Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Trinidad and Tobago

Govt moves on gay rights - Cedriann J Martin- Monday, May 18th 2009

Trinidad and Tobago is taking steps to address the human rights of homosexuals, said Andy Fearon, acting technical director of the National AIDS Coordinating Committee (NACC). He made the disclosure against the background yesterday of the UNAIDS commemoration of the International Day Against Homophobia.

Asked to comment, he sent the following e-mail response: "The National HIV/AIDS Workplace Policy is being addressed through the Ministry of Labour, Small and Micro Enterprises in partnership with the NACC and International Labour Organisation (ILO) and - the HIV/AIDS Legislative Assessment is a project being run through the Ministry of the Attorney General. In both the policy and the legislative assessment, human rights and the prevention of stigma and discrimination are central pillars."

Trinidad and Tobago is among 86 countries with laws that prohibit sex between men. It is also one of the ten nations with the highest rates of HIV among men who have sex with men or MSM. (MSM is a clinical term referring to all men who have sexual encounters with other men, not just those who identify as gay or bisexual.)

In a statement to commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia yesterday, executive director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, called on all governments wipe out the stigma and discrimination faced by MSM, lesbians and transgenders. Sidibé linked "respect for human rights" with access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

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