Discrimination in health care settings is widespread across the world and takes many forms. It violates the most fundamental human rights protected in international treaties and in national laws and constitutions. People we work for and with experience it very often.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had issues a Joint United Nations statement, signed by 12 UN agencies, on ending discrimination in health care settings. Recognizing that discrimination in health care settings is a major barrier to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations entities commit to working together to support Member States in taking coordinated multisectoral action to eliminate discrimination in health care settings.
The Statement is available at http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/ending-discrimination-healthcare-settings_en.pdf.
Among a number of measures, the statement called for the “reviewing and repealing punitive laws that have been proven to have negative health outcomes” by member states, which includes “drug use or possession of drugs for personal use”.
The DPNSEE Office, in cooperation with SUPRAM – The Association of Lawyers for Medical and Health Law of Serbia, analysed the situation in the country and prepared a document which highlights some of the basic international documents and national legislation on discrimination, especially in the area of health care. Those who can understand Serbian can download the document presenting the situation following this link. We are in communication with our member organisations in Serbia, with the idea to make a public event to present the Statement and the document produced and call for full respect of the legislation and fight against discrimination. For this, we plan to partner with The Commissioner for the Protection of Equality and UN representatives in the country.
For others, we prepared the set of excerpts from the international documents which is in another document. Please feel free to have a look at the document linked here and if you think you can start a similar campaign like we plan for Serbia, analyse your national legislation which deals with discrimination, access to health and social care, quality of health protection, patients’ safety as well as strategies in these areas. Should you need any support, please don’t hesitate to contact us.