Health is a fundamental human right and yet is denied to many: at the root of ill health is inequality, poverty, exploitation, violence and injustice.
As key populations and other marginalised groups in Southern Africa we are systematically denied access to health services in general and HIV programmes and services specifically. Our interactions with health providers are traumatic, abusive and oppressive and our specific needs are not recognised nor addressed.
This Charter outlines a set of seven areas of concern and related priorities which must be urgently addressed to ensure our rights to health as members of key populations and other marginalised groups are realised. Many of the demands in this Charter are applicable to everyone, because as members of key populations or other marginalised groups we do not live single issue lives nor do we hold single identities. We also do not live in isolation from others in society – our health is interdependent on each others.
The Charter is intended to support advocacy and policy work aimed at ensuring access to health for all. The Charter is both a product of – and a call to action for – participatory, collaborative and powerful KP-led activism. We encourage activists and organisations who work in the fields of health, sexuality and gender to use and adapt these principles to their work and contexts and in doing so to help us popularise and mobilise support for the Charter. We also do not see the Charter as a final product – and encourage activists to send us comments and suggestions on how to strengthen it.