Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 13th 2014 Contents A39
April 13, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
KINGSTON---Jamaica s Health Minister
Dr Fenton Ferguson said there was need
for a change in mindset and greater sol-
idarity among Caribbean people to end
the stigma and discrimination of patients
suffering from Aids/HIV.
"Our culture remains one of the biggest
barriers...in terms of ending stigma and
discrimination. Strong cultural and religious
beliefs have led to the isolation of some
high risk groups," he stated.
Dr Ferguson said such beliefs continue
to interfere with HIV reduction and treat-
ment among certain groups and that it
would not be easy to tackle many of the
deeply embedded belief systems.
"As leaders, we have to put aside our per-
sonal beliefs, discomfort and prejudices.
We, therefore, have to initiate frank dialogue
on stigma and discrimination," he said,
adding that leaders must not shy away from
the many issues confronting them, regardless
of how "uncomfortable it may be for some
Dr Ferguson was speaking at the
Caribbean Consultation on Justice for All
and Human Rights Agenda, which ended
last Friday with delegates being urged to
fast-track action to deal with prejudice in
the fight against the spread of the HIV/Aids
J'can Health Minister: Culture, religious
beliefs boost HIV/Aids discrimination
virus. St Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr Denzil Dou-
glas, who has lead responsibility for health within
the quasi-Caribbean Community (Caricom) for health,
said ten years since the first DFID/Pancap conference,
the barriers to ending discrimination have not been
fully identified, notwithstanding the establishment
of a Stigma and Discrimination Unit.
The Caribbean is the second-most affected region
in the world in terms of HIV prevalence, with an
estimated 260,000 people living with the disease.
Key populations include men who have sex with
men, sex workers, people who use drugs and trans-
The three-day consultative workshop was part of
the Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV/Aids
(Pancap) Justice for All and Human Rights campaign
and is being held under the theme Advancing justice
for all and human rights in the Caribbean.
It was co-ordinated by the Pancap Co-ordinating
Unit in collaboration with the Joint United Nations
Programme on HIV and AIDS, the Jamaica govern-
ment and the University of the West Indies, with
funding support from the Global Fund for Tubercu-
losis, AIDS and Malaria. (caribbean360.com)
SAN JUAN---A report has found that children born
in the Dominican Republic of Haitian descent are
being increasingly barred from attending school
following a court ruling that could lead to thousands
of people stripped of their citizenship.
Researchers at the Human Rights Institute at
Georgetown University Law Center compiled the
report. They say dozens of families with school-age
children are being turned away and harassed due to
arbitrary interpretations of Dominican laws.
Kimberly Fetsick is one of the report s authors.
She said last Friday that some children drop out of
school while others are forced into underage labor.
The report analysed one of the impacts of a Sep-
tember 2013 court ruling that could let the government
retroactively strip citizenship mostly from people of
Haitian descent born in the Dominican Republic.
LONDON---Global murder rates have declined slightly,
but remain very high in the Americas and parts of
Africa, according to a new UN study released last
Homicide rates in southern Africa and Central America
are more than four times higher than the global average
of 6.2 victims per 100,000 people, the UN Office on
Drugs and Crime report said. The figures chronicle
murder rates in 2012. It found more than half of all vic-
tims are younger than 30.
UN policy analyst Jean-Luc Lemahieu said the figures
show that Canada and the US remain below the global
average but some countries in Central and South America
are far higher.
"The Americas remain a very violent part of the
world," Lemahieu said, citing high murder rates in Hon-
duras, Belize, El Salvador, Colombia, Venezuela and
He said violence between rival drug cartels has been
a contributing factor to the troubles in Mexico, where
the homicide rate has roughly doubled since 2007. (AP)
UN global study:
Murder rate very
high in Americas
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