HR Violation monitoring

Collecting evidence of human rights violations is a
vital component of the work of activists working
across the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT+)
and sex worker sectors. It is hard to reject advocacy
work that is based on hard facts about the reality
of sex workers and LGBT+ people’s lives. It tells the
story of why change is needed. When human rights
violations are documented, it gives credibility to
LGBT+ and sex worker organisations and communities
asking for change.
Documenting human rights violations helps trigger
reactions or responses that can help prevent such
violations from being repeated. It also provides a
mechanism with which to monitor states’ compliance
with international standards and keep track of how
situations on the ground are changing.
Monitoring is a key means of collecting information: by
tracking media reports, attending events, exchanges
with peer organisations, etc, but also through the
systematic collection of targeted data. There are many
monitoring systems that collect data on human rights
violations. ‘REAct’—Rights, Evidence and Action—is
a secure, IT-based (using MARTUS), human rights
monitoring and response system owned and managed
by community-based partner organisations, based on
principles of south-south peer learning exchange.
Set up globally by the International HIV/Aids Alliance
and adapted for use in the Southern African context
by Aids Legal Network (ALN) in 2016, REAct helps
respond to human rights barriers to accessing HIV,
healthcare and community support services by
collecting relevant evidence to identify and provide or
refer for individual emergency support, human rights-based HIV programmes and to generate evidence
for advocacy. The data collected builds the body of
evidence on the impact of human rights violations
that in turn, impact on the effectiveness of the HIV
response, and provides a mechanism to inform and
improve human rights-based HIV programming. This
evidence is essential for advocacy and influencing
governments and other actors to promote policy
change and legal reform, and to support the rights
of all people to access quality HIV, healthcare and
community support services freely, a huge barrier
for LGBT+ and sex worker communities in particular.
At a country level, REAct can help extend and improve
the efficacy of partner organisations’ human rights
programmes, including legal services, ‘know your
rights’ initiatives, engagement with law enforcement
officers and public health care officials, advocacy,
programmes to address gender-based violence,
gender inequality and harmful gender norms, and
programmes to reduce stigma and discrimination
by providing an evidence base for REAct.