I have been recently thinking that I focus too much overall on human rights problems within the UK, and needed to branch out. Therefore, this week I found this article about how workers within the Philippines are being discriminated against because of their HIV status. This means they are being fired because of it, or aren’t even being hired in the first place.
HIV discrimination is something that still happens all over the world, but has been destigmatised greatly in the UK over the past 30 years or so. It’s such a shame that in the Philippines this still happens regularly.
I am aware that the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights covers issues to do with workers rights. This kind of discrimination would be breaking part one of article 6 of this covenant:
‘1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safeguard this right. ‘
I did a quite google search to see if the Philippines have signed this covenant and they have. They are obviously breaching this by not doing more to protect a human’s right to work.
Although I understand someone with deteriating health may not be an ideal candidate for a job, but here in the UK HIV is no longer a death sentance. Part of the battle to get better medication and cures for conditions is to drop the stigma surrounding them. I do hope that the Philippines takes appropriate action to combat this epidemic.