This meeting takes place at the European Social Charter, The Hague, Peace Palace from 20 to 22 September 1989, just two and a half years after our last meeting in Strasbourg held in April 1987.
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome so many members of our Sections and the distinguished guests who have come to the Hague to contribute to our discussions which I hope will prove fruitful.
The message from all corners of the world is clear. For the effective containment of AIDS we must protect the human rights of those who are infected. Nothing else will work.
Punitive strategies will drive the infected and those at risk of infection into an underworld of disease and doom, and those who fear discrimination will fail to come forward for treatment and counselling.
With the increase of infected persons, the number expected to be nine times greater in the 1990’s than in the 1980’s and an estimated 5 to 10 million currently infected, discrimination and human rights violations are reaching serious proportions.
The second important topic that we will be discussing is the European Social Charter. It is a well chosen subject not merely because it provides a challenge but also because the ICJ has over many years already stressed the increasingly important role of economic, social and cultural rights.
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