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Posted in: Press Releases by admin | 12 March 2012 | Release Ref #: 72/2012 | 3106

    (CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The Region’s Chief Parliamentary Counsel will meet over the next four days to refine the PANCAP draft Regional Anti-Discrimination Model Policy, at a meeting being held, in Trinidad and Tobago.

    PANCAP Coordinating Unit Director, Mrs. Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland, in brief remarks to the Official Opening of the meeting on Monday 12 March, noted that the issues impacting people living with HIV and AIDS are issues of human rights, to which we all are entitled. The denial of these rights because of discrimination has compelled the regional partnership “to adopt a more inclusive approach to ending discrimination, not just on the basis of HIV status but on wider grounds, including gender, disability and sexual orientation”, she said In this context, “… this PANCAP Model Legislation is the best of the interface between public health and human rights”.

    In drawing attention to the consensual process of the drafting of the model legislation which the Director said was not always easy, she noted that its development involved some of the best legal minds in the field of Human Rights and Discrimination across the Region.

    She called on representatives of the CARICOM States and Associated Members to advance the anti-discrimination agenda in the Region, indicating that the Model Policy is “an aspirational goal… and a standard that we would wish national legislation to reach. You in this room will be key to how this legislation is translated at the national level…. and your countries’ version of the legislation will reflect your own national consensus and engagements,” she stated.

    A snapshot of the HIV related legal environment in the Caribbean as of 2010, indicated:
    56% of countries report no legal protection against HIV-related discrimination
    75% of countries report laws and regulations that present obstacles to HIV services for vulnerable population groups
    69% of countries criminalise same sex activities among consenting adults.
    81 % of countries criminalise some aspects of sex work
    19% of countries have HIV-related travel restrictions
    19% of countries have HIV-specific laws that criminalise HIV transmission ( Source: KS111 2010)

    PANCAP is a regional partnership established by CARICOM Heads of Government in 2001 to respond to the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean. Over the years, it has advocated for strengthening the human rights agenda in HIV, including developing model anti -discrimination legislation to promote the rights of people with HIV and AIDS and most-at-risk populations.

    The full address could be accessed here. http://pancap.org/en/speeches-and-presentations/66-directors-speeches/859-speech-to-chief-parliamentary-counsel-meeting-march-12th-2012-port-of-spain-trinidad-tobago.html

    Valerie Beach Horne Strategic Information and Communication Officer