12.12.2006

【關愛之家】Harmony Home Signature Campaign

Harmony Home
Signature Campaign


We are appealing to you and the international community to ensure the protection of the rights of people who are suffering from HIV/ AIDS in Taiwan.

These signatures are meant to generate support for Harmony Home Association in Taiwan -- asking the Taiwanese government and the Supreme Court to ensure the protection of the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Harmony Home is a registered, non-profit organization established in 2003. It has been devoted to helping people living with HIV/AIDS for the past 20 years. We have 2 halfway houses in Taipei and 1 in Kaohsiung province sheltering a total of 58 individuals: with 46 patients and 12 babies. Some of our patients are non-ambulatory; one who is in comatose state; and some who are mentally-challenged. The babies in our care are those who were abandoned in the hospitals after being born; others whose mothers are still in prison; and some whose mothers are also sheltered in our halfway house.

We are doing our best to provide shelter, medical assistance, care and support to HIV/AIDS patients and children affected by AIDS in our care. But we need your support in this campaign to be able to give them a more secure life here in Taiwan.

You may sign the petitions by sending an email to: harmonyhome2003@yahoo.com.tw
with the subject: Endorsing the Rights of PLWHAs in Taiwan Appeal

Important: Please write your personal details including your name, name of organization/company, country.

Please forward these to as many people and friends you know.

Your signature will mean support to people living with HIV/AIDS in Taiwan. We in Harmony Home are doing our best to fight for their rights.

See background below for more details.

Please feel free to contact us at
Tel: +886-2-2362-2806 • Fax: +886-2-2362-3091
Address (only until end of this year):
台灣106-60台北市羅斯福路三段283巷36號1F
1F, #36, Lane 283, Sec.3, Roosevelt Road, 106, Taipei, Taiwan
website: http://www.hhat.org/3.htm

Thank you very much for your support.

Sincerely,
Nicole Yang
Harmony Home
Taiwan
December 2006

Background

In 2005, a house located in Wenshan District, Taipei was donated to Harmony Home to be used as a shelter for our patients. We moved into the house on the 17th of June 2005. Our neighbors, after finding out that we are sheltering HIV/AIDS patients began their angry protests against our living in the same community, demanding that we leave the house immediately. They threatened and harassed us, and eventually brought the case to the Taipei District Court.

After several hearings, it was on the 11th of October 2006 that the court ruled against Harmony Home and that we must relocate from our present residence. We filed an appeal on the 20th of October 2006 to the Supreme Court and will start the first hearing on the 20th of December 2006.

After the ruling was released, we have been collecting letters of support from international AIDS organizations and many have responded. We have also received support from the health department and the mayor of Taipei, local non-government organizations, and private citizens of Taiwan. The media has been very supportive as well and we have been going to many schools and communities for AIDS education and awareness campaign. We are trying to make good use of this time to give much needed education in Taiwan, as people are beginning to see Harmony Home, the people living with HIV/AIDS, and the reality of HIV/AIDS in Taiwan. This signature campaign aims at getting a positive response from the people who have the power to affect the future of people living with HIV/AIDS in Taiwan.

-Harmony Home Association, Taiwan-
___________________________________________________________________________

The Petition to the Taiwan Government

Dear Sir/Madam:

People living with HIV/AIDS and the babies sheltered in Harmony Home, Wenshan District Taipei has experienced being discriminated against by the community, with their rights totally disregarded when the Taipei Court District ruled against Harmony Home on the 11th of October 2006. In ruling for the Wenshan District managing committee to evict Harmony Home from its present residence, it has consented to discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.

We are appealing to the Taiwan Government to take action in safeguarding the human rights of people living with HIV/AIDS, by implementing policies, regulations and other measures to stop stigma and discrimination against them. The government needs to enforce laws against discrimination against any person with disability in the sale, rental, or to otherwise make unavailable or deny a dwelling because of their medical status (e.g. people living with HIV/AIDS).

It is also important that the government recognize their right to access to health care, social services, education, employment, prevention, support, treatment, information, legal protection, privacy and confidentiality and to ensure that these are realized.

The government plays an important role in in resolving the issue of AIDS in Taiwan. Active involvement and commitment of the government in addressing the problems of people living with HIV/AIDS is needed to affect change.

We, the undersigned, wish to express our full support to Harmony Home Association, Taiwan and join them in their petition to the Taipei Government for the protection of the human rights of people living with HIV/AIDS.
___________________________________________________________________________

The Petition to the Supreme Court

Dear Sir/Madam:

We are petitioning to the Supreme Court to take into serious consideration the appeal of Harmony Home Association, Taiwan to overturn the first ruling made by the Taipei District Court last October 11, 2006.

The verdict totally disregarded the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS. In ruling for the Wenshan District managing committee to evict Harmony Home from its residence, it has consented to discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.

The final ruling will affect not only the residents of Harmony Home, but also the future of all people living with HIV/AIDS and other vulnerable groups in Taiwan. That is why the Supreme Court must ensure that the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS are respected by allowing residents in Harmony Home to stay in the halfway house in Wenshan District.

We, the undersigned, wish to express our full support to Harmony Home Association, Taiwan and join them in their appeal to the Supreme Court to ensure the protection of the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS.

_____________________________________________________________________

references: (news links)

Source:

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2006/10/13/2003331527

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/backissue/taiwan/detail.asp?ID=92806&GRP=B

http://taiwanjournal.nat.gov.tw/ct.asp?CtNode=122&xItem=23394

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6066242.stm

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