Pozitif-iz Association Launches The Report On Rights Violations In 2018 And 2019
Pozitif-iz Association Has Launched
“The 2018-2019 Report on Human Rights Violations and Legal Advice”
People living with HIV in Turkey still get stigmatised, discriminated against and exposed to rights violations mostly by healthcare workers at healthcare institutions. Discrimination at workplaces is increasing as well.
“The 2018-2019 Report on Human Rights Violations and Legal Advice” has revealed ez findings. Healthcare institutions still remain the number 1 place where people living with HIV (PLWHIV) experience discrimination. As cases in the report demonstrate, the majority of discrimination events against PLWHIV involve healthcare workers. Even the group that is supposed to know more about HIV than an average person can be the source of discrimination because of prejudices.
Rights violations reported to Pozitif-iz Association in 2018 and 2019 have been compiled and the cases have been anonymised to protect the privacy of the counselees. The report has been prepared with the support of the European Union’s Etkiniz EU Grant Programme.
Throughout the report, legal advice has been provided for 89 cases; rights violations are explained in detail. Some counselees have been exposed to violations more than once.
PLWHIV are systemically stigmatised and discriminated against
Pozitif-iz Association’s lawyer, Hatice Demir, states that the report aims to reveal the rights violations and sums the report up as follows:
“The aim of the report is to show what PLWHIV have endured and how Turkey has responded to HIV. The main conclusion of the report is that discrimination and stigmatisation are systemic. These violations are complicated, they are observed in many different social relationships, and in different fields of law.
Throughout the report one can see that human rights violations against PLWHIV are very common in every aspect of social arena, from one to one interactions with individuals to more generalised violations by public offices, and legal basis for the violations is not even questioned.
An important issue we have observed is that PLWHIV do not take action to exercise their rights because they fear further discrimination. For instance, many counselees avoid job interviews as they fear they will be discriminated against because of their HIV status.
This report shows the big picture of fear of discrimination and stigmatisation based on HIV, and how discrimination and stigmatisation prevent PLWHIV from exercising their fundamental rights.
A striking point we have realized is that there is a huge gap regarding HIV in legislation. This gap is used against PLWHIV in practice. Lawyers working in this field need to use human rights-oriented perspectives to address these gaps in the courts.
People living with HIV have the same rights as everyone else
Çiğdem Şimşek, head of Pozitif-iz Association’s Board of Directors, notes that misinformation and myths about HIV still exist despite many scientific developments and says:
“Right violations, especially at healthcare institutions, strip PLWHIV of their right to health, which is a fundamental right. This prevents PLWHIV from accessing screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up services.
In addition, PLWHIV are stigmatised, discriminated against, discharged and stripped off their rights for their HIV status at workplaces. Therefore, they end up losing their social security insurance. This is a huge barrier to healthcare access and violates ‘the right to life.’ Stigmatisation, discrimination and rights violations PLWHIV face in every aspect of their lives increase steadily. This causes PLWHIV to face right violations again and again.”
From Past to Present: Findings and Recommendations
Pozitif-iz Association’s findings and recommendations to address the rights violations are categorised in the last section of the report. The findings identify the gaps in legislation and regulations pertaining to healthcare services, working life and public institutions. The recommendations include suggestions to close the gaps. As we have also mentioned in the report, discrimination is clearly the main source of rights violations against PLWHIV. In every study or work in the HIV field it should be emphasized that the rights of PLWHIV are human rights. This message needs to be delivered to everyone who is prejudiced against people living with HIV.
Please click here to view "The 2018-2019 Report on Human Rights Violations and Legal Advice”
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