Saturday, April 3, 2010

UNAIDS and Parliamentarians appeal lifting of travel restriction on people with AIDS

March 28 Bangkok, Thailand – In the 122nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, parliamentarians from all over the world joined UNAIDS to appeal to the governments of the 52 countries to remove travel restrictions for people living with HIV/AIDS.

In the message of Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS during the opening session last March 28, he strongly stated.“We need your help to build and strengthen governmental response and accountability or we will not reach our goal of Universal Access to HIV prevention, treatment and care services or the Millennium Development Goals—two commitments that your governments have signed onto and which are necessary to overcome HIV.

“I know that the AIDS epidemic consistently places complicated demands on you, the world’s lawmakers. This is because HIV links public health and human rights in a way that requires governments to work harder to achieve health, education, non-discrimination and gender equality for all those vulnerable to or living with HIV. Where we don’t achieve these, the epidemic continues to rage.”

“Law, law enforcement and access to justice are the three components of the legal environment that are critical to achieving these HIV-related human rights. But we have made much less progress in creating the legal and social environments necessary to deliver a future generation free of HIV.”

Sidibé emphasized HIV/AIDS was included on the MDGs (Number 6 –Combat AIDS, Malaria and other diseases), and all the world leaders signed this agreement to achieve this campaign. Unfortunately, the number of human rights violation against people with AIDS increased--including the travel restriction imposed by the 52 countries: Andorra, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Bahrain, Belarus, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, China, Comoros, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt , Fiji, India, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen.

Supporting the aims of UNAIDS, IPU gave its support by urging this countries--especially its fellow legislators--to join the fight against discrimination and human rights violation– specifically the people with AIDS/HIV—and to reduce the stigma to those who were infected with the virus. The two organizations encouraged lawmakers to support the legislation that will enforce the protection of people infected with HIV.

UNAIDS's AIDSspace is an online community for connecting people, sharing knowledge and providing services for the 33.4 million people living with HIV and the millions engaged in the AIDS response

Sidibé, challenged the parliamentarians to lead and play a vital role in removing discriminatory laws and restrictions against people with HIV/AIDS.

The 122nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union was a 6-day conference (March 27-April) of the members of the IPU. The organization was established in 1889 and has 143 countries as members. IPU gained permanent observer status in the United Nations.

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