SIAAP advocates and supports local disenfranchised communities to fight for their rights, and works with state agencies to ensure the government fulfil its obligation to its citizens. SIAAP works to empower WSW, MSM, and PLHA who lack the basic rights of education, health care and money in its effort to halt the spread of HIV.
Pioneering advocacy efforts in the past:
- is responsible for the Government of India ruling that no individual be imprisoned on the grounds of being HIV positive. This ruling followed a case SIAAP won in the Madras High Court against the illegal detention of 800 women who were detained for testing positive for HIV, in 1989.
- has worked with the Home Secretary since 2003 to prosecute aggressors committing violence against marginalized communities.
- is advocating for the improvement of HIV care in hospitals and ensuring patient rights are met through public interest litigations and petitions in court.
- is the leading VCT resource in Tamil Nadu. HIV Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) is provided by government hospitals as a result of advocacy put forth by SIAAP, which found against mandatory testing at STI clinics. Prior to this, HIV testing of at-risk populations in Tamil Nadu hospitals was mandatory, which led to the further stigmatisation of these already marginalized groups.
- encouraged 95 panchayats (village councils) to pass resolutions in support of PLWHAs, poor and marginalized women, and sexual minorities against violence and discrimination.
- helped WSW, MSM, PLWHA, and blind people collectivise into 20 community organisations and formally register with the government.
- helped enforce the national standard for condom quality and ensure that they be freely available to those who need them.
- successfully fought for the inclusion of PLHAs in state and national advisory boards.
- advocated to improve the quality of condoms for free distribution.
- provided evidence for the success of counselling as an effective HIV prevention and care strategy
- prepared guidelines, in collaboration with WHO, to help improve the quality of VCTCs in the country.
- worked with the Tamil Nadu government to pass an order directing police to focus on traffickers and not on individual women selling sex.
SIAAP’s current advocacy:
- Anti Trafficking Bill
- HIV/AIDS Act
- Supreme Court Panel Recommendations (Rights of sex workers)
Programmes under Advocacy
Public Interest Litigation
Documentation of concerns of women selling sex in India
Formation of Community Organisation for PLHIV to advocate for rights
Building Agency of Sex Workers in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka