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Statement of Rights for People who are Positive

Infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C) and the stigma associated with them are commonplace. There is widespread ignorance about those infected and the sources of the transmission of the diseases, and there are inadequate protections for those suffering from stigma. These protections would include the right to work, the right to privacy, the right to adequate healthcare insurance, and the right to decent housing, standards of care and all other rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This declaration should cause these rights to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded in the workplace, in schools and in other educational institutions.

Recognition of the inherent dignity, and of the equal and inalienable rights, of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. This recognition must include all those with disabilities, including those who are infected with either or both diseases. These rights should be protected wherever possible by law.

Members of EAC have pledged themselves to achieve the promotion of universal respect for, and observance of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all those suffering from HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.

The following items are based on those principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. This includes those suffering from any illness or disability.
  • Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. Those suffering from any infectious diseases shall not be excluded or discriminated against. No one shall be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment because of any health problem. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of such rights.
  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks, and those individuals who are positive must be included and safeguarded.

With respect to those who suffer from, or have at any time suffered from any form of stigma, as defined in this declaration, the following rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights shall have particular application:

Everyone, without distinction, has the right to:

  • Work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
  • Equal pay for equal work.
  • Rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
  • A standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of themselves and of their family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond their control. This declaration in particular extends to the circumstances of all those suffering from mental illness.
  • Participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
  • Social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.