Advocates working to end inappropriate criminal prosecutions for HIV non-disclosure, potential exposure and non-intentional transmission from around the world explain why they support the Oslo Declaration on HIV Criminalisation.

A group of individuals from civil society around the world concerned about the inappropriate and overly-broad use of the criminal law to regulate and punish people living with HIV for behaviour that in any other circumstance would be considered lawful came together in Oslo, Norway on 13 February 2012 to create the Oslo Declaration on HIV Criminalisation.

The Declaration explains why HIV criminalisation does more harm than good to public health and human rights, and provides a roadmap for policymakers and criminal justice system actors to ensure a linked, cohesive, evidence-informed approach to produce a restrained, proportionate and appropriate use of the criminal law, if any, to cases of HIV non-disclosure, potential exposure and non-intentional transmission.

Our meeting took place on the eve of the global High Level Policy Consultation on the Science and Law of the Criminalisation of HIV Non-disclosure, Exposure and Transmission, convened by the Government of Norway and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

The objective of the High Level Policy Consultation was to provide a global forum in which policymakers and other concerned stakeholders could consider their current laws and policies regarding the criminalisation of HIV non-disclosure, exposure or transmission in light of the most recent and relevant scientific, medical, public health and legal data.

Although our declaration is not an official High Level Policy Consultation document, we support the objective of the meeting, and encourage policymakers to review their own laws and policies, and to take any and all steps necessary to achieve the best possible outcomes in terms of justice and protection of public health in order to support effective national responses to HIV and uphold international human rights obligations.

To find out more or to sign on to the Oslo Declaration please visit: hivjustice.net/oslo

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