With the implementation of the Political Declaration to End TB, community and civil society mobilization on the ground are essential for safeguarding and holding governments accountable to the rights of people and communities affected by TB. However, awareness and understanding of human rights principles remain relatively low amongst people living with and affected by TB in much part of Asia-Pacific. Efforts towards integrating and operationalizing human rights principles in national TB responses are further challenged by restrictive political environments in most parts of the region. The Activists Coalition on TB – Asia Pacific (ACT! AP), coordinated by APCASO and with support by the Stop TB Partnership, has developed a new tool to enhance community awareness and supporting sustainable community engagement mobilization in rights-based TB responses. This training manual, titled “The Right to Breathe: A Training Manual on TB and Human Rights” aims to strengthen the capacity of people living with and affected by TB in Asia-Pacific in seeking accountability from governments and other duty bearers for their rights in the implementation of national TB strategies.
- To enhance the understanding of TB-affected communities of the relationship between human rights and tuberculosis;
- To build the capacity of TB-affected communities to document human rights violations experienced by communities affected by tuberculosis; and
- To build the capacity of TB-affected communities to engage in advocacy that contributes to stronger national TB programmes and bridges gaps in their countries’ response to tuberculosis.
Who is this training manual for? This training manual was developed by TB-affected communites and TB activists to build and strengthen the capacity of people with and affected by TB to better understand the human rights issues and abuses they encounter and be able to respond constructively. Communities affected by TB include communities of people with TB disease, those who have previously had TB disease, and key populations like children, healthcare workers, indigenous peoples, people living with HIV, people who use drugs, prisoners, miners, mobile populations, women, the urban and rural poor, and their families, and dependents and their caregivers. This manual was designed primarily for members of these communities, who have been previously engaged by TB survivor groups and networks, TB peer support groups or organizations of key populations of TB, as well as civil society organizations that conduct capacity building and advocacy activities.
What does this training manual contain? This manual contains seven (7) modules. Details of each module are as follows:
- Preliminaries. This includes introductions, expectation setting, and providing the overview of the training.
- TB and Human Rights Situation. This module includes an overview of the current TB and human rights situation in the country or locality as well as the broad human rights concerns related to TB. This session will establish the rationale or the need for TB-affected communities to undergo a training on TB and human rights.
- Basic Orientation on TB. This module will provide basic information about TB, how it is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and how it is treated. This session will also provide time for participants to brainstorm and to explore society’s perceptions about TB and people who have TB, and the impact of these perceptions on TB-affected communities.
- Bridging Session: TB-related Issues in the Community. This module facilitates a process by which the participants will link their TB-related issues to broader human rights issues that they experience.
- Understanding Human Rights Issues in TB. In this module, participants will learn about basic human rights information and gain an understanding of the human rights issues related to TB.
- Documenting TB-related Human Rights Violations. This module will provide participants with the skill to interview members of their communities who may have experienced human rights violations and will capture these experiences in a human rights documentation template.
- Developing Advocacy Skills. This module will provide learning for participate on how to participate in decision-making processes, raise their issues and concerns to duty-bearers and decision makers, and effect changes in laws, policies, programs, and services.