Canada, stop the deportation of Mexican refugees living with HIV!
AGIR, in collaboration with PROJECT PROTECT, would like to invite you to our upcoming Press Conference. Our Press Conference will be will held at CENTRE St-Pierre (Room 304,1212 rue Panet, Montréal, QC, H2L 2Y7) on Thursday, April 4th from 17:00 – 18:30 pm, in honour of the Refugee Rights Day.
April 4th, 2013, marks the 28th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1985 Singh decision in which the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was found capable of protecting the fundamental rights of refugees.
The press conference in question will focus on the rights of Mexican refugees to Canada who are living with HIV. Over the last two years, the number of refused Mexican refugee claimants living with HIV who have been given removal orders from the Canadian government it has been increasing. Several recent cases have been made public, for example, those of: David Perez and Pablo Gonzalez, a couple from Montreal; Julio Cesar Salas, an HIV/AIDS activist from Montreal; and Herberth Menendez from Toronto. In the particular case of Julio Cesar Salas, he is seeking refugee status in part because of the availability and accessibility of life-saving medication in Canada that he would not have access to in Mexico.
The goals of the press conference are threefold. First is the need to raise awareness that the Canadian government is deporting people from a number of countries of origin, but particularly from Mexico, who have failed their asylum claims.
Second, is to raise awareness about those individuals living with HIV who are being deported by the Government of Canada which is using outdated criteria from 2008 to support its decisions, decisions which are not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.
Finally, the press conference will make public important findings that have come to light in research I have undertaken on the current situation of people living with HIV in Mexico.
The report is entitled, ”The Current State of HIV/AIDS Treatment for Drug-Resistant HIV in Mexico’s National Health System: Drug Shortages, Draconian Policies and Human Rights Violations”. The report will be officially launched on the International Day Against Homophobia, this upcoming May 17, 2013.
This research report aims to demonstrate the institutionalized discrimination that exists in the Mexican Health System against Mexicans living with HIV/AIDS, and particularly against those with multidrug-resistant HIV, and argues that the Mexican government’s current unjustified policies can contribute to the treatment failure, morbidity, and mortality of Mexicans living with HIV/AIDS.
Our Press Conference will include a panel formed by federal NDP’s MPs, LGBTTQ community leaders and experts in the field that will explore various aspects related to the experiences of LGBTQ refugees living with HIV in Canada, Mexican transgender issues, human rights, immigration issues and health.
We will conclude our Press Conference with an open collective dialogue in order to begin to reflection upon solutions and future pathways.
We truly believe that April 4th, Refugee Rights Day, is an important day to act together to stop the unjust deportations of Mexicans living with HIV/AIDS. We hope that you will join us!
Sincerely, The PROTECT PROJECT – AGIR team: Edson Emilio, Edward Lee, Christina Olivieri and Betty Iglesias