CALL FOR ENDORSEMENTS: SIGN ON TO THE OSLO DECLARATION ON HIV CRIMINALISATION

CALL FOR ENDORSEMENTS: SIGN ON TO THE OSLO DECLARATION ON HIV CRIMINALISATION
Prepared by international civil society members in Oslo, Norway on February 13, 2012.

To read the complete declaration and to sign-on visit: http://www.hivjustice.net/oslo/oslo-declaration/.
To learn more about the organizers and the objectives behind the Declaration visit: http://www.hivjustice.net/oslo/.

** At this time the Declaration is only available in English. However, other language versions will soon be available. Check the host site for more details.**

Text of the Oslo Declaration:

1. A growing body of evidence suggests that the criminalisation of HIV non-disclosure, potential exposure and non-intentional transmission is doing more harm than good in terms of its impact on public health and human rights.

2. A better alternative to the use of the criminal law are measures that create an environment that enables people to seek testing, support and timely treatment, and to safely disclose their HIV status.

3. Although there may be a limited role for criminal law in rare cases in which people transmit HIV with malicious intent, we prefer to see people living with HIV supported and empowered from the moment of diagnosis, so that even these rare cases may be prevented. This requires a non-punitive, non-criminal HIV prevention approach centred within communities, where expertise about, and understanding of, HIV issues is best found.

4. Existing HIV-specific criminal laws should be repealed, in accordance with UNAIDS recommendations. If, following a thorough evidence-informed national review, HIV-related prosecutions are still deemed to be necessary they should be based on principles of proportionality, foreseeability, intent, causality and non-discrimination; informed by the most-up-to-date HIV-related science and medical information; harm-based, rather than risk-of-harm based; and be consistent with both public health goals and international human rights obligations.

5. Where the general law can be, or is being, used for HIV-related prosecutions, the exact nature of the rights and responsibilities of people living with HIV under the law should be clarified, ideally through prosecutorial and police guidelines, produced in consultation with all key stakeholders, to ensure that police investigations are appropriate and to ensure that people with HIV have adequate access to justice. We respectfully ask Ministries of Health and Justice and other relevant policymakers and criminal justice system actors to also take into account the following in any consideration about whether or not to use criminal law in HIV-related cases:

6. HIV epidemics are driven by undiagnosed HIV infections, not by people who know their HIV-positive status. Unprotected sex includes risking many possible eventualities – positive and negative – including the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections such as HIV. Due to the high number of undiagnosed infections, relying on disclosure to protect oneself – and prosecuting people for non-disclosure – can and does lead to a false sense of security.

7. HIV is just one of many sexually transmitted or communicable diseases that can cause long-term harm. Singling out HIV with specific laws or prosecutions further stigmatises people living with and affected by HIV. HIV-related stigma is the greatest barrier to testing, treatment uptake, disclosure and a country’s success in “getting to zero new infections, AIDS-related deaths and zero discrimination”.

8. Criminal laws do not change behaviour rooted in complex social issues, especially behaviour that is based on desire and impacted by HIV-related stigma.[9] Such behaviour is changed by counselling and support for people living with HIV that aims to achieve health, dignity and empowerment.

9. Neither the criminal justice system nor the media are currently well-equipped to deal with HIV-related criminal cases. Relevant authorities should ensure adequate HIV-related training for police, prosecutors, defence lawyers, judges, juries and the media.

10. Once a person’s HIV status has been involuntarily disclosed in the media, it will always be available through an internet search. People accused of HIV-related ‘crimes’ for which they are not (or should not be found) guilty have a right to privacy. There is no public health benefit in identifying such individuals in the media; if previous partners need to be informed for public health purposes, ethical and confidential partner notification protocols should be followed.

To learn more about the Oslo Declaration on HIV Criminalization visit: http://www.hivjustice.net/oslo/.

To sign-on go to http://www.hivjustice.net/oslo/oslo-declaration/.

______________________________
Lindsey Amèrica-Simms
Communications and Outreach Strategist | Conseillère en communication et relations communautaires
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network | Le Réseau juridique canadien VIH/sida
416-595-1666 ext (poste) 236
http://www.aidslaw.ca | http://www.twitter.com/aidslaw

CNDP Condemns Prime Minister’s Slander Campaign against Koodankulam anti-NPP Struggle

CNDP Condemns Prime Minister’s Slander Campaign against Koodankulam anti-NPP Struggle

Feb 28, 2012

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in an interview to the American journal ‘Science’ published on this Friday said, “The atomic energy programme has got into difficulties because these NGOs mostly, I think, based in the US, don’t appreciate the need for our country to increase energy. The local NGO-led protests have stalled the commissioning of two 1000 mw nuclear reactors.”

This is in fact very much in tune with the propaganda barrage launched by the Union Government against the determined popular struggle against the ongoing Koodankulam nuclear power plant.

The Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) strongly condemns such baseless and malicious allegation as regards foreign hands behind the Koodankulam struggle without caring to produce even the faintest shred of evidence and ask the prime Minister either to substantiate his allegation or publicly apologise.

For CNDP

Achin Vanaik

Admiral L Ramdas

Anil Chaudhary

Amarjeet Kaur

Praful Bidwai

N D Jayaprakash

Sukla Sen–

Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP)

A 124/6 Katwaria Sarai, New Delhi-16

Telefax: 011-26517814

Web : www.cndpindia.org

 

Citizens’ Statement Against Prime Minister’s Malicious Comment on Koodankulam Struggle

Citizens’ Statement Against Prime Minister’s Malicious Comment on Koodankulam Struggle

February 27, 2012

Who is under theforeign hand?

We strongly deplore the PM’s recent statement that the people’s struggle against Koodankulam nuclear power plant is instigated by foreign agencies and funds. We cannot accept our PM to stoop to such low levels.
This allegation is aclear hint from him that the Indian people who could think on their own toelect the Congress-led UPA in the last general election, have suddenly lost the capacity to think ‘correctly about their safety and energy security. EminentIndian intellectuals like historian Romila Thapar, economist Amit Bhaduri, diplomat Nirupam Sen, scientist PM BHargava, and the Indian Institute of Science director P.Balaram have strongly opposed this nuclearisation of India. They surely represent the ‘thinking component’ of India that Dr. Singh cited.

In reality, it is the Manmohan Singh-led government that is pushing the interests of foreign corporate from Russia, USA and France etc. by giving blanket allocation of Indian territories to them for setting up dangerous nuclear power parks. Similar was the case with the Indo-US nuclear deal, when the government repeatedly tried to bypass the Parliament under pressure from these ‘foreignhand’.

Let Indians not losetheir hard-earned freedom of independent thoughts and expression to this sold-out government, and condemn the very people who give them the credibility to govern.

In the light of the worldwide shift in public opinion and government policies against nuclear energy, it is only China and India that have significant expansion plans. Atthe very least it is expected in the light of this global reality that the Indian government which claims to be democratic should establish a complete moratoriumon the further development of nuclear energy. It must encourage the widest possible debate on nuclear energy and show respect for the growing voices of democratic dissent, instead of resorting to the cheapest forms of chauvinism and maligning its own people.

Justice BG Kolse-Patil, Mumbai

Prashant Bhushan, New Delhi

PM Bhargava, Scientist, Hyderabad

Admiral L. Ramdas, Alibag

Lalita Ramdas, Alibag

Meher Engineer, Kolkata

Rohan D’Souza, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Asit Das, Researcher and Activist, New Delhi

P K Sundaram, Researcher, New Delhi

Sunil, Samajwadi Jan Parishad, MP

Vaishali Patil, Activist, Konkan (Maharashtra)

Praful Bidwai, Journalist, New Delhi

Achin Vanaik, New Delhi

Sumit Chakravarthy, Editor, Mainstream Weekly

Anil Chaudhary, Indian National Social Action Forum(INSAF)

Neeraj Jain, Lokayat, Pune

Soumya Dutta, Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha

Nagraj Adve, Delhi Platform, New Delhi

Vijayan MJ, Delhi Forum, New Delhi

Vinuta Gopal, Greenpeace India, Bangalore

Karuna Raina, Greenpeace India, New Delhi

Bauddhaditya, Delhi University

Priyanka Singh, Samata, New Delhi

Yashwir Arya, Azadi Bachao Andolan,

Harsh Kapoor, South Asia Citizen’s Web

Rajendra Sharma, Hisar, Haryana

Ankur Jaisawal, Journalist, New Delhi

Joe Athilay, New Delhi

Arun Bidani, Delhi Platform, New Delhi

Bhupendra Singh Raut, NAPM

Amit Tharayath Vergese, Delhi Forum,New Delhi

Seela M Mahapatra, Delhi Solidarity Group, NewDelhi

Tarini Manchanda, New Delhi

PT George, Intercultural Resources, New Delhi