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United Nations Country Team Viet Nam
Reduction of HIV/AIDS Related Employment Discrimination in Viet Nam
United Nations Country Team Viet Nam, Ha Noi, June 2004, 52 pp

"The preparation of this paper was led by the ILO office in Viet Nam with the technical support of the ILO Sub-regional Office in Bangkok."


"This UN discussion paper is based on a joint ILO and UNDP project and consolidated research on Reducing HIV/AIDS Related Employment Discrimination in Viet Nam, which was executed in 2003 by the ILO with funding and input from UNDP. The project aimed at contributing to the protection of the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS [PLWHA], and addressing HIV/AIDS through workplace prevention policies and the reduction of the epidemic’s adverse consequences on social, labour and economic development. This paper contends that discrimination and stigmatisation of PLWHA is widespread in Viet Nam and could affect the fundamental right of PLWHA to work. Forms of work place discrimination include job dismissal of infected workers, and mandatory screening for HIV of job applicants in a number of enterprises. The study has found that discrimination against PLWHA is partly due to lack of proper knowledge and understanding of how HIV is transmitted and partly due to the perceived linkages of HIV/AIDS to socially disapproved behaviour such as injecting drug use and sex work. The paper reviews the concepts of stigma and discrimination, particularly in relation to HIV/AIDS. It also looks at the ILO Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and international experiences in how anti-discrimination policies have been integrated into laws and practices in countries of South East Asia. The paper highlights several policy and institutional gaps in the Vietnamese legal framework concerning HIV/AIDS prevention and anti-discrimination measures as well as gaps in activities undertaken by key players in the world of work. A set of recommendations is made in the paper on how to address the current challenges to overcome stigma and discrimination of PLWHA in the work place."

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