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AIDS policy for workplace on the cards November 27, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in AIDS, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Fired, government, Job.

MUMBAI: In what is being seen as a landmark initiative in fighting discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, the state government is set to announce a workplace policy to safeguard their interests. The policy—which will be the first of it kind to be adopted by a state in the country—is likely to be discussed in the coming Nagpur session.

“The workplace policy will ensure that no employee can be refused a job, denied a promotion, transferred or dismissed only because he/she is HIV positive,” said state health minister Vimal Mundada on Monday, adding that the government would implement the policy in all its offices and would call upon the private sector to adopt the model.

State health secretary Dr V S Singh, who was also present, said: “A person’s HIV positive status would have to be kept confidential and he would have to be allowed to work so long as he is medically fit. Punitive action will be taken for any violation,” he said.

Incidentally, Maharashtra has been a champion of non-discrimination in the workplace with the Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS) working closely with Mumbai police, BEST and the Reserve Bank of India to ensure that there is no discrimination against such employees. The Bombay Port Trust, too, will unveil a workplace policy on the occasion of World AIDS Day on December 1.

“It is a slow process as we need to start sensitisation programmes at the top rung of the administration,” said Dr Nirupa Borges, who heads MDACS which helps government bodies draw up policies. Moreover, workers who test HIV positive are given access to free medicines or anti-retroviral therapy (ART) in government-run centres.

C.a.r.d {Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination} Source: Indiatimes.com

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