After four years of work, Loyola Law School’s International Human Rights Center has published a manual on international human rights procedures to assist people living with HIV/AIDS — and the organizations working for them —to navigate the complex world of international human rights procedures. Studio arts chair and professor Saeri Cho Dobson was brought on to digest the information and design the manual in way that maximizes readability and comprehension for a variety of international audiences.
The manual was prepared by students working at the center under the direction of Cesare Romero, professor of law and center director. “Cesare and his students had amassed a huge amount of content over a number of years, and needed assistance organizing the material into a cohesive and easy to navigate text,” said Dobson. “Graphic design isn’t just about making things beautiful, but also plays an important role when it comes to formatting and organizing content logically. I am so proud of having been part of this project; assisting to bring this vital information to a marginalized community in a way that is easy to understand as well as aesthetically pleasing.”
The HIV pandemic has been ravaging the world since the 1980s, and there is still no vaccine for it. At the end of 2018, about 37.9 million people globally were living with HIV. Since the beginning of the epidemic, in total about 74.9 million people have become infected with HIV, and about 32 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses.
Romero notes, “As we wrote on the fourth cover: ‘Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, the protection of human rights has been an integral component of the international response strategy. The high degree of stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS calls for firm human rights protection, nationally and internationally. Unless the human rights of people living with HIV/AIDS are vigorously protected, scientific progress towards prevention and treatment will not achieve its full potential. Now, more than ever, legal reform, empowerment and mobilization are necessary to protect public health and to realize the rights of people living with, and at-risk for, HIV/AIDS.’”
The manual is free and will be available digitally on the International Human Rights Center website. It will also be distributed electronically to hundreds of organizations that provide legal assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS all around the world, including developing countries.