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My thesis is an exploration of how human rights are understood and experienced by Papua New Guinean people living with HIV, men with diverse sexualities and transgender women. I examine the emergence and progress of two organisations established by these communities: Igat Hope and Kapul Champions. I consider the ways these organisations have, while still pursuing their missions to limit the impacts of HIV on their members and all Papua New Guineans, been used to help promote the human rights of constituents. Through this examination, I reflect on my own history with these organisations and the community movements which have built them, and on my roles as advocate and researcher.
I find that the human rights of people with HIV, men with diverse sexualities and trans women in PNG are regularly violated across many areas of life. I find these communities have an understanding of human rights and support their promotion, particularly rights analyses that recognise the value they place on community connection and that emphasise their inclusion. I see human rights in PNG as a dynamic space, with an indigenisation of the rights framework that will facilitate its application. I find both Igat Hope and Kapul Champions to have significant records of achievement, including in human rights. I also find a way to be comfortable in my multiple roles, suggesting some ways in which my research might support local advocacy efforts.
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