16 October 2006
MEDIA FACT SHEET - THE HIV EMPLOYMENT LAW CAMPAIGN
WHAT IS THE CAMPAIGN?
The HIV Employment Law Campaign is a multi-partner campaign calling on the Botswana Government and policymakers to enact and pass a law to protect HIV-related rights in the workplace.
The campaign consists of:
- nation-wide efforts to circulate a petition, collecting signatures of people in support of passing the law;
- a public march and rally on 11 November in Gaborone; and,
- an awareness-raising media campaign, which includes a billboard, posters, leaflets, radio jingles and media coverage.
The HIV Employment Law Campaign is aimed at encouraging all concerned individuals, workers, unions, students and youth to become involved in urging the government to pass such a law. They are being asked to:
- sign the petition;
- participate in the 11 November march and rally;
- contact their MPs about the issue; and,
- spread the word about the campaign.
WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR THE CAMPAIGN?
In Botswana, there is currently no law specifically protecting HIV-related rights in the context of employment.
In the absence of such a law, individuals do not have guaranteed protection against many acts of HIV-related discrimination in the workplace. These situations include:
- the dismissal of workers in Botswana because they are HIV positive;
- insistence by companies that people test for HIV before they are hired;
- denial of promotion or training opportunities because of an individual’s HIV-positive status; and,
- refusal of time off for caregivers to care for family members living with HIV.
While there are policies recommending measures to protect the rights of people infected and affected by HIV, these policies are not legally binding. This means they are implemented only at the subjective discretion of each employer.
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