Intended for healthcare professionals


Rwanda denies plan to forcibly sterilise people with learning difficulties

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 06 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2712
  1. Peter Moszynski
  1. 1London

    The Rwandan parliament is considering a draft bill on reproductive health that would require the sterilisation of all people with intellectual disabilities and mandate compulsory HIV testing of people about to marry, says the US based group Human Rights Watch.

    The group cautions that the provisions in the bill, which it has seen, are “deeply flawed” and violate the government’s obligations to uphold and protect human rights. But a government spokesman has dismissed the group’s claims as rumour, saying that the proposals are to go no further.

    “Compulsory HIV testing and forced sterilisation are counterproductive to the Rwandan government’s goal of improved reproductive health,” said Joe Amon, director of health and human rights at Human Rights Watch. “Provisions in the current bill that increase stigma, rely on coercion, and deny …

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