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Need to ensure justice to the HIV-afflicted

Staff Reporter

`Judiciary should be made aware of the social ostracism'

Thiruvananthapuram: A comprehensive HIV/AIDS Bill 2005, which is aimed at ending the social discrimination faced by HIV-positive people and contemplates social security programmes for them at the State and national-level was under consideration of the Government, Supreme Court judge and chairman of the National Legal Service Authority K.G. Balakrishnan said.

He was speaking at a two-day meeting of the Parliamentary committee for ensuring social justice to the HIV-positive and prevention of trafficking in women and children here on Saturday.

Once the Bill becomes law, the discrimination faced by the HIV-positive in educational and social sectors can be checked to a certain extent. The Bill also provides for a health ombudsman and advisory committees, including various non-governmental organisations, Mr. Balakrishnan, said.

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs Sushma Swaraj said that legislative measures were necessary to protect the privacy of the HIV-positive.

Check discrimination

The judiciary should be made aware of the social ostracism faced by the HIV-positive and the media should also exercise restraint while reporting issues on the HIV-afflicted, she added.

The two-day workshop is being attended by members of the Parliamentary affairs committee, judges from 11 States and various heads of departments.

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