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21.06.2007

Outrage over Minister of Education’s attitude to children with HIV

   

Ukrainian civic organizations defending the rights of people living with HIV are appalled by recent remarks made by the Minister of Education Stanislav Nikolayenko, and have called on the President and Prime Minister to express their censure.

In the last few days the Minister of Education spoke out in a recent television interview in favour of children with HIV NOT attending school together with other children.

Human rights activists believe that the Minister’s views are discriminatory about people [children!] living with HIV and violate their legitimate rights.

When asked about these views by Channel 5, the Minister somewhat softened his stand, however said that some of his reservations remain.

In his words: “This is a difficult question for Ukraine and the world. We should not put labels on these children. However we need to clearly understand that if there is a threat to society we must take adequate measures. Let the children study. However it is for specialists to decide under what conditions”.

At present there are 6 thousand and 278 children on medical registers who were born to HIV-positive mothers. These children do not pose a threat to other children since the infection is not passed on through everyday contact, but only through blood contact. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child demands that the rights of such children be observed and stresses that discrimination against them and the disclosure of their medical diagnosis should not be permitted.

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