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Job applicants should not be forced to do blood tests for HIV: Rights body

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Job applicants should not be forced to do blood tests for HIV: Rights body | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The National Human Rights Commission has condemned businesses that require job applicants to be tested for HIV, saying the move is a “clear violation of human rights”.

The NHRC said requiring people to take a blood test could adversely affect people who do this, plus their families, both economically and socially.

The agency was responding to complaints from the many people who say they were asked to undergo a test for HIV before they could be hired.

The problem is people found to be HIV-positive are often stigmatized and discriminated against, the office said.

It has called on relevant agencies to stop the practice.

Tairjing Siriphanich, a National Human Rights commissioner, said there was no reason for businesses to test prospective employees for HIV, as the virus had no effect on how someone performed professionally.

“HIV is not a scary thing because it can be treated and controlled through medication, almost like someone who has diabetes,” he said.

“Sometimes those with HIV are not even sick, but once they are known to possess the virus they will be stigmatized and rejected by society.”

Tairjing said blood tests for HIV at workplaces could be categorized into two groups.

Firstly, some businesses require blood results prior to hiring job applicants and people found to be HIV-positive tend to be rejected.

Secondly, there are employees who are asked to undergo a blood test. In at least one case, an employee was fired after testing positive for HIV.

Tairjing said even employees who fight back and win reinstatement are usually transferred because of the stigma.

He said people with HIV even face discrimination from family members, such as being told to eat at a separate table or being kicked out of the house.

He questioned the need for HIV blood tests given other viruses such as hepatitis B were “more deadly”.

The blood-test requirement can also cause an unnecessary financial burden on job applicants.

“One of the many reasons why people refuse to take blood tests is the cost,” he said. “Why is it the job applicant’s responsibility to pay for the blood test.”

Job applicants asked to be tested for HIV can file a complaint with the NHRC by calling its 1377 hotline or via help@nhrc.co.th.

— The Nation / Phuket Gazette

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

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Business

Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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