The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has asked government to expedite the processing of the HIV and Aids Bill to enable the National Assembly debate and pass it into law.
The plea follows MHRC’s observation that the delay to enact the Bill into law is denying Malawi the gains it could be making in its efforts to prevent, mitigate and provide care to people living with HIV and Aids (PLWHVAs).
MHRC executive secretary Grace Malera said this in an exclusive interview in Lilongwe yesterday on the sidelines of an internal capacity building orientation for the institution’s commissioners and members of staff.
Said Malera: “For as long as we don’t have this law, we don’t have a comprehensive framework, a specific law in this country that addresses issues of stigma, discrimination, privacy, human dignity and a broad range of human rights as they apply in the context of HIV and Aids.”
She said her institution is worried that the Bill has been stuck at Capital Hill since 2009 when the Law Commission submitted it to government for further processing before taking it to the National Assembly.
Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs spokesperson Apoche Itimu said in a telephone interview that government finalised processing the Bill.
She said the Bill is currently at Cabinet level, emphasising that government is committed to seeing it taken to the National Assembly soon.n