Monday, February 21, 2011
Chinese medical institutions and the people who run them will face the possibility of public exposure and administrative punishments if they continue to provide screening tests to companies wanting to know if prospective workers are carriers of hepatitis B, China's top health authority has warned.
In a statement released on Saturday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said medical institutions are not allowed to carry out hepatitis B tests on behalf of companies as part of pre-employment physical examinations, regardless of whether or not consent is obtained from the candidates.
The move is aimed at safeguarding people's right to work in a country where discrimination is rife against carriers of infections such as hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS.
Hospital directors found to have violated the rules will be exposed to the public and will invite strict administrative punishments, the ministry said.
The latest move follows the results of a survey released last week showing that, despite existing rules and regulations, some 61 percent of 180 State-run companies polled still include hepatitis B screenings in their pre-employment physical examinations.
Moreover, 63 of the 180 companies either said they would never consider hepatitis B carriers for a job or would be reluctant to hire such people.
The survey was conducted by the non-profit Beijing Yirenping Center.
Yu Fangqiang, leader of the advocacy group, told Xinhua News Agency that such violations were mainly down to the light punishments available for those who break the rules and the pursuit of profits by some medical institutions.
In the past, employers have only been fined a matter of thousands or tens of thousands of yuan for carrying out such tests, and then only if they lose lawsuits.
The legal actions are expensive and few candidates discriminated against have the time and money to bring such cases.
Liu Xiaonan, an associate professor with the China University of Political Science and Law, called on the government to hammer out a specific law and set up a special committee to investigate such cases of discrimination in order to ensure the rights of hepatitis B carriers are protected.
Given that China has about 120 million hepatitis B carriers and at least 20 million chronic hepatitis patients, awareness of the conditions remains low among the public, experts said.
It has been scientifically proven that the hepatitis B virus can only be transmitted from mother to child during childbirth or by contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person, not by casual contact.
In its statement, the MOH ordered health administrations nationwide to carry out careful investigation into all cases of hepatitis B-related discrimination and pledged that hospitals found to be still providing such tests to employers would be punished in accordance with laws and regulations.
On Feb 10, 2010, the ministries of health, education and human resources and social security jointly issued a circular demanding the cancellation of such screening tests during health checks for school enrollment and employment nationwide.
Source: China Daily
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."
Further, Yu Fangqiang, Xiao Jun's defense lawyer, said, "Chinese tend to give moral judgment to people with HIV. They sympathize with those contracting HIV due to blood transfusion, but despise those who picked it up through sex, deeming them as morally corrupted, so how could a morally corrupted person be a teacher?"
Yu said, however, "Everyone is entitled to equal rights which are endowed by law, and the public should be aware of that." Now, their case has been filed with the intermediate court of Anqing.
The Anqing Education Bureau, in its recruitment of teachers, applied the health criteria for employing civil servants, which provides that people with HIV are disqualified from being civil servants.
The health examination criteria for civil servants has become the center of blame by rights advocates, as it is frequently adopted by other employers, for instance, by schools, public institutions and many state-owned enterprises.
The joint ILO and China CDC report suggests revising the health check criteria for hiring civil servants and policemen because it sets an example for other employers.
The report also suggests revoking mandatory testing as a pre-condition for employment and keeping health check results confidential. "If only the patient himself is informed of his health status, not his managers, then the PLWHIV will not loose jobs."
According to a survey on public attitudes towards employment of people living with HIV conducted in 2007, 48.8 percent of the 1,000 respondents argue that people with HIV should be deprived of equal employment.
Business managers show even stronger opposition to employing PLWHIV. Among 200 managers being surveyed, 130 (65 percent) believe PLWHIV should not enjoy equal employment opportunities.
Michael Shiu, Vice President of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said, in a program his organization carried out, employers told him even though they would hire HIV positive staff, they couldn't do so because other employees might be terrified, which would jeopardize harmony in the work place.
Tang Hao, a newspaper editor, said, "If I have a colleague who's PLWHIV, I will quit my job, even if I know the virus cannot be contracted through daily contacts, because I feel insecure as long as there is a 1 percent chance of infection."
The decade-long endeavor to remove employment discrimination against people suffering from Hepatitis B may offer PLWHIV a ray of hope. With years of advocacy, HBV carriers have been able to be civil servants since 2005, and China prohibits mandatory health checks towards HBV since 2010.
Lei Chuang, a volunteer in Tuesday's ILO event, also a HBV carrier, said, "As Hepatitis B patients are now allowed to work even as cooks, I am confident one day PLWHIV could enjoy the same rights."
There are currently an estimated 700,000 people living with HIV in China, including about 75,000 AIDS patients.
The ILO and China CDC report also recognize that progress has been made to reduce employment discrimination in China.
For example, China began implementing a regulation on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in 2006. The Law on the Promotion of Employment, which took effect in 2008, stipulates that employers cannot deny jobs to carriers of infectious diseases.
Mark Sterling, UNAIDS country coordinator in China, said as protecting the rights of PLWHIV has been written into China's next five year plan, it would provide wonderful opportunities to ensure follow-up actions to ensure the rights of PLWHIV.
This is believed to be China's first case of job discrimination due to HIV status on the mainland despite widespread HIV/AIDS related discrimination and stigma in the country, where 740,000 people are living with the virus, experts said.
The plaintiff, from Anqing, Anhui province, and going by the alias Xiao Wu, was denied a teaching job by the Anqing city education department in mid-August after he tested positive for HIV.
The medical tests, including screenings for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis C, were taken after he had passed the written tests and interviews for the job.
The Anqing People's Court of Yingjiang District put Xiao Wu's case on record on Monday morning.
Xiao Wu wants the education department to review its decision and give him the job he deserves, according to lawyer Zheng Jineng, who represents the case.
No economic compensation is being claimed in the suit.
Xiao Wu could not be reached for a comment.
"We understand he was under huge pressure and afraid of media exposure," said Zheng.
"I hope the case can draw the public's attention and help protect job seekers against any kind of discrimination," he told China Daily on Monday.
The trial is scheduled to begin in two weeks.
"China has issued laws and regulations protecting the rights of people with HIV/AIDS including the right to employment. Denying them the jobs they deserve is depriving them of their rights to work for society and earn a living," said Lu Jun, who heads the Beijing-based civil society Yirenping, which helps people fight discrimination through legal means.
"I think he will win the case," he noted.
However, in a recent interview Xiao Wu said he was uncertain about the result.
Also, he said, once the case becomes widely reported it could weigh heavily on his future as all of his friends and relatives would know he was HIV positive, he said.
Xiao Wu was born and raised in rural Anqing. He said that he went through four years of college education in the hope of getting a decent job.
The education department defended its decision by citing student protection.
"As an education department, we believe that teachers should be responsible for students' sound development. Our decision not to hire him is to protect the students. We definitely won't change our minds," said a staff surnamed Fang from the department of education in Anqing.
Daily contacts including shaking hands and eating together would not spread HIV, medical experts said.
However, a mother surnamed Yang in Anqing, whose 8-year-old son attends a local primary school, told China Daily on Monday that she agreed with the education department's decision.
"I understand Xiao Wu's suffering but I don't want an HIV carrier to teach my son," she said.
Source: China Daily(By Zhang Yue and Shan Juan )
Recently, the girl started walking on the streets of domestic cities and holding a board for seeking someone to have dinner with her in order to tell them her story and the facts behind hepatitis B. According to her, the reason that she uses the name of "Weeding" is trying to eliminate the fear and discrimination in people's hearts.
The age of 15 might be the best time for a little girl in middle school. However, "Weeding"'s sky seemed to collapse suddenly after she was diagnosed with hepatitis B. Her life was full of fear and discrimination and not a happy time spent playing and eating together with families and friends.
Under the pressure of the disease and the belief that her life was going to end soon, the girl failed her college entrance examination. Later, she got the chance to study in Japan through her family's efforts.
At the beginning, she was worried the disease might impact her way of life in Japan. But, when she arrived in Japan she found that disease carriers in Japan did not suffer what she suffered, and the privacy rights of carriers were well protected by law. She then studied well the disease and found out the truth about hepatitis B.
In order to spread the scientific facts about the disease, she had the idea of encouraging some people to have dinner with her and tell them what's really going on.
By Wang Hanlu, People's Daily Online
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Deng Haihua, deputy director of the general office of the ministry, said Saturday a guidance was being drafted for the cancellation.
Hepatitis B was a blood infectious disease that would not be transmitted in daily lives through air and food, Deng said at a press conference.
"A hepatitis B disease carrier does no harm to others' health and the new practice will not increase the disease transmission," Deng added.
Though the hepatitis B test was to be canceled, the physical examination of liver functions would remain, Deng said.
www.chinaview.cn 2009-10-11 08:59:04
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
On the bottom of right side of the homepage, we can easily find the section “Health Information Privacy”. It’s very striking just because it’s very important.
No any information about “Health Information Privacy”. I perused the homepage up and down, again and again. Nothing can be found about “Health Information Privacy”.
The result of the comparison baffled me so much that I can’t help asking where the right of health info privacy is for people in China. Can the government expose people’s health privacy as it wishes?
As for the HBV carries in China, they are deprived of their due rights to study and work just because they are HBV carries. And they were treated as demons of virus.
As you know, in China, pre-employment blood test of employees for hepatitis B is forced. And the test result is NOT protected by any law for its privacy.
U.S. Department of Health teaches its Chinese counterpart a lesson!
May our own government will and be willing to learn!
Health Information Privacy
The Office for Civil Rights enforces the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information, and the confidentiality provisions of the Patient Safety Rule, which protect identifiable information being used to analyze patient safety events and improve patient safety.
Nothing mentions Health Information Privacy
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Appreciate for your time of reading our previous letter. We’d like to share the current situation and a real story with you. The critical matter whether cancel the mandatory Hepatitis B test is still pending. Your support in this fateful moment can save 130 million people’s lives. We do appreciate your understanding and help. Below are some information shared with you.
Information about Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China (MOH)
·Today is the hearing deadline of the policy which permits children of HBV carriers to enter kindergartens.
·On July 30, Mr. Cui Fuqiang, director of the office of viral hepatitis at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of China said that the Ministry of Health would cancel the hepatitis B test in regular physical examinations. The next day, Mr. Haihua Deng, a spokesman of MOH, clarified that this was not an official statement but just an expert’s opinion. And then, MOH kept silent and postponed the news release conference which should be held on August 10 without any explanation. Comparing with massive media coverage, experts’ comments and hot arguments in Chinese society, MOH keeps silent till this moment.
·(Background Info) In 2007, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the PRC enacted the China Employment Promotion Law. The main objectives of this new legislation include promoting employment, establishing fair employment conditions, and banning employment discrimination. The penalty for employers who break the law is only RMB1,000 (about $143). The consequence of this law is employers began to reject HBV carriers for other excuses instead of hepatitis B.
·Why HBV carriers are still discriminated? It is because the mandatory HBV test in regular physical exams is not cancelled. This sort of test deprives carriers’ privacy and is the root of discrimination. Many experts and scholars indicate that the HBV test in regular physical exams is really unnecessary because carriers cannot infect others in daily contact.
·Why MOH does not cancel the mandatory HBV test no matter how much scientific evidence proved it? No official explanation. We understand it takes time to announce an official statement. We will appreciate for the timely response from MOH!
Voice from experts of infectious diseases
Many experts, scholars and doctors support to cancel the mandatory HBV test. Mr. Fuqiang Cui advocates canceling the HBV test. Mr. Hui Zhuang, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, sent media a written explanation that HBV carriers cannot infect others in daily contact. Dr. Haodong Cai, the director in a top infectious disease hospital, calls on to stop the HBV test and discrimination in society. We cannot list all experts and doctors’ name here, but we are sure that professionals in the field of infectious disease support to cancel the HBV test. They are glad to educate the public in order to alleviate the HBV discrimination. We do appreciate these experts, doctors and scholars’ professional input!
Voice from media coverage
Mainstream media in China, such as People Daily, China Daily, Global Times, Sina.com etc., reported the news about HBV discrimination and arguments from the Chinese society. Some international media, such as Voice of America, New York Times, also published some related articles recently. Media reported the opinions from experts, voice from HBV carriers and the general public objectively. Some reporters tried to interview MOH, but failed. Hope media friends could let MOH hear carriers’ voice in the news release conference. We do appreciate for your help!
A real story in Haikou, Hainan Province:
Baobao is as cute as other kids expect she is a HBV carrier. She is five years old now but never has a chance to play or study in any kindergarten with other kids. Her mother Ms. Luo said that when Bao was three years old, she tried to find a kindergarten for her. However, no kindergarten accepted Bao because she is a carrier. Bao often asks her mother: “Mom, why I have to stay at home alone, but other kids can play in kindergartens?” Whenever Bao passes by a kindergarten, she is always begging:”I wanna play slides with other kids in the kindergarten…”
Your support can save these kids from the gray childhood. HBV carriers are not Hepatitis B patients. Please help us convince MOH to cancel the HBV test.
HBV carriers in China
Acknowledge the hard work of 受治疗的鱼
Friday, August 7, 2009
However, Deng Haihua, a spokesman for the Ministry, clarified that this did not represent an official statement, but was just an expert opinion.
Some 100 million people are infected with hepatitis B in China, and there is widespread discrimination against them. They find it very hard to enter kindergarten, school, or get a job.
Fighting against discrimination on hepatitis B is also difficult for many reasons.
For example, the current cost to employers who break the related law is only a fine of 1,000 yuan ($146), and many medical centers prefer cooperating with employers in return for financial rewards rather than implementing governmental policies.
In order to eliminate discrimination on hepatitis B, the government should aim to further medical literacy and promoting the implementation of anti-discrimination policies, such as formulating and implementing laws and regulations to protect hepatitis B patients and pursuing more public control.
We hope for such action in the near future.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Updated: 2009-03-05 21:00
BEIJING -- A civilian survey has shown that a rise in implicit discrimination against Chinese Hepatitis B (HB) virus carriers who apply for jobs at multinational firms.
At least 84 percent of the sampled multinationals in China require job applicants to take compulsory HB tests and provide the results to their prospective employers, according to the survey issued Thursday by Beijing Yirenping Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting social justice and public wellbeing.
About 44 percent of the multinationals said that they refuse applicants who are HB positive, while only 5 percent of the firms do not require applicants to take the medical test.
The Yirenping Center conducted the survey from October to December last year by telephone interviews with 92 multinational firms in 20 major cities in the Beijing-Tianjin area, Pearl River Delta in southern China and Yangtze River Delta in the eastern coast.
The multinationals come from diversified businesses such as electronic communications, machinery, food and drug manufacturing, chemical, transport and finance.
The center conducted a similar survey in 2006, two years before the enactment of the Employment Promotion Law. The first survey found that 77 percent of the multinationals refused applicants carrying HB.
Compared with the previous survey, the firms that showed overt discrimination against HB carriers declined from 77 percent to 44 percent. However, the firms that requested the test, but claim the results do not impact employment, rose from 19 percent to 40 percent. This practice is an implicit discrimination -- a loophole that lets companies continue to refuse HB carriers in employment.
The new survey found that multinational companies in China which request compulsory HB test and refuse virus-carrying applicants include Bosch, Citic Pacific, Nestle, Sanyo, Siemens, Sony, Toyota, etc.
The only five multinationals do not require applicants to take the tests are IBM, 3M, Gold Circuit Electronics, Santak Electronics and Carrefour.
China's top legislature approved the Employment Promotion Law in 2007, which specifically prohibits employers from refusing an applicant on the basis that he carries an infectious disease.
"It is very depressing to find overt and implicit discrimination after the employment (promotion) law has been in effect for one year," said Chen Jun, chief coordinator with the center who is a HB carrier.
According to the Food Safety Law enacted just last month, HB patients are prohibited from employment that involves contact with ready-to-eat foods. But this exception does not apply to any of the sampled multinationals.
The World Health Organization states that the HB virus is primarily transferred through child birth, shared syringes, blood transfusions and sexual contact. The WHO particularly emphasizes that the infection is not spread by eating or working with HB virus carriers.
"Obviously, request of compulsory HB test by those firms is against the law and they applied double standards for their worldwide employment," said Chen.
According to Chen, the reason why the survey targeted multinationals is because they seldom request applicants to test for HB in their headquarters or other countries and regions. However, in China, they not only require the test, but also eliminate HB virus carriers based on the test's result.
"The Employment Promotion Law alone is not enough to secure a fair opportunity for every employee. Many implicit discrimination cases could easily evade legal responsibility," said Wu Yuanming, an attorney with Beijing Zhongji Law Firm.
The center's chief coordinator told Xinhua that although the Employment Promotion Law has a special article to ban discrimination, more legislative efforts must be given to change people's bias against HB virus and infectious disease.
China's Ministry of Health reported last year that about 93 million Chinese, or 7.18 percent of the total population are HB carriers, but many medical experts believe there are more than 100 million carriers in the country.
The center has contacted two members of the ongoing 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) who have decided to hand in proposals calling for elimination of HB and other employment discriminations in the country, which faces an already grim unemployment situation.
China pledged Thursday it will implement an even more proactive employment policy this year and allocate 42 billion yuan to offset unemployment caused by the global financial crisis.
To create more jobs, the government will make full use of the role of the service sector, labor-intensive industries, small and medium-sized enterprises, and the non-public sector of the economy, said Premier Wen Jiabao in a report delivered to the second session of the 11th National People's Congress, China's top legislature.
Source Link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2009-03/05/content_7542374.htm
Friday, April 10, 2009
Before the gate of Beijing University
Before the gate of Tsinghua University
Where is the door for HBV carriers to get in the door of university due to HBV discrimination?
On April 6, 2009, the last day of the Chinese Tomb-Sweeping Day, which is a time to remember the dead and the dearly departed, three anti-HBV-discrimination fighters were standing at the gates of Beijing University and Tsinghua University to deprecate HBV discrimination during the process of graduate application.
Beijing University: HBVers are not permitted to get offers of any subjects.
Tsinghua University: If two applicants have the same caliber, we prefer the one who isn't HBV carrier to the one who is HBV carrier.
If you want to contact with the fighters on the pictures, below is the information:
Sunday, April 5, 2009
A majority of some 90 foreign firms in the country that took part in a three-month long survey were found to be practicing "some form of discrimination" against job candidates with hepatitis B, according to the result of poll released yesterday.
Between October and December, Beijing Yirenping Center, a non-profit group advocating social justice, telephoned 96 foreign firms across the country and found that "80 of them, or 84 percent, required job applicants to be tested for hepatitis B".
The survey found that 44 percent of companies polled would reject hepatitis B carriers.
China is estimated to have some 93 million hepatitis B carriers and the discrimination against this group has been there for decades in employment and education.
Lu Jun, a researcher involved in the poll, said most companies gave two reasons for turning down hepatitis B carriers - either they were "afraid that the carriers will spread the disease or that the carriers would not be able to handle the heavy workload".
Hepatitis B virus carriers "do not pose a threat to people around them or the environment", according to the official website of the Chinese Center for Disease Prevention and Control. The virus can only be transmitted through sexual intercourse, blood-to-blood contact or from mother to child.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Security and the Ministry of Health had jointly launched a regulation in May 2007, prohibiting tests for hepatitis B during recruitment.
Li Fangping, a lawyer from the Beijing Ruifeng law firm, said the punishment for violators was too light.
"The regulation demands that companies pay only 1,000 yuan at most for wanting candidates to undergo the tests. So far, I have not heard of even one company being fined for it," he said.
(China Daily February 24, 2009)
Sunday, October 5, 2008
About his story, please refer to the following link:
Lei's blog ( written in Chinese ):
Lei standing before the statue of Mao with 524 appealing letters
LEI Chuang, 21, had been a top student majoring in material science and chemical engineering at Zhejiang University. He hoped to enter the Chinese Academy of Sciences for graduate school with an exam waiver.
But an alumni, who worked for the academy, told him they would not accept his application because he has the Hepatitis B virus. Lei received the same response from the officials at the academy.
But Lei didn’t want to give up. Since the end of last year, he has appealed to the academy by sending out 524 letters to professors, complaining about his treatment. He told 21st Century about his campaign:
21st: Have you received any response from those you wrote to?
Lei: Yes, I have three replies. Two of the professors told me I was not eligible for admission. The other has delivered my request to the head of the academy.
21st: Why did you choose this approach to deal with the situation?
Lei: I want to end the prejudice. My brother also has Hepatitis B. After his graduation, he succeeded in gaining an internship at a big company. However, he was denied employment for the same reason as me when the internship finished. Unlike me, he took no action and just accepted the result. This is my main incentive for appealing to the authorities.
21st: What’s the latest development?
Lei: I’ve received an interview letter from one of the institutions of the academy. I will go to Beijing for an interview before October 8.
21st: What will you do if you don’t succeed?
Lei: I will look for jobs or find other graduate schools that are willing to accept me. I will remain positive for the future. In fact, already some other organizations and charities have invited me to work for them.
Although all of my professors suggest I stop appealing, I carry on for the sake of other HBV carriers.
No matter what the result is, I hope my behavior will raise awareness to the prejudice HBV carriers suffer in society. I hope, at least, universities and companies can give us a chance to clarify our attitude and difficulties in person rather than arbitrarily rejecting us.
Interview by Li Wenwen
HBV carriers are not eligible to study the following subjects: preschool education, navigation technology, aviation technology and food related courses, according to The Guideline of University Students Health Exam, which is constituted by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health. These guidelines are for reference when students choose subjects before entering university. Universities have no right to reject students that meet the requirements.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
DSV is a global supplier of transport and logistics services and is currently one of the largest such companies in the world.
It was created in 2006 from the merger of the Danish DFDS Transport and Dutch operator Frans Maas. It trades under the brand names DSV Road, DSV Air & Sea, DSV Solutions and can trace its origins back over 150 years.
The largest part of the company is its European road transport (trucking) network. Following that is its air and sea freight forwarding business, which it is aiming to expand through acquisitions. The group also has a growing Europe wide contract logistics business.
DSV's head office is in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Group has offices in 50 countries all over the world. Supplemented by partners and agents, DSV offers services in more than 100 countries.
The group employs 19,000 and maintain a worldwide annual turnover of €4.4 billion.
The company is listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Please spread the news, lots of HBVers in China are eager to access their home on the net.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
We can't access the site and its forum in China for its ip address has been banned by The Great Firewall.
Is there anyone who can help us to access the forum again?
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Location: Yan'an Road, Zhejiang.
On the banner, it says:
Deprecate taking HBV as a reason to reject applicants! Graduates from Zhejiang University were rejected by China Mobile, Zhejiang.
We are going to sue China Mobile and need your help.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Today, I got the good news from Suzhou. The Suzhou Health Bureau passed a notice several days ago to forbid pre-employment blood test of employees for hepatitis B, which sheds some light, though there is still darkness shrouded by discrimination, on the progress of eliminating the bias on HBV-carrier-job-hunters.
There is no denying it is a progress, at least on paper. However, as I said before in the post "A Notice from Guangzhou Health Bureau", the notice itself has apparent weak points and can be easily bypassed by those hospitals and other medical centers, who take pre-employment blood test as a lucrative business.
Once again, we need law instead of notice on paper. It's cruel to give us hope, which we know it is just hope that will never come true. Still a long way to go.
To read the notice written in Chinese, visit the link below.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
If you have any suggestion, drop me an email. I will reply within 3 days. For some reason, I check this mail box every three days. Once I get it, I'll contact you as soon as possible.
Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for *yourself*.
Two months past, it gave us hope and then took it away. Let me explain it to you.
In the notice, it says if any employee is required to take blood test for hepatitis B, he/she must sign an agreement. Obviously, the blood test is a lucrative business for hospitals and other medical centers. They can profit around 8$ per person every time. You can do math how big the cake is. Hospitals and other medical centers will make their way to circumvent the notice with all their efforts.
The outcome is that we lose, medical centers win. You may be wondering how they did it. Are our enemies too formidable to defeat? No. The reason is that the notice itself has apparent weak points and it's just a notice not law.
How did they circumvent the notice? Easy and effectively. Before the blood test, one will be required to sign an agreement. Ridiculously in some hospitals, the agreement is stamped with the hospitals' seal ahead of time, and you will be required to sign your name on the stamp. If you refuse to do so, you will be ruled out by HR. Therefore, you can't get the job or lose the job you've already had.
Although the notice turns out to be ineffective, we still are very grateful to Guangzhou Health Bureau. At least, there is a notice *on paper* to protect us in Guangzhou. Many other cities out there have NO any notice, let alone actions.
May God bless us!
Friday, February 1, 2008
Nokia China hit with discrimination suit
By Mure Dickie
Published: March 13 2007 21:30 | Last updated: March 13 2007 21:30
A Chinese job applicant -on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Nokia alleging that a local unit of the Finnish telecommunications equipment company refused to employ him because he is a carrier of the Hepatitis B virus.
The highly unusual lawsuit underscores moves by Hepatitis B carriers to use legal channels to challenge what they say is endemic discrimination against the estimated 120m Chinese infected by the virus.
Chinese companies routinely refuse to employ people who carry the Hepatitis B virus, even though it is mainly transmitted at birth, through sexual contact or by contaminated needles.
However, the job applicant, who asked to be identified only by his surname, Li, said he had been surprised when the Nokia unit in China’s southern city of Dongguan cancelled plans to hire him after a company-ordered medical examination.
“I thought that as a big company, Nokia would have a better understanding of this issue,” Mr Li said. “But they still said that because I was a [Hepatitis B] carrier, they had to reject me.”
Mr Li on Tuesday filed a lawsuit at a Dongguan court calling on it to order Nokia to hire him and to pay Rmb500,000 ($64,540, ￡33,370, €48,830) in compensation for “mental suffering”.
Nokia stressed its global policy did not allow hiring decisions to be affected by whether an applicant was suffering from a chronic disease, such as Hepatitis B, unless the condition would render the employee incapable or would pose “considerable risk” to others.
“We are looking into this case,” said Thomas J?nsson, director of communications for Nokia China. “If a mistake has been committed, we will follow up and take whatever measures are required to correct it.”
Mr Li’s case has emerged at a time when a growing number of Chinese are taking companies and even government departments to court over issues such as discrimination. Such litigants often face laws that are ambiguous, courts that rule inconsistently and patchy enforcement of rulings.
Lu Jun, a health activist who runs a website for Hepatitis B carriers, said Mr Li’s lawsuit appeared to be the first of its kind against a western company. Anti-discrimination lawsuits against local companies were also very rare and often failed, in part because of China’s contradictory legislation on Hepatitis B, Mr Lu said.
Officially, discrimination against Hepatitis B victims is banned under a sweeping but vaguely worded 2004 law and the health ministry says carriers can live, work and study “normally”. However, those infected with the virus are banned by official regulations from working in sectors such as the food industry and are sometimes blacklisted even by government departments.
Last year, a top school in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region expelled 19 children after discovering they were infected with the virus.
A lawsuit brought by parents of the children against local education authorities was abandoned under what people familiar with the situation said was heavy pressure from officials.
Unlike the less serious but more infectious Hepatitis A virus, Hepatitis B carriers pose little risk to co-workers or fellow students.
But fear of the disease, which leaves most carriers unharmed but can cause serious liver damage and death, has been stoked in China by widespread advertising by medicine vendors.
After the suit, Nokia China changed its policy on blood test in health exams. Below is a quotation from an internal letter:
"According to relevant government regulations regarding the employment rights of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers and Nokia's global policy that chronic disease can not form a part in hiring decisions, Nokia China will stop requiring Hepatitis serological indicator tests in health exams during new employee recruiting process starting from August 27th 2007. "
Today I got a message that HBV discrimination in Nokia China is continuing.
A HBV carrier, whose net name is scnydx, applied a position in Nokia unit in China's southern city of Dongguan. Since scnydx had read the internal letter before, he thought HBV carrying won't be a problem anymore when applying a position in Nokia. Yesterday(Jan 31, 2008) during the interview, he told the interviewer that he is a HBV carrier. When the interviewer was informed that the interviewee is a HBV carrier, the interviewer suddenly called the interview an end. So surprise and angry was scnydx, he called the HR manager whose surname is Qin (秦) that what they'd done flouted the China Employment Promotion Law and Global Policy by Nokia headquarter, the HR manager replied he didn't get any notice from Nokia headquarter about HBV carriers' policy.
Human Resource Department of Nokia Unit in Dongguan (东莞)
HR Manager: Qin
Monday, January 28, 2008
One week ago, a HBV carrier wrote to the mayor of Suzhou to state the critical HBV discrimination in Suzhou, and request the government of Suzhou to implement the China Employment Promotion Law.
He got a letter from PuJunXing (浦俊兴), who is the vice chief of Disease Control and Prevention section of Suzhou Health Bureau. In this letter, we got astonished by some of his reply. Below is a quotation translated from Chinese. The original quotation written in Chinese is also posted following the English translation.
"The essential contradiction for the present is that the Hepatitis B carriers' rights to work should be protected effectively, but on the premise of labor surplus, we can't deprive entrepreneurs of their rights to choose employees who are healthier than Hepatitis B carriers."
We are Hepatitis B carriers, but we are healthy. As the vice chief of Disease Control and Prevention section of Suzhou Health Bureau, he should has the common sense. Unfortunately, he has not. Maybe he has, he just conveniently forgot it that he can protect the rights of entrepreneurs instead of suffering Hepatitis B carriers. We want to cry, we want to laugh.
Weird? Can you imagine a senior official said that to us? My dear readers, can you tell me if this happened in your countries, what will you do?
People's Government of Suzhou:
Where is Suzhou:
Search "China, Suzhou" in http://maps.google.com/maps
Sunday, January 27, 2008
On August 30, 2007, the Chinese government passed a new employment law called the China Employment Promotion Law. The main objectives of the new legislation include advancing employment, establishing fair employment conditions, and banning employment discrimination. The law took effect on January 1, 2008.
Job applicants will be entitled to sue employers for discrimination under the new national Employment Promotion Law.
Before the law took effect, I wondered how effectively the new law will be implemented and enforced. Now, nearly one month after the law took effect, the outcome is pessimistic. HBV discrimination remains the same.
Why the law turned out to be less effective than expected?
Some sly HR managers began to reject HBV carriers for other excuses instead of hepatitis B. Finding an excuse to reject someone is so easy and you can get as many reason as you can if you want to. When it comes to accusation, it's very difficult for HBVer job-seekers to get any proof to sue the employers. Note that plaintiff is required to provide proof in China. Therefore, the law can't be implemented effectively.
How to solve the problem?
Pre-employment blood test of employees for hepatitis B should not be carried out unless relevant for assessment of medical fitness for work.
As far as I know, in China, only in China, pre-employment blood test of employees for hepatitis B are forced, no matter what kind of job you apply even if you apply a position as a software developer or mechanic.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Of course, you can!
Let me show you some facts about HBV.
In Practice Guideline for Chronic Hepatitis B from The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD):
Children and adults who are HBsAg-positive:
* Can participate in all activities including contact sports
* Should not be excluded from daycare or school participation and should not be isolated from other children
* Can share food, utensils or kiss others
For more information, visit the links below:
How hepatitis B is transmitted?
1. Hepatitis B can be transmitted through unprotected (without using a condom) sex.
2. Occurs when blood from an infected person enters the body of a person who is not infected.
3. Pregnant women infected with hepatitis B can pass the virus on to their babies.
HBV is not spread through food or water or by casual contact. For example, you CANNOT get hepatitis B by hugging or dining with someone who is infected.
Recommendation: Getting vaccinated.
How long does hepatitis B vaccine protect you?
Recent studies indicate that immunologic memory remains intact for at least 23 years and confers protection against clinical illness and chronic HBV infection, even though anti-HBs levels might become low or decline below detectable levels.
From: US Department of Health and Human Services
For more information, click on the link below:
With the efforts of many HBVers right fighters, discrimination in kindergarten, school and college became fewer, though still exist. Several days ago, it was heard a child HBV carrier was refused entry into a kindergarten, which is a private kindergarten.
The most difficult problem every HBV carrier has to face is to get a job and keep it.
The key point is that before you becoming a regular staff, you must take a physical examination, which includes a blood test. If you were found out to be a HBV carrier, you'll be rejected to get the job, even if you are a healthy carrier, whose liver function is normal. For some people who already got a job will be fired if he or she was found out to be a HBV carrier, no matter what kind of job they have even if they are a software developer or mechanic. Crazy! Don't you think so?
Those who as HBV carriers should be protected by law in many other countries turned out to be deprived of right to work in China. Let me show you some example, below are some snippets in "Code of practice on the Management of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis at workplaces" from Australian Department of Consumer and Employment Protection.
* Pre-employment medical screening of employees for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B or hepatitis C should not be carried out unless relevant for assessment of medical fitness for work.
* Any information pertaining to an individual's HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B or hepatitis C status should be kept confidential.
* Unless the work poses a danger to the employee, other employees or the public, the employer need not be informed that an employee is infected. The employer is not obliged to inform anyone should they become aware that an employee is infected.
Now it's almost 11:30 PM in China, let's call it a day. I'll tell you more details in the later posts. Thanks for your support.
This is not my first blog, but my first English blog. In my Chinese blog, I never mentioned that I'm a HBV carrier. Now, I am writing my first post as one of 120 million HBV carriers in China. At the moment, I have a feeling that I was chose by fate to setup an English blog, which will be focusing on HBV discrimination in China. For so many years, I've kept silence and done nothing for the course of eliminating HBV discrimination in China. Now I come to realize that every single one of HBV carriers must fight for our due rights.
Work: I am now out of work and I hope I'm just between jobs.
Age: Almost 30 years old
Major: B.A. of Computer Science
Location: Everywhere in China. For security reason, I've edited the entry to conceal myself.
My HBV history: I first found out I was a HBV carrier when I was about 11 years old. And my liver function is normal, that is, no need to take any treatment, just to take a regular physical examination twice a year. More accurately, I am healthy and I suffered a lot spiritually because of HBV discrimination in China instead of physically.
Why i choose blogspot.com to host my blog?
As a matter of fact, I have no other choice. Censorship in China is rampant. For some security reason, I have to conceal myself, or someone unexpected will knock my door and invite me to their place to have a thorough talk. You know what I mean. Though they won't put me to prison, the blog won't be updated any more without any doubt.
If I chose a Chinese blogging service provider, my post will be censored and some of my post will be deleted mysteriously. If you want to know more about censorship in China, you may search The Great Firewall in Google to get details of the toppest filtering system in the world. Unfortunately, you can find all cutting-edge filtering technology in China. Wow, how excited! And I have to tell you another fact that people in China can't read this blog for blogspot.com has been banned for so long, long enough to forget the accurate date, and I have to use proxy to access this blog too.