Accountability is the ability of rights holders to hold duty bearers, such as governments and institutions, responsible for meeting their commitments and obligations. In the AIDS response, countries have made specific commitments in the 2016 U.N. Political Declaration to end AIDS. as well as broader commitments to human rights, gender equality and the elimination of violence. Since these broader commitments are closely linked to HIV, it is critical to ensure that they are also translated into meaningful change. The following accountability mechanisms exist – at the national, regional and global level – to implement and monitor these commitments.
At the national level, most National AIDS Councils and/or Ministries of Health report on progress towards commitments made in the UN Political Declaration to end AIDS through the Global AIDS Monitoring process, engaging civil society. At the regional level, regional systems monitor, promote and protect human rights among their member states within specific geographic regions. At the international level, there are human rights oversight bodies, and independent and peer reviews, such as the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, its Special Procedures, the Universal Periodic Review and Human Rights Treaty Monitoring Bodies.
While many accountability mechanisms can be effective tools for advocacy, #BeTeamWomen is highlighting three that could be particularly helpful in relation to the fast-track commitments on women and girls: the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
Through each of these mechanisms, civil society has platforms through which to ensure accountability for the implementation of commitments on women and girls’ health and equality.