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Advocating for Harm Reduction in Prisons: The Dublin Declaration on HIV/AIDS in Prisons in Europe and Central Asia. Rick Lines, Excutive Director Irish Penal Reform Trust Dublin, Ireland Vanguard 2004 Confernence Begrade â€“ 22 May 2004. â€œWhat is Harm Reduction?â€.
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Rick Lines, Excutive Director
Irish Penal Reform Trust
Vanguard 2004 Confernence
Begrade – 22 May 2004
1. High rates of HIV and HCV seroprevalence are evident in in many prison systems internationally.
2. Injection drug use and the sharing of injecting equipment is widespread in many prisons systems across the world.
3. Harm reduction measures have been proven effective in reducing risk behaviour and HIV/HCV transmission, and are operating successfully in many countries.
4. Numerous international instruments support prisoners’ rights to health care equivalent to that available outside prison, including preventive measures.
“Prisoners shall have access to the health services available in the country without discrimination on the grounds of their legal situation.”
UN Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners
“All prisoners have the right to receive health care, including preventive measures, equivalent to that available in the community without discrimination…with respect to their legal status.”
WHO Guidelines on HIV Infection and AIDS in Prisons
“With regard to effective HIV/AIDS prevention and care programmes, prisoners have a right to be provided the basic standard of medical care available in the community.”UNAIDS
This Declaration provides a framework for mounting an effective response to HIV/AIDS in the prisons of Europe and Central Asia. The Principles and Articles outlined herein are based upon recognised international best practice, scientific evidence, and the fundamental human rights of people in prison and the obligations of States to fulfil those rights.
Principle 1 – People in prison are part of our communities.
Principle 2 – People in prison have a right to health.
Principle 3 – Good prison health is good public health.
Principle 4 – Protecting the health of prisoners, and reducing the transmission of disease in prisons, also protects the health of prison staff
Principle 5 – Sex and injecting drug use occur in prison, and in many prisons are widespread.
Principle 6 – Harm reduction, rather than zero-tolerance, must be the pragmatic policy basis for fighting HIV/AIDS in prisons and in providing HIV/AIDS care.
Principle 7 – HIV/AIDS in prisons is a major problem in many countries, and States must act collectively and cooperatively in the fight against the epidemic.
Principle 8 – Action to fight Hepatitis C in prisons is as crucial as is action to fight HIV/AIDS, and must be integrated into all initiatives addressing HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
Article 1 – Prisoners have a right to protect themselves against HIV infection. Prisoners living with HIV/AIDS have a right to protect themselves from re-infection and/or co-infection with Hepatitis C and/or TB.
Article 2 – Prisoners living with HIV/AIDS have a right to maintain and promote their health.
Article 3 – Prisoners have a right to keep their HIV status confidential.
Article 4 – Prisoners have a right to informed consent in accessing HIV treatments and therapies, including the right to refuse treatment.
Article 5 – Prisoners have a right to access voluntary, confidential HIV testing, with pre- and post-test counselling. Prisoners have a right to informed consent before being tested for HIV infection, including the right to refuse testing.
Article 6 – Prisoners living with HIV/AIDS have a right to live free from stigma, discrimination, and violence.
Article 7 – Prisoners have a right to accurate, non-judgemental, and accessible education on HIV/AIDS.
Article 8 – Prison populations have a right to have their diversity acknowledged and respected in the design and provision of HIV/AIDS services.
Article 9 – Prisoners, prison staff, and non-governmental organisations should be consulted in the design and implementation of prison HIV/AIDS programmes.
Article 10 – Prisoners living with HIV/AIDS have a right to a continuity of post-release healthcare services.
Article 11 – Wealthier states have an obligation to assist and support less-wealthy states in providing HIV prevention and treatment options to prisoners.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Irish Penal Reform Trust
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