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Chinese Company Fires HIV-Positive Workers

Author: Robert I. Rotberg, ChinaUSFocus (US), Published on: 1 August 2017

One of China’s largest and most powerful construction companies, with operations all over Africa…insists that its workers be tested for HIV and then…fires those whose results affirm their HIV status…Whether China Communications imposes similar conditions of employment elsewhere in Africa is not known.

Uganda’s High Court will hear the case on August 16…An effort to reach an out-of-court settlement failed.

The Ugandan lawyer for the plaintiffs asserts that their case exposes “glaring human rights violations that are perpetrated unabated” by Ugandan government contractors.

…The Court’s deliberations will presumably reflect a 2014 vote in Parliament that “criminalized” the purposeful transmission of HIV-AIDS…In general, discrimination because of a medical condition may not be inherently illegal in Uganda. 

In the one HIV-related case that has been decided by the High Court, it dismissed the claim of a kitchen worker for China’s Sinohydro Corporation that she had been unfairly transferred from one department to another solely because she was HIV-positive…

Ugandan authorities have not taken any action in the latest case, possibly because of their reluctance to displease a large and influential firm such as China Communications…

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Related companies: China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC)