The National AIDS Commission of Liberia, in collaboration with civil society and human rights organizations here has joined the United Nations, partners and the world at large to commemorate “Zero Discrimination Day” on Wednesday 1 March.
UNAIDS Executive Director Mitchel Sidibé says “Discriminating against people on the basis of race and gender causes individual suffering and weakens social cohesion.
The UNAIDS Envoy says further that discrimination limits girls’ and young women’s access to education, and not only harms individuals but also prevents societies from benefiting from a deeper pool of talent.
According to Mr. Sidibé, discrimination is a violation of human
rights and must not go unchallenged because everyone has the
right to live with respect and dignity.
“Stand up and speak up when something is wrong or someone is treated
unfairly, raise awareness, support people who have been discriminated
against and promote the benefits of diversity”, Mr. Sidibé urged.
He has challenged the world to make some noise to challenge
discrimination, wherever it happens on this year’s Zero Discrimination
In Liberia, Dr. Ivan F. Camanor, Chairman of the National AIDS
Commission of Liberia, pointed out that discrimination continues to
affect the lives of millions of people around the world and especially
people living with HIV and AIDS are of no exception.
“HIV related stigma and discrimination is pervasive and exists in
almost every part of the world including our Liberia,” Dr. Camanor
told the Anti-AIDSMedia Network of Liberia.
“Myths and misconceptions; lack of adequate knowledge about HIV and
AIDS; fear of transmission; fear of death and illnesses; fear of being
stigmatized and or discriminated; moral judgments; and negative
perceptions about people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV) are some of
the many causes of stigma and discrimination,” Mr. Stephen McGill,
Executive Director of Stop AIDS in Liberia (SAIL) told the Anti-AIDS
Media Network in Monrovia.
Mrs. Josephine Godoe, President of the Network of People Living with
HIV said that discrimination continues to undermine efforts to achieve
a more just and equitable world and causes pain and suffering for many
persons living with HIV worldwide and in Liberia. – Press release