HIV/AIDS: in favour of including in domestic law the concept of ‘protection of seriously ill foreigners’

“The policies of several European countries, which require obligatory HIV testing, or testing without the consent of migrants, raise serious human rights concerns,” said PACE today, adopting a resolution on “migrants and refugees and the fight against AIDS” based on a report by Doris Fiala (Switzerland, ALDE).

PACE considers that migrants living with HIV/AIDS suffer multiple forms of discrimination and stigmatisation, including denial of entry, or refusal to renew residence permits in some countries. The Assembly calls for the withdrawal of provisions in domestic law which bar migrants with HIV from entering the country or which allow them to be expelled solely on account of their HIV status. It also urges member states to include in domestic law the concept of protection of seriously ill foreigners, providing for protection from deportation where appropriate treatment is not available in the country to which they are due to be deported. “To do otherwise would amount to a death sentence for those individuals,” said the parliamentarians.

Member States should adopt a human rights-based approach to fighting HIV/AIDS: they should ensure that all migrants, including undocumented migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, have full access to affordable HIV treatment and care and to appropriate prevention strategies. To this end, it is essential to guarantee that HIV testing is provided to migrants on a voluntary and anonymous basis and to make a clear distinction between immigration policies and health policies, where necessary by removing the obligation placed on healthcare professionals to report irregular migrants.