Stop the deportation of Venezuelan women living with HIV from Panama

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In Panama, Venezuelan women living with HIV are deported

Regional networks and organizations working on human rights, gender and HIV denounce that women living with HIV in Venezuela, are tested compulsively to know their HIV status. Those that are diagnosed with HIV are handed over by health professionals to the National Immigration Office, who detain them for immediate deportation.

The Government of Panama, through its immigration office, justifies the process of deportation and definitive expulsion, using paragraph 2 of article 71 of the Panamanian Migration Law that states: "The National Migration Service may expel the foreigner who: 2.- is a threat to collective security, health or public order. " In other words, the immigration office has said exhaustively that the expulsion is the result of their positive HIV diagnosis.

"People living with HIV are not a threat to safety"

Since 2007, in a report of the Pan American Health Organization, the deprivation of freedom and the deportation of Latin American migrants was denounced. This procedure is being applied specifically to women living with HIV, many of whom are of Venezuelan origin, identified by their work in different entertainment and food establishments.

Restrictions on entry and residence, either temporary or permanent, deprivation of freedom and deportation based on HIV status are human rights violations, a public health malpractice and contradict international recommendations and agreements subscribed for the response to HIV AIDS by our governments, including Panama.

We urgently call:

1) On the Panamanian Government to

  • Urgently stop the systematic deportation of migrant women living with HIV; and
  • Review and reject article 71 of the Migration Law.

2) On health professionals in Panama to:

  • To stop being the implementing arm of these violations of human rights, denouncing and handing over to the immigration authorities people living with HIV, violating the right of the patients and their own Hippocratic oath.

3) On the Agencies of the United Nations System:

  • To immediately and effectively intervene in this situation.

4) On the organizations and networks of the region and the world:

  • To join this international campaign and petition.

We appreciate your support

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