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NAT welcomes new protections from HIV-related hate crime in Scotland

Thursday, June 4, 2009

NAT welcomes the Offence (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Bill that will ensure that for the first time people living with HIV in Scotland are protected from HIV related hate crime. NAT played an important role in advising on the Bill which was passed yesterday by the Scottish Parliament, and is now awaiting royal assent.


NAT congratulates Partick Harvie MSP, who successfully introduced this Members Bill. NAT particularly welcomes the explanatory notes to the Bill that explicitly state that the definition of disability within the Bill includes HIV. This is in marked contrast to the situation in England and Wales where people living with HIV are not currently included within the scope of hate crime legislation. 
 
Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT, comments:
 
“We are delighted that the Scottish Parliament has taken this important step. Stigma and discrimination remain a distressing and sometimes dangerous reality for many people living with HIV in the UK. This Bill, soon to be Act, sends out the important message that crime motivated by hate and prejudice is not acceptable.
 
NAT is now calling on the Government and Crown Prosecution Service to ensure people living with HIV in England and Wales have the same protection from hate crime as their Scottish counterparts.”

Notes to the Editor:


The Offence (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Bill is available to download at:
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/bills/09-AggPrej/index.htm
 
For further information please contact:

Katherine Sladden
Communications Officer
NAT
020 7814 6733
press@nat.org.uk
 
NAT
NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expert advice and practical resources. We campaign for change.
Shaping attitudes. Challenging injustice. Changing lives.
www.nat.org.uk