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Our Work

Our most recent posts are listed below. To learn more about a specific issue, select a topic under “Our Work” in the menu to the left.

For our publications on past topics, click on “Find Publications” and search by topic.


July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017

July 2018

Comments on Recommendations from Canada’s Third Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network welcomes this opportunity to provide comments on recommendations that Canada has received during its third Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which took place on May 11, 2018. In this brief, the Legal Network provides comments on priority recommendations that Canada should consider accepting of the 299 recommendations received during the UPR. […]

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Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network in the Caribbean

Why the Caribbean? And why LGBTI human rights? As a region, the Caribbean has the second-highest HIV prevalence rate in the world, after sub-Saharan Africa. UNAIDS and regional and national agencies have identified homophobia as a factor contributing to this troubling statistic. In numerous countries, particularly the Commonwealth Caribbean, the criminalization of consensual same-sex relationships […]

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June 2018

Prison-Based Needle and Syringe Programs: Myths and Facts

As the first PSNPs are set to begin, we’re seeing a lot of incorrect information being circulated by opponents of these programs. In this fact sheet, the Legal Network looks to dispel some of the common myths.

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Legal Network submissions to 48th OAS General Assembly

From June 3-5, 2018 the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network participated in the 48th General Assembly (GA) of the Organization of American States (OAS) held in Washington D.C. Unlike most other OAS GAs, there was no central theme for the this gathering and so many issues were open for discussion.  The Legal Network therefore collaborated with other civil society organizations working on similar issues, including LGBTI human rights, sex worker rights, drug use […]

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OAS Resolution on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression – Ten Years On

By Maurice Tomlinson, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network Maurice Tomlinson presenting the IACHR Rapporteur on LGBTI people, Flavia Piovesan, with a copy of our work in the Caribbean On June 5, the 48th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) adopted another annual resolution on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression.  […]

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Media advisory: Vital community dialogue about HIV criminalization and the way forward

TORONTO June 13, 2018 — Canada (and Ontario) has the dubious distinction of having one of the highest rates of criminalizing people living with HIV in the world. As Pride Toronto marks 35 years of AIDS activism this Pride Month, and with the results of last week’s provincial election creating uncertainty about the future of […]

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Drug Policy and Human Rights: The Canadian Context and Recommendations to OHCHR

“Repressive drug control laws and policies around the world have fueled the HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) epidemics and contributed to mounting human rights violations against people who use drugs. The upcoming Ministerial Segment of the 62nd session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in March 2019 represents another important opportunity for Member […]

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Barbados Challenge Q&A

Three Barbadians — a trans woman, a lesbian and a gay man — have filed a petition against Barbados before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) challenging  laws criminalizing “buggery” and other intimacy between consenting partners, including partners of the same-sex, as violating numerous rights guaranteed in the American Convention on Human Rights. This […]

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News release: Challenge launched against two sections of Barbados’ discriminatory sexual offences act

Three Barbadians — a trans woman, a lesbian and a gay man — are filing today a petition against Barbados before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) challenging laws criminalising “buggery” and other intimacy between consenting partners, including same-sex partners, as violating numerous rights guaranteed in the American Convention on Human Rights. The IACHR […]

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Media advisory: Launch of challenge to Barbadian laws criminalizing LGBTQ people

Three Barbadians — a trans woman, a lesbian and a gay man — will file a petition against Barbados on June 6 before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) challenging laws criminalizing “buggery” and other intimacy between consenting partners, including same-sex partners, as violating numerous rights guaranteed in the American Convention on Human Rights.

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May 2018

Submission to the Global Commission on HIV and the Law

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network promotes the human rights of people living with, at risk of or affected by HIV or AIDS, in Canada and internationally, through research and analysis, litigation and other advocacy, public education and community mobilization. Since the 2012 publication of the final report of the Global Commission on HIV and the […]

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Statement: Advocates welcome major concessions in Government of Canada’s prison needle exchange announcement

May 14, 2018 — Today, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Correctional Services Canada (CSC) Interim Commissioner Anne Kelly quietly announced a prison needle exchange program (PNSP) to be implemented in two federal prisons. Many prisoners, public health experts and advocates, including the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, have fought for more than 20 years for […]

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Joint Statement of Civil Society Organizations in advance of the Thirty-Ninth Meeting of the Global Fund Board

“On the 9th – 10th of May 2018, the Global Fund’s Board will consider revisions to the Fund’s Eligibility Policy based upon recommendations from its Strategy Committee. While some of these recommendations are positive, others raise serious concerns. By this Statement we – the organizations representing civil society and including communities of people living with […]

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Health care in provincial correctional facilities – Joint submission to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

This submission by the Legal Network, HALCO and PASAN details the rights of prisoners to the equivalent access to health care as people in the community and urges the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to ensure these rights. We call on the Ministries to make […]

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Racism and Prejudice Have No Place in City Hall – A Message to Toronto City Council

Last month, representatives from holistic practitioner, sex worker and human rights organizations gathered in Committee Room 1 at Toronto City Hall to make deputations to the Municipal and Licensing Standards Committee about the bylaws governing holistic practitioners and body-rub providers. The meeting was prompted by a study of licensing for holistic centres and body-rub parlours, […]

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A flawed breach of justice: Bill C-66

Bill C-66, An Act to establish a procedure for expunging certain historically unjust convictions and to make related amendments to other Acts, is a long-overdue effort by the Government of Canada to correct the historical, systemic oppression of gender and sexual minorities. In its current form, Bill C-66 is fundamentally flawed. This bill was drafted […]

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April 2018

Submission to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada Regarding its Draft Position on Online Reputation

This submission is made jointly by the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO) and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network in response to the call for comments from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada on its Draft Position on Online Reputation. The rapid proliferation of personal information online, driven by the monetization of […]

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Media advisory: Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network marks 25 years of rights and resistance

For 25 years, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network has been defending and advancing human rights in response to HIV, in Canada and globally. This milestone will be commemorated in Vancouver on Friday, April 27, with a reception attended by former Legal Network board president and current B.C. Attorney General, the Hon. David Eby.

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Brief to the Standing Senate Committee regarding Bill C-66, An Act to establish a procedure for expunging certain historically unjust convictions and to make related amendments to other Acts

While Bill C-66, An Act to establish a procedure for expunging certain historically unjust convictions and to make related amendments to other Acts (“Bill C-66”), was described by Member of Parliament Randy Boissonnault as a law intended to address criminal offences that were used “to victimize LGBTQ2S+ people systematically,” the Legal Network and HALCO are […]

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A Modest Advance on Medical Inadmissability

Today, after years of advocacy by HIV, disability and migrant rights organizations, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship announced changes to the rules that exclude would-be residents of Canada based on projected “excessive demand” on health and social services. These changes, however, fall far short of the full repeal of the current flawed, discriminatory […]

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The Missing Millions, the Government of Canada and HIV

As community organizations are closing, the federal government presides over the continued steady erosion of federal HIV funding, with $104 million in funds lost from the response.

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The Missing Millions: Stopping and Reversing the Steady Erosion of Federal HIV Funding

In recent years, the Government of Canada has renewed a commitment to ongoing dialogue and constructive engagement with civil society in the response to HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs). In response to calls from national HIV organizations, the federal government—in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, researchers […]

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Statement: High Court of Trinidad and Tobago strikes down longstanding buggery law

Today, in an historic decision, the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago has struck down as unconstitutional the longstanding, homophobic “buggery” law, most often used to criminalize same-sex intimacy between consenting adults. The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network is thrilled to congratulate our friends, colleagues and fellow activists, all of whom have worked tirelessly for this […]

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March 2018

Maurice Tomlinson Speaks to HOC Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration

OTTAWA, March 27, 2018 – Today, Maurice Tomlinson, Senior Policy Advisor with the Legal Network, spoke to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration about his personal experience of immigrating to Canada and shared recommendations for improving the process for LGBTQ refugee claimants. Click below to download the text of his oral […]

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Brief to HoC Standing Committee on IRB appointment training and complaint process

“By some estimates, approximately 400 million LGBT persons live under the threat of criminal imprisonment or even death in their home country. The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) is faced with thousands of refugee claimants each year trying to escape persecution in their home country simply because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. While strides have been made to improve the cultural sensitivity of IRB members, more could be done to enhance the cultural competence of IRB members—charged with making decisions about the lives of LGBT persons seeking asylum in Canada.”

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Open Letter to the Liberal Party of Canada – Decriminalize Sex Work: Support Resolution #2764

It is now well recognized, not just by sex workers but by a wide range of human rights organizations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, and the Center for Health and Gender Equity, United Nations bodies such as the UN Development Programme, the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS, […]

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TIME TO ACT ON HARM REDUCTION PROMISES: Open Letter to the Liberal Party of Canada

Drug policy is at a critical juncture in Canada, and we need our elected representatives to put even greater emphasis on public health objectives and outcomes, respecting human rights for all. Welcome steps have been taken on this front following the 2015 election, including restoring harm reduction as a key pillar of Canada’s drug strategy, […]

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February 2018

Barbados police must take action to protect Trans activist

The following blog post contains images and descriptions of violence against LGBTQI people which may be upsetting. By Maurice Tomlinson, Senior Policy Analyst The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network joins Barbadian organizations and individuals in calling for immediate police action in the recent savage attack against local transgender activist Alexa Hoffmann. On the morning of Sunday, […]

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Appointment of the next Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada

In February 2018, the Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada retired. The Legal Network sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale, and Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick to tell them the appointment of a new CSC Commissioner presents a key opportunity to promote […]

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Statement: It is time to end Canada’s excessive demand regime

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network stands in support of the Private Member’s Bill to repeal Section 38(1)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA)—which we called for before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration last November. We hope that Parliamentarians from all parties will vote in favour of this proposal.

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Comments on Canada’s Draft Third Report Under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

In this brief, the Legal Network provides information about Canada’s implementation of its international human rights obligations as raised in the draft report, organized under subheadings included in the draft report. It expands on issues presented in the Legal Network’s Submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s UPR Working Group in advance of the […]

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Respect, Protect, Fulfill: A Human Rights Response to HIV

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network’s strategic plan, Respect, Protect, Fulfill: A Human Rights Response to HIV sets out the goals for the organization over the next five years.

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January 2018

A Global Reaction to Stop the Spread of Hate

Thanks to the work of local activists, supported by the voices of people and organizations—including the Legal Network—opposed to hate in all its forms, an American hate-preacher was prevented from spreading his murderous message in Jamaica. Initially, it looked as if the efforts would be for naught. Steven Anderson, an American extremist Christian “pastor” who […]

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Brief to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women: The need for drug policy reform and comprehensive prison-based harm reduction

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Prisoners with HIV/AIDS Support Action Network, CATIE and the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network work to promote the human rights of people living with, at risk of or affected by HIV and hepatitis C (HCV), including Indigenous women in prison. We appreciate the opportunity to make this submission on Indigenous women […]

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Open letter to the Government of Jamaica

Individuals and organizations working to help Jamaica achieve its domestic and international human rights obligations are sending an open letter to the Government of Jamaica, asking them to bar American preacher Steven Anderson from entering the country. Anderson has a record of making anti-LGBTQI, anti-women and anti-Semitic comments. His organization,  the Faithful Word Baptist Church, has […]

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100 Organizations Concerned with Health Sign Open Letter to Canadian, Mexican and U.S. Ministers of Health and Trade Urging That the NAFTA Renegotiation Not Undermine Access to Affordable Medicines

The Legal Network joined organizations across North America to call for a re-negotiated NAFTA to protect access to affordable medicine.

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Federal Court Judgement: A.B. and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

Judgement issued by The Honourable Mr. Justice Ahmed on December 19, 2017.

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Joint Legal Network/HALCO Factum: A.B. and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

This is an application for judicial review of the decision of the Immigration Appeal Division (“IAD”) to refuse the Applicant A.B.’s appeal to sponsor her parents due to her father’s medical inadmissibility for excessive demand on health services.

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РАСШИРЕНИЕ ПОТЕНЦИАЛА КЛЮЧЕВЫХ ГРУПП В ПРЕОДОЛЕНИИ ПРАВОВЫХ БАРЬЕРОВ В КОНТЕКСТЕ ПРОФИЛАКТИКИ, ЛЕЧЕНИЯ И УХОДА ПРИ ВИЧ/СПИД В РОССИИ

МОНИТОРИНГ И ОЦЕНКА ТЕХНИЧЕСКОЙ ПОДДЕРЖКИ ПО ВОПРОСАМ ПРЕОДОЛЕНИЯ ПРАВОВЫХ БАРЬЕРОВ И УКРЕПЛЕНИЯ СИСТЕМ СООБЩЕСТВ В РОССИИ, ОКАЗАННОЙ КЛЮЧЕВЫМ ГРУППАМ НАСЕЛЕНИЯ И ПРОЕКТАМ ПРОТИВОДЕЙСТВИЯ ВИЧ/СПИДУ

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December 2017

(Français) La pénalisation du VIH en Afrique francophone : état des lieux

Sorry, this entry is only available in French.

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Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act Wallet Cards now available

With Canada’s fatal overdose crisis still surging, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, in collaboration with the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council, issued 50,000 wallet-size cards with vital information about the 2017 Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act. The cards and an accompanying fact sheet will be provided to people who use drugs, service providers and volunteer […]

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See an overdose? Call 911 immediately

With Canada’s fatal overdose crisis still surging, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, in collaboration with the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council, issued 50,000 wallet-size cards with vital information about the 2017 Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act. The cards and an accompanying fact sheet will be provided to people who use drugs, service providers and volunteer […]

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November 2017

Representatives from the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario to speak to House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration

OTTAWA November 17, 2017 — Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“IRPA”), foreign nationals are inadmissible to Canada if their health condition might reasonably be expected to cause an “excessive demand” on health or social services, or if they have an inadmissible family member. Due to the high cost of antiretroviral medications, people living […]

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One Week in Jamaica: Celebrating LGBTQI lives and local leadership

Maurice Tomlinson’s 2017 Montego Bay Pride video diary In October, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network helped launch Intimate Conviction, a two-day international conference examining the Church and anti-gay laws across the Commonwealth, and supported a new generation of local LGBTQI leaders to organize the third successful Montego Bay Pride, with more than 850 people participating. […]

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Submission to the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration in relation to its study of Federal Government Policies and Guidelines Regarding Medical Inadmissibility of Immigrants

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“IRPA”) stipulates that foreign nationals are inadmissible to Canada on health grounds if their health condition might reasonably be expected to cause an “excessive demand” on health or social services, or if they have an inadmissible family member (i.e., an inadmissible spouse or dependent child). In this submission, we will […]

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Respect, Protect, Fulfill: A human rights response to HIV: Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network Strategic Plan 2017–2022

In 2016, we undertook a planning process to set our strategic directions for the next five years (2017–2022), including seeking the input of our members, key partners and supporters. This is a summary of the Legal Network’s 2017–2022 strategic plan.

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October 2017

Montego Bay Pride 2017: “Pride is where I can be free and truly express myself without fear”

By Maurice Tomlinson, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network October 24, 2017 For the third year in a row the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network collaborated with local and international partners to host a successful and incident-free Montego Bay Pride! Starting with about 150 participants in 2015, Montego Bay Pride expanded to over 300 people […]

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Towards a New NAFTA: Safeguarding Public Health and Access to Medicines: Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade

“The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network welcomes this opportunity to provide submissions to the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade (the “Committee”) as part of its upcoming consultations regarding the priorities of Canadian stakeholders having an interest in bilateral and trilateral trade in North America between Canada, the United States and Mexico. “Given the […]

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LGBTQI Jamaicans paint a bridge to the police

By Maurice Tomlinson, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network October 19, 2017 In 2010, I received an email from a stranger who promised to kill me if I continued to advocate for LGBTQI human rights in Jamaica. I was urged to go to the police and make a report — the first time I […]

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TURN OFF THE SPOTLIGHT: Sex workers and allies urge an end to Operation Northern Spotlight

October 19, 2017, Canada – As part of the hunt for people who “exploit” or purchase services from sex workers, police forces across Canada held their yearly raids between October 11–15 on sex work establishments that they call Operation Northern Spotlight. These operations include intrusive and intimidating visits to sex workers to their homes and […]

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