Routine or Compulsory Testing?

09 June 2003
Routine or Compulsory Testing?


The Botswana Lawyers Taskforce on HIV/AIDS will hold a discussion on “Routine or Compulsory Testing?” in Gaborone.  Participants from NGOs, CBOs, private sector, legal practitioners, academicians, administration of justice (Attorney General’s Chambers, Magistrates etc.) NACA, Ministry of Health and the media (press, radio and TV) are expected to attend.

The seminar responds to the growing concern of many stakeholders about recent discussions concerning routine or compulsory testing.  The Taskforce believes that the debate has not covered the issue from all angles- that is, from a legal, ethical and human rights perspective. The adoption of compulsory testing is a direct violation of the right to consent and the right to dignity afforded to individuals by various international human rights instruments, as well as by the Botswana constitution. It also undermines a person’s right to security and contravenes any notion of privacy. Such considerations, need to be brought to the fore. Hence, the discussion this weekend. Together with relevant stakeholders, the Taskforce hopes to stimulate critical debate which will take on board  multi-dimensional perspectives and inform subsequent policy decision making.

The Botswana Lawyers Taskforce on HIV/AIDS welcomes intrested members of the public  to attend a the seminar on 13th September 2003 at the Maharaja Conference Centre. This, however, is a pre-registered seminar.  Interested parties are required to register prior to 13th September 2003. To register, please contact the BONELA secratariat at tel: 393 2516.

The Botswana Lawyers Taskforce Steering Committee:

Duma Boko – Boko, Motlhala & Company
Dick Bayford – Bayford & Associates
Sanji Monageng – Law Society of Botswana
Herbert Sikhakhane – Sikhakhane & Company
Maame Awuah – Awuah, Khan & Partners
Christine Stegling – The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS
Beaulah Mguni – Attorney General’s Chambers
Botsalano Motlhabane – Attoney General’s Chambers
Lindy Muzila – Attoney General’s Chambers