General Proposal on Preventing and Combating Discrimination
On April 30, 2016, the Public Defender addressed the Ministry of Education and Science with a general proposal regarding preventing and combatingdiscrimination. The Public Defender called on the Ministry to remove phrases containing stigma and stereotypes towards drug addicts and people affected by HIV and AIDS from the 8th grade biology textbook.
In the general proposal the Public Defender notes that the biology textbook uses a wrong term to describe drug addicts; in addition, drug addicts are perceived as dangerous people for the society. The textbook also identifies HIV with AIDS and provides false information on the spread of the infections and fight against them. In addition, the textbook provides a "terrible" photo of a drug addict.
The Public Defender points out that the phrases, reasoning and wrong information in the textbook strengthens stereotypic attitudes and stigma towards drug addicts and people affected by AIDS and HIV and encourages violation of rights on a discriminatory motive. The Public Defender considers that it is unacceptable the high school textbooks to contain expressions, which give wrong information to children, which may encourage marginalization of certain groups and development of stereotypical thinking at school age.