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Ukraine lifted the ban on immigration for people with HIV

09.08.2015

In accordance with the Order № 415 of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine issued on the 19th of October, 2001, HIV infection was included into the list of contagious diseases  constituting the basis for the denial of an immigration permit.

In the report "On Implementation and Protection of Human and Civil Rights and Freedoms" published in 2014 the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Valeriya Lutkovska pointed out that the ban on the entry to Ukraine for HIV-positive people violates the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, contrary to the existing jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights.

The Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine reacted the Ombudsman's request to amend the legislation, having reported that on the 11th of June, 2015, according to the order № 329 HIV is excluded from the list of contagious diseases constituting the basis for the denial of an immigration permit. The Order came into force on the 10th of July 2015.

According to the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, lifting the immigration ban for HIV-positive foreigners and stateless persons is a significant step forward in defence of human rights and reducing discrimination against people living with HIV. Moreover, by adopting such a decision, Ukraine joined 140 progressive countries, which also lifted such bans as being warrantless.

However, despite the ban for HIV-positive migrants being obviously discriminatory, the prohibition on obtaining temporary and permanent residency or citizenship for HIV-positive people  still exists in some countries of former CIS countries, such as Russia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and others.

The Global Commission on HIV and the Law stated in its report "HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights and Health" the following: "Migration policy, e.g. restrictions on entry, stay and residence in the country, splits families and isolates people from their co-citizens, friends and usual lifestyles. Such living conditions limit the abilities of people, exposing them to exploitation, altering their sexual behaviour, and increasing the likelihood of high-risk behaviours. As a result, workers are being at a risk for HIV-infection, which is 3 times higher than the risk of being HIV-infected for people who have a permanent place of residence ".

In the Human Rights Watch's report "Discrimination, Denial and Deportation: Human Rights Abuses Affecting Migrants Living with HIV" it it pointed out that in order to fight  the global AIDS epidemic it would be more efficient to redesign the legislative policies and resources  which currently are focusing on the restrictive measures for migrants to implement the programs of HIV-infection prevention  and provide the proper care and treatment both for citizens and non-citizens."

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Собственное бессилие столь же опасно, как чье-то насилие
Станислав Ежи Лец

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