Togo

Last updated on: 6 July 2012

Criminalisation of HIV transmission/exposure

Togo
Whether Specific law enacted: 
Yes
Number of people prosecuted: 
4
Number of people convicted: 
2
Applicable law: 

La Loi 2005-012 du 14-12-05

Key wording in the law: 

CHAPTER VII - PENAL PROVISIONS

Article 53 : Are regarded as crimes : - the doubtful medical practices as regards the HIV/AIDS which cause a serious disability. - the sexual intercourse not protected with the aim of transmit the virus or any other activity of voluntary propagation of the virus.

Article 54. The non-observance of the provisions of subparagraphs 1 and 3 of article 11 above, exposes the authors to two (02) months to three (03) years of imprisonment and a fine of fifty thousand (50.000) to five hundred thousand (500.000) francs CFA without prejudice of the civil proceedings and disciplinary likely to be filed against them.

Discussion: 

It has been pointed out by the Canadian HIV/AIDS legal network that :

Legal Article 50 of the Togolese law provides for periodic mandatory testing of sex workers for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases

That it is one of the few countries that has adopted a version of  ‘the model law' which provides some guidance as to the requisite mental element in establishing criminal guilt: Article 53 of this law says that it is a criminal offence for a person to have “unprotected sexual relations with the intention of transmitting the virus or any other activity to wilfully spread the virus.”

We are indebted to the article ‘Legislation contagion: the spread of

problematic new HIV laws in Western Africa’ of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network in their HIV/AIDS Policy & Law Review of December 2007.



The Legislation in  Togo is in direct response of criminalization legislation in the aftermath of the Action for West Africa Region HIV/AIDS Project (AWARE-HIV/AIDS) meeting in N’djamena, Chad in 2004.

As part of the meeting, West African parliamentarians drafted what is now known as the N'djamena African Model Law. The law contains some protections, including the guarantee of pre- and post-natal counselling and the right to health care services, but features several troubling provisions. The N'djamena model broadly requires HIV-status disclosure to a "spouse or regular sexual partner" within six weeks of diagnosis and permits mandatory testing of pregnant women, rape victims, and when necessary to "solve a marital dispute."

The N'djamena law also creates the vague offence of wilful transmission pertaining to those who transmit the virus "through any means with full knowledge of their HIV-positive status" - a parameter broad enough to include mother-to-child-transmission. The law does not, however, distinguish between those who intend to do harm and those whose behaviour can be categorized as reckless or negligent, raising particular questions about the culpability of individuals who might not be aware that they are HIV positive.

Survey respondents/Organisations working on HIV and the Law: 

AIDE .R.

FONZAN KOFI Dominique

BP : 7192

Lomé,Togo

(+228) 946 03 50

centreconfort@yahoo.fr



Association Espoir pour Demain (AED-Lidaw)

Abass KERIM

BP55,Kara

Togo

(+228)9094130

akerim21@hotmail.com / aed2001kara@yahoo.fr

hth@hthglobal.org



RAS+TOGO

DOKLA Augustin ou / TOSSOU S. Lucie

05BP286

Lomé,TOGO

+228 917 23 75/+228 906 44 70

doklatino@yahoo.fr , tossid26@yahoo.fr

Organizations working on HIV and the Law

ASPROFEM

Parkoo Alice

(+228) 907 73 78

PDH

DZAKAS Antoine



RAS+

Augustin Dokla

(+228) 917 23 75



WILDAF

QUENUM Claire

(+228) 902 45 50

Wildaf_togo@yahoo.fr

 

Other laws and policies with an impact on responses to HIV

Laws and regulations relating to entry, stay or residence in the country: 

There are no specific entry or residence regulations for people with HIV/AIDS. Neither a medical certificate nor an HIV test result is required when entering the country. Foreigners with a known HIV infection are not subject to specific residence regulations. There are no regulations regarding the control, deportation or expulsion of those concerned.

For updated information, please go to: www.hivrestrictions.org

Laws relating to same sex, sexual relations: 

Male to Male relationships: Not Legal

Punishments for male to male relationships: Imprisonment of less than 10 years

Female to Female Relationships: Not Legal

Marriage and Substitutes for Marriage: No law

For updated information, please go to: http://ilga.org

Laws relating to injecting drug use: 

-

Protective laws and policies for people living with HIV: 

Yes

Data source: "2010 National Composite Policy Index" (NCPI) reports for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. In adopting the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, Member States committed to submit country progress reports to UNAIDS every two years. The title of this column is based on a NCPI question. NCPI data, which is part of the UNGASS reporting system, is submitted by countries and civil society and validated for internal consistency and completeness by UNAIDS. Illogical values are corrected and countries are contacted in cases of substantial missing data or No   Data source: "2010 National Composite Policy Index" (NCPI) reports for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. In adopting the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, Member States committed to submit country progress reports to UNAIDS every two years. The title of this column is based on a NCPI question. NCPI data, which is part of the UNGASS reporting system, is submitted by countries and civil society and validated for internal consistency and completeness by UNAIDS. Illogical values are corrected and countries are contacted in cases of substantial missing data or non  consolidated NCPI submissions. Data is not checked against the actual text of the laws. Columns A & B of this database are based on information from Part B of the NCPI, which is completed by civil society, bilateral agencies and UN organisations and is submitted by governments to UNAIDS.n  consolidated NCPI submissions. Data is No   Data source: "2010 National Composite Policy Index" (NCPI) reports for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. In adopting the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, Member States committed to submit country progress reports to UNAIDS every two years. The title of this column is based on a NCPI question. NCPI data, which is part of the UNGASS reporting system, is submitted by countries and civil society and validated for internal consistency and completeness by UNAIDS. Illogical values are corrected and countries are contacted in cases of substantial missing data or non  consolidated NCPI submissions. Data is not checked against the actual text of the laws. Columns A & B of this database are based on information from Part B of the NCPI, which is completed by civil society, bilateral agencies and UN organisations and is submitted by governments to UNAIDS.t checked against the actual text of the laws. Columns A & B of this database are based on information from Part B of the NCPI, which is completed by civil society, bilateral agencies and UN organisations and is submitted by governments to UNAIDS.