High rates of HIV infection and injecting drug use are major concerns in prisons across Europe. There is a broad international consensus that people in prison are entitled to a standard of health care equivalent to that available outside of prisons, yet only four Council of Europe countries provide sterile syringes to prisoners as an HIV prevention measure. This failure places prisoners who inject drugs at increased vulnerability to HIV infection simply because of their status as prisoners, raising serious human rights and public health concerns. Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) provides an important tool for advocating for the rights of prisoners to HIV prevention measures, including syringe exchange. The European Court’s recent Art.3 case law indicates that the ECHR can be used to advocate in favour of prison syringe exchange programmes.
Lines, Rick. ‘Injecting Reason: Prison Syringe Exchange and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights’ (European Human Rights Law Review, 66) 2007
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