Civil Society Organisations Call on the Prime Minister of Mauritius to stop the deportation of a student living with HIV from Mauritius

Posted by Mutaleni on April 16, 2015

The Honourable, Sir Aneerood JUGNAUTH, G.C.S.K, K.C.M.G, Q.C
Prime Minister of Mauritius
Prime Minister’s Office
Treasury Building 

Port Louis

Mauritius

 

21 April 2015

 

Civil Society Organisations Call on the Prime Minister of Mauritius to stop the deportation of a student living with HIV from Mauritius

The AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA), Prévention Information Lutte contre le Sida (PILS) and the undersigned civil society organisations and activists call on the Prime Minister of Mauritius to stop the deportation of a young woman from Cameroon solely on the basis of her HIV status. We urge policy makers in Mauritius to review and amend the Immigration Act which specifies that persons afflicted with any infectious disease are prohibited from entering the country.  

As part of her study permit application, the female student was tested for HIV upon arrival in Mauritius. After testing positive for HIV, she received a notification letter from the Passport and Immigration Office informing her that the application for her study visa had been denied and that she would be deported from the country.

The determination that the student be deported on the basis that her HIV status is a contagious infection, as provided for in the Immigration Act, is discriminatory. Scientific and medical developments in the last three decades have proven that effective HIV treatment has significantly reduced AIDS-related deaths and has transformed HIV infection from a condition that inevitably resulted in early death to a chronic manageable condition.

It is well accepted that states may not discriminate against people living with HIV or members of groups perceived to be at higher risk of HIV infection on the basis of their actual or presumed HIV status. International human rights law guarantees the rights to equal protection before the law and freedom from discrimination on any ground. The rights to equality and non-discrimination in the context of HIV has in addition been interpreted as imposing an obligation on states to review and repeal any laws, policies and practices to exclude treatment based on arbitrary HIV-related measures.  The provisions of the Immigration Act which permit deportation on the basis of HIV status are discriminatory and there is no evidence that laws of this nature protect public health.

The deportation of this student on the basis of her HIV status organisation is not only contrary to fundamental international human rights, but will undoubtedly fuel the already high rates of stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV in Mauritius. All persons have the right to education and this right extends to people living with HIV. States should ensure that people living with HIV are not discriminatorily denied access to education, including access to schools, universities, scholarships and international education or subject to restrictions solely based on their HIV status.

We appeal to the Mauritian government to make progressive efforts to increase awareness and education on HIV, law and human rights for the general public, government agencies, services providers within key sectors and law enforcement officials. Comprehensive anti-discrimination law that protects people against discrimination on the basis of real or perceived HIV status should be adopted.

Signed:

  1. AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA)
  2. Prévention Information Lutte contre le Sida (PILS)- Mauritius
  3. Engender Rights Centre for Justice (ERCJ) Zambia
  4. Lesbians Gay and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO)
  5. Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA)
  6. Men for Health and Gender Justice Organisation- Botswana
  7. Trans Bantu Association- Zambia
  8. Zambia Disability HIV/AIDS Human Rights Programme
  9. Mozambique Network  of Religious Leaders Living with HIV and AIDS (MONERELA+)
  10. Associacao Mulher, Lei e Desenvovimento (Muleide) -Mozambique
  11. Mozambican Treatment Access Movement (MATRAM)
  12. Associacao de Reintegracao dos Jovens (SCARJOV) - Angola
  13. Matrix Support Group - Lesotho
  14. Swaziland Positive Living (SWAPOL)
  15. Centre for the Development of people (CEDEP) Malawi
  16. Uganda Harm Reduction Network (UHRN)
  17. International Community of Women Living with HIV East Africa (ICWEA)
  18. Centre for Health Human Rights and Development (CEHURD)- Uganda
  19. Tonata People Living with HIV Network - Namibia
  20. Women and Law in Southern Africa (WLSA) Zimbabwe
  21. Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of the Offender (ZACRO)
  22. Network of Zimbabwean Positive Women (ZPW+)
  23. HIV/AIDS Support Organisation of Seychelles (HASO)
  24. Pan African Positive Women’s Coalition (PAPWC) - Zimbabwe
  25. Zambia Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS (ZANERELA+)
  26. Centre for Reproductive Health and Education -Zambia
  27. Copperbelt Health Education Project (CHEP)- Zambia
  28. International Community of Women Liivng with HIV (ICW)- Zimbabwe
  29. Generation Alive (Zambia)
  30. Pilot Mathambo Centre for Men’s Health- Botswana
  31. Protection Enfants Sida (PES) – Democratic Republic of Congo
  32. Youth and Children Rights Shield (YOCRIS)- Malawi
  33. Development for Peace Education (DPE) -Lesotho
  34. Phelisanang Bophelong Association- Lesotho
  35. Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ)
  36. Swaziland Business Coalition of Health and AIDS (SWABCHA)
  37. Unit for Behavioural studies on HIV and Health - UNISA (South Africa)
  38. Network of African People Living with HIV, Southern African Region
  39. AIDS Legal Network (ALN)
  40. Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign (TALC) Zambia
  41. Network of Young People Living with HIV -Tanzania
  42. Children Education Society (CHESO)- Tanzania
  43. LGBT Voice -Tanzania
  44. Ladder for Rural Development -Malawi
  45. Rights Not Rescue Trust (RNRT)- Namibia
  46. Zambia Association for Prevention of HIV and TB  (ZAPHIT)
  47. Iris Carolus - Seychelles
  48. Dr Idrice Goomany Treatment Centre- Mauritius
  49. HIV/AIDS Research and Welfare Centre (HARC)- Bangladesh
  50. KELIN - Kenya
  51. AIDES- France
  52. KIMIRINA Cooperation- Equador
  53. Coalition des Organismes Communautaires Quebecois de Lutte contre le Sida (COCQ SIDA), Canada 
  54. SIDALYS, Montreal, Quebec
  55. Arcad/SIDA - Mali
  56. Groupe sida Genève, Switzerland. 
  57. Nationale de Soutien aux Seropositifs et malades du Sida au Burundi (ANSS) – Burundi
  58.  Collectif Arc En Ciel- Mauritius
  59. Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+) – India
  60. Aides Infos Liberte Espoir et Solidarite (AILES) – Mauritius
  61.  Grupo Português de Ativistas sobre Tratamentos de VIH/SIDA  (GAT) -Portugal
  62. ARASA -Romania
  63. REVS+ -Burkina Faso
  64. Global Network of people Living with HIV (GNP+) - Amsterdam
  65. Hope Mafaranga- Uganda
  66. Association de lutte contre le Sida (ALCS) - Maroc
  67. Coalition Internationale Sida (Coalition Plus)- France
  68. L'Institut pour le Développement Humain (IDH - Bolivia)
  69.  Alternatives Cameroune
  70. Africagay contre le sida
  71. Ruban Rouge –Ivory Coast
  72. SISAL- Madagascar
  73. Guyana Sex Work Coalition.
  74. Guyana Trans United.
  75. Caribbean Sex Work Coalition.
  76.  Caribbean Vulnerable Committee Coalition
  77. Malawi Network of Religious Leaders living with or personally affected by HIV AIDS-MANERELA+
  78. Abana Besu Project Limited from Zambia
  79. Youth Engage - Zimbabwe
  80. Health GAP (Global Access Project) – New York
  81. The African Community Advisory Board (AFROCAB)
  82. Network of African People living with HIV + Central Africa
  83. HIV Justice Network (UK, working globally)
  84. Alternative Cote d’Ivoire
  85. Ravanne Ocean Indien