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close this bookDiscrimination in the Context of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or Acquired Immune Deficiency Symdrome (AIDS) (UNAIDS, 1996, 9 p.)
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View the documentDiscrimination in the Context of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or Acquired Immune Deficiency Symdrome (AIDS)

Discrimination in the Context of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or Acquired Immune Deficiency Symdrome (AIDS)

The Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities,

Recognizing that the increasing challenges presented by the HIV/AIDS epidemic require intensified efforts to ensure universal respect for and observance of fundamental human rights and freedoms, as well as the avoidance of HIV/AIDS-related discrimination and stigma,

Bearing in mind that, as recognized by the World Health Assembly in its resolution WHA45.35 of 14 May 1992, there is no public health rationale for any measures that limit the rights of the individual, notably measures establishing mandatory testing,

Convinced that discrimination against any person on the grounds of AIDS or HIV infection, actually or presumed, is a violation of fundamental rights and freedoms,

Recognizing that persons suffering from disadvantaged socioeconomic or legal status, such as women, children, indigenous peoples, minorities, refugees, migrants, sex workers, men who are homosexual, injecting drug users and prisoners, are more vulnerable to the risk of HIV infection owing to limited or no access to education, health care and social services, and that they suffer disproportionately from the economic and social consequences of the HIV/AIDS epidemic,

Recognizing also that the clinical, social and cultural elements of HIV/AIDS, including the impairment which can result from it and the ignorance, discrimination and stigma which surround it, indicate that it is appropriate to consider HIV/AIDS as a disability for purposes of protection against discrimination,

Alarmed at the increasing rate of HIV infection among women and children, exacerbated by the continuing subordination of women and the exploitation of children, including child prostitution and pornography,

Concerned that fear, ignorance and intolerance continue to cause stigmatization of and prejudice against people affected by HIV/AIDS, including those presumed to be infected or at risk of infection, resulting in violence, detention and discrimination in the areas of health care, employment, education, housing, social welfare, travel and the granting of asylum.

Expressing its grave concern that people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as those presumed to be infected, continue to be discriminated against in law, policy and practice,

Emphasizing the responsibility of Governments to take all the necessary measures to counter discrimination, prejudice and stigma, to ensure the full realization of all human rights and freedoms by people affected by HIV/AIDS, and to strengthen national and international mechanisms that are concerned with HIV/AIDS-related human rights and ethics,

Welcoming the establishment of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the progress made towards the integration of a strong human rights component throughout the strategies and work of.the Programme,

Welcoming also the organization of a second international expert consultation on human rights and HIV/AIDS, with a view to elaborating guidelines for States on the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms in the context of HIV/AIDS,

1. Reconfirms

that discrimination on the basis of HIV or AIDS status, actual or presumed, is prohibited by existing international human rights standards and that the term “other status” in non-discrimination provisions in international human rights texts should be interpreted to cover health status, including HIV/AIDS;

2. Confirms

that it is appropriate to consider HIV/AIDS as a disability for purposes of protection against discrimination;

3. Calls upon

all States to ensure that their legislation, policies and practices, including those in the context of HIV/AIDS, respect international-human rights standards, prohibit HIV/AIDS-related discrimination and do not have the effect of inhibiting HIV/AIDS prevention and care programmes, in particular with respect to women, children, indigenous peoples, minorities, refugees, migrants, sex workers, men who are homosexual, injecting drug users and prisoners;

4. Also calls upon

all States to take all the necessary steps to advance the legal, economic and social status of women, children, minorities, indigenous peoples, migrants and other groups suffering lack of full enjoyment of their fundamental human rights and freedoms, in order to reduce their vulnerability to RIV infection and to the adverse socioeconomic consequences of the AIDS pandemic;

5. Further calls upon

the special rapporteurs, representatives and working groups, as well as other United Nations human rights bodies, to address all HIV-related issues arising under their mandates, with particular attention to women, children and vulnerable groups;

6. Requests

the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, through the Commission on Human Rights, to continue his efforts to ensure sufficient resources within the Centre for Human Rights to address HIV/AIDS-related issues and to incorporate these issues, as appropriate, in all the Centre’s activities;

7. Stresses

the importance of the organization of a second international expert consultation on human rights and HIV/AIDS with a view to elaborating guidelines for States on the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms in the context of HIV/AIDS;

8. Requests

UNAIDS to continue the integration of a strong human rights component in all its activities;

9. Strongly urges

the Commission on Human Rights to keep under review the issue of HIV/AIDS-related human rights violations and discrimination;

10. Decides

to keep the issue of HIV/AIDS-related human rights violations and discrimination under continuous review, and to give consideration to this issue under all relevant items of its agenda, as well as in the work of its relevant working groups and special rapporteurs.