Meeting of the Regional Network of legal aid to people affected by HIV
On 28 October in Tbilisi a preliminary meeting was held of the Regional Network of legal aid to people affected by HIV. Lawyers of organizations from nine countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia discussed the possibility of improving the quality of legal aid, and ethical rules when working with vulnerable groups. The participants also discussed the issues of development of the network, increasing geographical coverage, and establishing continuous contacts with vulnerable groups. At the meeting, the presentations were made by experts of the IDLO and the UNDP regional office.
Regional Network of legal aid to people affected by HIV integrates human rights organizations that provide legal aid to people living with HIV and representatives of key groups with maximum risk of HIV infection. They are represented by their high-professional lawyers that have a great experience of work with these groups. Exchange of experiences and best practices was one of the main components of the meeting.
Participants of the meeting endorsed the need for adoption of the Network Ethical Code, which should become the basic document for the participants of the network regulating relations with representatives of vulnerable groups who apply for free legal aid, to prevent stigma and discrimination against persons seeking legal assistance, and to protect the confidential information provided to lawyers. Text of the Code itself also became a subject of discussion.
During the meeting, Rimma Grishmanovskaya, the Program Officer for Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) proposed to the participants of the meeting the presentation "International practice of sustainable development of legal services in the field of HIV." Specialist of the UNDP Regional Service Centre Boyan Konstantinov presented the web presentation on the fundraising opportunities in organizations and their use.
The regional meeting was held with the financial support of the regional office of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO).
Робин С. Шарма