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Chinese people living with HIV call for equal job opportunities

12-02-2010 08:49 BJT Special Report:World AIDS Day |

BEIJING, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Xiao Jun, 27, stepped onto the platform, face covered by a mask, dark-colored glasses and a cap, asking everyone in the meeting hall one question: "Can a person with HIV be a teacher?"

Xiao Jun (a pseudonym) was recently refused a teaching job because of his HIV status. He was invited on Tuesday to a forum held by the International Labor Organization (ILO), UNAIDS and Marie Stopes International in Beijing for championing his own rights by using legal measures.

He filed China's second case involving employment discrimination against people living with HIV (PLWHIV) in Oct. this year, though he failed to win during the first trial.

As employment discrimination against PLWHIV has already come into the spotlight in China, now there are some people standing up to champion their own rights to jobs, officials note.

The Tuesday ILO conference released a report, "HIV and AIDS Related Employment Discrimination in China," co-authored by ILO and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), which notes that PLWHIV in China are faced with employment discrimination, such as mandatory testing, denial of job opportunities, forced resignations, and downgrading of job responsibilities.

The report also notes that, PLWHIV in China are prohibited from working in the civil service and in hotels, cafes, bars, beauty salons and hairdressers.

The defendant in Xiao Jun's case, the education bureau of Anqing city, denied Xiao Jun the job, saying that, "Teaching is a special job, and qualification criteria for teachers are very high."

Xiao Jun said, "Nobody can live without work. Denying us this right is even worse than suffering from HIV."

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