For the first time HIV-positive women and drug users complained to United Nations about violation of their rights

Дата: 08 February 2017
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For the first time HIV-positive women, drug users, sex workers and representatives of the LBT community (lesbians, bisexual women and transgender people) filed a joint report to the United Nations about violations of their rights in Ukraine.

Photo by NGO Positive Women

Transgender people and communities of criminalized women are facing serious human rights violations and multiple discrimination in Ukraine. As stated by analytics of the NGO Positive Women who, together with other public organizations have prepared and submitted a report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. As reported by the correspondent of the Human Rights Information Centre.

This public report is an alternative to the document of the Ministry of Social Policy, which is providing information on the implementation of government commitments to gender equality in Ukraine.

The consideration of reports will be held in Geneva on February 14, 2017.

In particular, the report of non-governmental organizations referred to high level of violence and brutality on the part of law enforcement authorities, as well as violation of parental and reproductive rights, forced sterilization and disclosure status.

Thus, violence from law enforcement authorities is an acute problem – experts have documented the common practice of illegal searches and detentions, intimidation, beatings, rape, the use of intimidation and torture towards sex workers and drug using women.

HIV-positive women are more likely to experience domestic violence; in addition, this violence often puts women at a risk of being infected with HIV.

Moreover, parental and reproductive rights of these communities are severely violated. The current procedure of legal gender recognition requires “irreversible surgery” from transgender people to change the documents.

Access to assisted reproductive technologies for HIV-positive women and transgender people is prohibited by law. The possibility of adoption or being child’s guardian is also prohibited.

Lesbians do not have parental rights over the children they are raising together with their partners. There are cases of forced sterilization (tubal ligation) of HIV-positive women, drug users and sex workers in governmental health institutions and deprivation of parental status of women on basis of HIV status.

“In fact, the government is implementing eugenical policy, by establishing a legislative ban on reproduction and indulging in forced sterilization of certain groups. Moreover – the main violence, that our group is facing, is stemming from government authorities and with the support of the state. And the “root of all evil” here – criminalization and pathologizing, which is formalized in legislation. Therefore, we demand to abolish repressive legislation immediately”, – commented gender researcher Galina Yarmanova.

Repressive legislation and a high level of stigma is limiting the access of women and transgender people to education, job search, mobility and affect other areas of life.

Therefore, the key recommendations of civil society organizations are regarding decriminalization and depathologization, ensuring the rights of women and transgender people to self-determination and the right to control her their own bodies.

As a reminder, nowadays campaign #KonventsiyaVPodarynok (Convention as a present) in support of ratification of Istanbul Convention against violence against women. The organizers of the campaign are Amnesty International together with Human Rights Information Centre urged, on February 14 on Valentine’s Day, to come under the walls of the Verkhovna Rada Committee (Sadova Street 3a) and to require from deputies and the president the ratification of the Istanbul Convention.

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