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Advocacy Programme

| CENTRE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PEOPLE

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The aim of the Advocacy Programme is to advocate for equal treatment and the enjoyment of human rights of LGBTI persons in Malawi including but not limited to access to justice, friendly health and social services. Under the program, CEDEP also works to influence policy change, by engaging both state and non-state actors.

These include Members of Parliament, Ministries of Health and Population, Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Gender Children Disability and Social Welfare, Education Science and Technology, Labour and Manpower Development, and Information and ICT. Others are the Law Commission, Malawi Human Rights Commission, National Aids Commission, the Judiciary, local, traditional and religious leaders, the media and civil society.

Under the Advocacy Programme, one of the strategic areas is litigation. CEDEP currently has three on-going cases in the courts of Malawi. One is a Constitutional case that started in 2013 at the High Court; Kill the gays case popularly known as Msonda Case and the case against the Malawi Government Moratorium by a selected number of clergy.

To ensure that justice is accessed by LGBTI in cases of arbitrary arrests and unfair treatment, CEDEP provides litigation services in partnership with human rights lawyers and the Malawi Legal Aid Bureau (LAB) who provide pro bono services.

In this project CEDEP also has a toll-free line, 80000002 through which victims of human rights violations are able to report the situations. Such cases are then referred to service providers such as Police Victim Support Unit (VSU).

Furthermore, CEDEP in conjunction with the Malawi Law Society (MLS) and Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) is co-hosting Human Rights Defenders Forum (HRDF) that was launched in December, 2017.

The HRDF was established to promote the enjoyment of rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly by civil society in Malawi. Under the Advocacy Programme, CEDEP in partnership with MANET+ with support from AVAC and Health GAP is implementing a project called COMPASS Africa – the Coalition to build Momentum, Power, Activism, Strategy and Solidarity in Africa.

This is an investment in an innovative, savvy, data-informed and audacious North-South coalition. This coalition comprise partners with a range of skills and established modes of work in advocacy, research and the cascade of care. This initiative aims at strengthening and improving coordination of civil society advocacy focused on Global Fund, PEPFAR, and domestic funding of the AIDS response including helping convene CSOs to make coordinated demands and monitoring the use of funds by these sources. Further to this, the project documents and provides feedback and experiences regarding civil society engagement in the PEPFAR Country Operation Plan (COP) processes in Malawi.

Through this initiative, we have seen CSO recommendations being incorporated in the PEPFAR Country Operation Plan such as the Differentiated Models of ART Treatment; increasing Human Resources for Health (HRH) and PrEP.