Legal Workshop Participants Discuss Human Rights and HIV/AIDS

Press Release

25 June 2006

The Health and Human Rights Program of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights organized a two-day workshop on the 'Legal Dimensions of HIV/AIDS and Human Rights in Egypt'. The workshop was held under the auspices of the National AIDS Program at the Ministry of Health and Population and was co-sponsored by four United Nations (UN) agencies: the UN Children Fund (UNICEF), the UN Joint Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the UN Development Program (UNDP) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Thirty participants attended the workshop, including lawyers, legal experts and representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in the field of human rights, women's rights and local development. People living with HIV (PLHIV) also participated in the workshop together with representatives from the National Council for Human Rights and the National Council for Women.

The workshop, held in Ain Sukna from 20-21 June, aimed at sensitizing lawyers and legal practitioners to HIV/AIDS, as well as exploring the relationships between HIV/AIDS and human rights and the role of law in protecting the rights of PLHIV and preventing the spread of HIV.

Participants conducted a detailed review of relevant legislation and internal regulations in Egypt from a human rights perspective to highlight their positive and negative aspects with regards to the rights of PLHIV. The review was based on the background legal study entitled 'The Legal Framework of HIV/AIDS and Human Rights in Egypt', prepared by criminal law professor and vice-dean of Alexandria University's Faculty of Law Dr. Fattouh El-Shazly.

The workshop also dedicated sessions and working group discussions to specific HIV-related human rights concerns, such as discrimination in the workplace, the right to treatment and healthcare, the right to privacy and confidentiality, as well as the role of law in responding to the needs of marginalized groups who are more vulnerable to being infected with HIV.