Press Release: #UPROOT 2.0 Launches in Eight Countries

The world is witnessing a new wave of human rights violations and challenges fueled by division and hatred. More generally, the scope and magnitude of discrimination against women, girls, and LGBTQ+ people worldwide is of particular concern and has the potential to backtrack all the progress made in the HIV response. Even where progress has been made, countries are now re-introducing legislation that further marginalizes and stigmatizes key affected populations and people living with HIV.

Youth-led and youth-serving organisations, including The PACT, Y+ Global and Youth LEAD, are joining forces with UNAIDS to scale up the youth-led monitoring agenda by launching a new round of scorecard implementation for 2023. The #UPROOT Scorecard is developed and powered by young people to identify  the drivers of the HIV epidemics, such as discrimination, inequalities, violence and exclusion, issues that put their demographic at risk at the national level, and catalyse advocacy around identified priorities.

The current cycle of scorecard implementation began in 2021 and continued into 2022, led by Y+ Global and The PACT, with support from UNAIDS, with support from youth networks in ten countries. The #UPROOT Youth-led Scorecard have given young people and young key populations the opportunity and power to measure countries’ progress toward ending AIDS, to see if the targets can be met by 2030, particularly on issues that matter and affect young people the most, explains Ekanem Itoro Effiong, Chair of The Pact.

#UPROOT allows young people to thoroughly review gaps, challenges, and opportunities to address the particular needs of young people in all their diversity in those countries’ national HIV and AIDS response. As part of the scorecard process, young people from diverse backgrounds are tasked to score the countrys response to the following five areas: laws and policies, participation, national strategies, leadership, and partnerships. As a result, the data collected can be used to develop new policies and address overarching issues that young people face on a daily basis.

The countries selected in the second phase of #UPROOT reflect regional diversity as well as the convergence of several critical factors such as the existence of youth-led organisations or networks with the potential to lead on youth-led monitoring and advocacy processes, the existence of strategic opportunities to advance the HIV response with and for young people, and the opportunity to leverage strategic alliances between key national stakeholders and the youth-led networks, says Alicia Sanchez, Youth Engagement Advisor at UNAIDS. This project’s second phase will start in April and target eight countries: Cameroon, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Pakistan, VietNam and Zambia.

Y+ Global is proud to continue this partnership with The PACT, UNAIDS and Youth LEAD. #UPROOT plays a vital role in giving a platform for young people to speak up and voice their concerns over their countrys progress on HIV. Our voice is only as loud when we are united under a common goal – and that is ensuring young people are meaningfully and ethically engaged in the HIV response, says Maximina Jokonya, Executive Director of Y+ Global.

Ikka Noviyanthi, regional coordinator of Youth LEAD says As young people we are stronger together, Youth LEAD really excited to continue the partnership with the PACT, Y+ Global, UNAIDS, and also the country partners. #UPROOT giving the young people including the young key population to engaged in the monitoring and advocacy processes to advance the HIV response with and for young people

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