Statement by UNICEF concerning the trial of minor HIV-infected girl
Baku, 5 February 2008 – On 6 February 2008 a Baku district court is expected to deliver a sentence on the case of an 18-year-old HIV-infected girl, facing criminal charges of deliberately infecting other people with the HIV.
UNICEF is concerned that the girl child affected by the situations of sale, prostitution and pornography continued to be treated not as a victim, but as a perpetrator without any special protection. It is also regretful that the circumstances in which the minor girl was involved in prostitution could not be clarified.
UNICEF believes that children alleged to have committed crimes while they were children should be considered primarily as victims of adults who have broken international law by recruiting and using children in sexual exploitation in the first place, and that these children must be provided with assistance for their social reintegration. If in contact with a justice system, persons under 18 at the time of the alleged offense must be treated in accordance with international juvenile justice standards which provide them with special protection.
UNICEF is regretful that Article 34 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on “protecting the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse” and Article 24 concerning “the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health” were violated in relation to the defendant.
UNICEF calls for making all efforts to ensure the human rights and dignity of the girl victim and provide her with every opportunity available for rehabilitation and protection against all kinds of discrimination and stigmatization.
UNICEF works in 155 countries and territories around the world. Its programmes cover education, health, water and sanitation and the protection of children. UNICEF also advocates with governments for inclusive policies, budgets, and programmes to protect and promote the rights of children, and to ensure that children have a voice in their own futures.
For further information please contact: