ICW Concerned Over Trend to Criminalise HIV Transmission

ICW's fact sheet on Criminalisation of HIV and Women - in English.

ICW along with a number of HIV/AIDS and women's rights organisations are extremely concerned about criminalisation of HIV transmission.

Other resources on Criminalisation of HIV Transmission and Exposure and it's impact on women:

  • Fiona Pettitt's Blog on criminalisation of HIV on RHRealityCheck - in English.
  • Aziza Ahmed's Blog on criminalisation of HIV on RHRealityCheck - in English.
  • Alice Welbourn's Article "Women, HIV, and the Crisis of Criminalisation" - in English.
  • ICW's letter to Chairperson Jamesina King of the Sierra Leone Human Rights Commission - in English. 
  • Article by Aziza Ahmed in ICW 40 - in English, French and Spanish.
  • Article by Alice Welbourn in Open Democracy - in English, French and Portuguese.
  • Alice Welbourn's satellite session presentation on criminalisation and women - in English.
  • Aziza Ahmed's women's networking zone presentation on criminalisation and women - in English.
  • ICW's Press Release on Criminalisation for the International AIDS Conference 2008 - in English.
  • ICW's Poster on Criminalisation for the International AIDS Conference 2008 - in English.
  • Sierre Leone's HIV/AIDS Bill criminalising transmission (including mother to child transmission) - in English.
  • The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network Article - in English, French, Russian.
  • UNAIDS response to the sign-on letter developed by CSOs to raise their concerns about "model laws" that criminalise HIV transmission - in English
  • Edwin Bernard's blog on criminalisation and HIV can be seen here

 

Model Law on HIV

ICW welcomes all governments' efforts to develop and implement laws which protect the rights of people living with HIV to peace, safety and security in their homes, neighbourhoods and work. However, the creation of laws to criminalise transmission of HIV and the individuals concerned is a very different matter and needs to be addressed with great caution.

The Francophone and Lusophone West Africa Model AIDS Law, whilst a good idea in principle, has also several clauses of great concern in relation to the rights of HIV positive individuals. Fortunately, at a recent workshop in Dakar, Senegal [meeting report], various international civil society organisations joined together with parliamentarians from several West African countries, UNAIDS, Aware, Constella Group and others to take a fresh look at the "Model AIDS Law" which has shaped the laws of these countries and to recommend alternative language for contentious areas of this model law. Below you can access the alternative language that has been suggested by UNAIDS to replace the offending provisions (both in English and French). These may be of assistance to you in making submissions in your own countries on up and coming HIV laws with similar offending provisions. You can also read the letter presented to delegates on Day 1 of the meeting, which outlined the main concerns regarding the Model AIDS Law.

Letter by CSOs, coordinated by Athena, and presented to delegates on day one. (French version)

Alternative language English French resulting from the Dakar workshop.

La loi type sur le VIH

Le modèle législatif sur le sida pour l’Afrique francophone et lusophone, une bonne idée en principe, contient aussi plusieurs clauses inquiétantes par rapport aux droits des individus séropositifs. Heureusement, lors d’un atelier récent à Dakar, au Sénégal, NAPWA, Aids and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa, Canadian AIDS Legal Network, ICW, Athena, Human Rights Watch, the Center for Reproductive Rights, GNP+ et d’autres organisations internationales de société civile se sont unis aux parlementaires de plusieurs pays de l’ouest de l’Afrique, ONUSIDA, Aware et Constella Group entre autres pour regarder d’un œil neuf la ‘loi type sur le VIH’ qui à déterminée les lois de ces pays et pour recommander la modification de certains articles problématiques. Vous pouvez accéder, ci-dessous, aux modifications proposées par ONUSIDA pour remplacer les dispositions offensantes (en anglais et en français). Ces suggestions pourraient vous être utiles pour soumettre des propositions dans vos propres pays sur les lois sur le VIH contenant des articles aussi problématiques. Vous pouvez aussi lire la lettre présentée aux participants le premier jour de la réunion, qui donne un aperçu des principales craintes concernant la loi type sur le VIH.

Criminalisation of Vertical Transmission

The ATHENA Network has been collaborating with, ARASA, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Center for Reproductive Rights, GNP+, Human Rights Watch, the ATHENA Network and the World YWCA, among others, around the criminalization of vertical transmission.

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network has a set of five info sheets addressing the issue. They are available at

http://www.aidslaw.ca/publications/publicationsdocEN.php?ref=847

You can also find other documents on the issue at

www.aidslaw.ca/EN/issues/criminal_law.htm

The ATHENA Network has been collaborating with, ARASA, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Center for Reproductive Rights, GNP+, Human Rights Watch, the ATHENA Network and the World YWCA, among others, around the criminalization of vertical transmission.

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network has a set of five info sheets addressing the issue. They are available at

http://www.aidslaw.ca/publications/publicationsdocEN.php?ref=847

You can also find other documents on the issue at

www.aidslaw.ca/EN/issues/criminal_law.htm

 

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AttachmentSize
Letter_to_Chairperson_King.pdf302.26 KB
Sierra Leone Gazette Supplement_0.pdf1.71 MB
Response from UNAIDS.pdf373.05 KB
AWelbournTUSAT2602.ppt309 KB
Final Fact Sheet June 2909.pdf398.12 KB