14 September 2007:
BONELA continues to urge government to enact legislation to protect the rights of HIV positive workers
On Friday – 9am, 14 September 2007, at the Maharaja Conference Centre in Gaborone, a coalition comprising of BONELA and its partners in the civil society, represented here by the umbrella body of Botswana trade unions – The Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU) – will be handing over the HIV Employment Law petition to the Honourable Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Mr. Charles Tibone. The HIV Employment Law petition, in essence, seeks to implore the Ministry to move a bill, which if passed by Parliament will protect workers affected and/or infected by HIV/AIDS in the workplace.
The campaign was launched last year after BONELA and its partners in civil society, many of them unions, saw the need for specific legislation protecting workers and job applicants presumed to be or in fact HIV positive from employers and co – employees’ discriminatory tendencies or practices. There is overwhelming evidence depicting that many workers living with HIV are discriminated on the basis of their status.
The coalition has garnered a massive number of signatories. Close to 13 000 Batswana have signed the petition calling for government’s legal protection and intervention in this regard.