Civil Society has made a major advancement in the struggle for human rights in the Caribbean. The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) has developed and launched the Caribbean’s first, online database that will enable a standard system for capturing, collating and reporting human rights violations in the region.
The Shared Incident Database (SID), is an advanced, user-friendly, web-based technology that will strengthen evidence-based advocacy for more just policies and programmes in the Caribbean’s HIV response. The Database will track incidents affecting key population groups which include People Living with HIV, Sex Workers, People who Use Drugs, Men who Have Sex with Men, Transgender People, Marginalised Youth, Migrants and Inmates, who often encounter barriers to accessing health services and human rights protection.
The SID provides an integrated platform to record, analyse and exchange information to impact policy and programmes and will further empower individuals and civil society organisations to pursue redress including legal remedies where these are available.
The roll-out of the SID has met with enthusiastic response and already, in Jamaica, the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL), Jamaica Network for Seropositives (JN+) and the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAGS) have trained and signed MOUs for the use of the database. In April, additional groups including Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ), Eve for Life and Transwave were trained, and in the wider Caribbean, training has been done with groups in Belize, Guyana, Haiti and the Dominican Republic with Suriname and Trinidad to follow shortly.
Coming out of talks in April, the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) has agreed to use the database to track incidence of stigma and discrimination as part the overall Strategic Framework for scaling up the response to HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean. This will give significant expansion to the regional application and use of the database by governments and non-government organisations.
The SID is one of several interventions being implemented by CVC and Centro de Orientacion e Investigacion Integral (COIN) based in the Dominican Republic, as part of a three-year, CVC/COIN Caribbean Civil Society Grant funded by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The programme focuses on challenging stigma and discrimination to improve access to, and quality of, HIV services in the Caribbean.