Hidden from hate

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2008 National LGBT Conference
14 September 2008

Conference notes that people living with HIV and AIDS are considered disabled from the point of diagnosis under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 2005. However, Conference is disappointed to note that the Ministry of Justice did not accept an amendment to section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act to give people living with HIV the same protection against hate crimes as that available to other disabled people. Under the Criminal Justice Act, when it comes to sentencing in court, it can only be argued that people living with HIV have been subjected to a disability hate crime if they have a physical or mental impairment. This does not take into account the DDA 2005 definition.

Conference believes that this does not take into account the social stigma and discrimination still faced by people living with HIV. Conference notes with concern that one in three people have reported that they faced discrimination because of their status and that the National AIDS Trust (NAT) has received a number of complaints about hate crime and believe many more go unreported.

Conference therefore instructs the National LGBT Committee working with other appropriate structures of the union including the National Disabled Members Committee, other SOGs, young members and Labour Link to:

1.Raise awareness of this campaign and push for an amendment to recognise disability hate crime against people living with HIV from the point of diagnosis;

2.Publicise information about NAT’s campaign for criminal law to reflect the 2005 DDA definition of disability;

3.Encourage members to report hate crime;

4.Encourage members who may have experienced hate crime on the basis of their HIV status to report this to NAT.