Policy Brief: The Impact of Stigma and Discrimination on Key Populations and Their Families


Societal stigma and punitive legal frameworks often severely impede key populations’ rights to raise families free from interference and discrimination. The experiences of key population groups (gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, sex workers, and transgender people) are diverse, and are informed by varying levels of criminalisation, stigma and discrimination, and individual factors such as socioeconomic status, gender, race, and health status. This paper explores these challenges, and provides recommendations for policymakers.

Contents include:

  • International Human Rights Frameworks
  • Social and Legal Frameworks
    • Medical Frameworks
    • Legal Frameworks
    • Mainstream Social Frameworks
    • Community Social Frameworks
  • The Right to Have Children and Build Families
  • The Right to Raise Children 
  • The Rights of Children
  • Self-Perception as Parents
  • Community-Led Interventions
  • Recommendations

This Policy Brief is a joint effort by three global key population-led networks (INPUD, MPact, and NSWP) to bring attention to the lived experiences of key populations and their families, and highlight the ways that stigma and discrimination inform these experiences. A Community Guide is also available

You can download this 34 page resource above. It is available in Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.