Zambia, and reflect this link in HIV/AIDS programs support by the U.N. in the country. In particular, ensure that UNICEF programs reflect the special protection needs of girls with respect to the AIDS epidemic.