Implicates Al-Jazeera in failure to advocate for employee
By Melanie Nathan, 02/29/2012
Allegedly tested for HIV without consent, found positive and subsequently dismissed, detained and deported, a South African journalist is attempting to take his case against Qatar to the International Labour Organization (ILO) to change the country’s HIV travel and employment laws. More than 100 protestors gathered on 14 Feb outside the Johannesburg offices of Qatari state-owned media company Al-Jazeera to protest the journalist’s alleged dismissal due to his HIV-positive status.
The international news agency has denied allegations that the reporter was removed from his post due to his HIV status, but Section27, a South African human rights organization, has lobbied South Africa’s delegation to the ILO to lodge a complaint against Qatar for its failure to abide by international labor conventions.
Qatar is a signatory to one of the ILO’s eight fundamental conventions, the 1958 Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, which requires states to enact legislation prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, nationality, or religious or political beliefs.
“Al Jazeera was informed that the candidate was denied a residence permit and work visa by the Qatari authorities,” Al-Jazeera said in a statement. “Without a work visa a candidate may not pursue employment in the country and due to this, Al Jazeera was under the legal obligation to withdraw the conditional offer of employment which was made to the candidate, a risk which the candidate was made aware of and accepted prior to his acceptance of the offer.”
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