Rights-based approaches for supporting and enabling key populations

 On 29-30 October UNFPA and UNODC organized an In Reach training for UN staff in Central Asia. The training took place in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and aimed at strengthening the capacity of Central Asian Joint Country Teams on HIV/AIDS and their UN co-workers, to work with and support key populations groups. Representatives of country offices from UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNODC, UNDP, UNHCR and WFP took part in the training. UNODC, as co-organizer of the training, was well represented with HIV focal points from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The UNODC regional HIV advisor was the co-facilitator of the training.

The workshop targeted UN staff to learn about key issues, challenges and needs of key population groups and to better guide the UN system's responses and interventions with a view to assist community empowerment, build more supportive environments, and to increase access to quality services.

Issues of stigma and discrimination, violence and police pressure, respect for human rights among vulnerable groups, migration and mobility as well as legal and policy environment for HIV prevention activities in the public sector and in prison settings were the focus of the training.

Participants had a chance to listen to firsthand information about the needs of selected representatives from vulnerable population groups who were invited to the training. These local resources included CSWs, IDUs, MSM as well as PLWHA. The training was an opportunity to gain understanding of the support provided to target groups.

At the end of the workshop, participants had enhanced their knowledge of rights-based approaches for supporting key populations, and for planning programme and policy responses to HIV, particularly to support MSM, IDUs, CSWs and transgender people.