PAPUA NEW GUINEA LAW WILL TACKLE HIV/AIDS DISCRIMINATION

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Nov. 3, 2002 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Discrimination against HIV/AIDS sufferers in Papua New Guinea will be a thing of the past if the cabinet approves a proposed new piece of legislation.

The law is in its final stage of drafting.

It aims to tackle discrimination and protect the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS, including those looking for employment.

Director of the National AIDS Council Dr. Ninkama Moiya said a legal and ethical advisory committee including lawyers, magistrates and the attorney-general’s department initially drafted the laws in 1999.

He said the draft was then presented at a workshop conducted by the National Aids Council in October last year.

Moiya said the workshop was attended by the "wider sector" of the public, both in the private and public sectors. 

He said opinions and comments from individual representatives were then considered and incorporated in the bill before preparing the final draft for submission to the cabinet.

Moiya said he was writing a notice to inform the National Executive Council of the intention to have the laws submitted for discussion.

"Once complete it will form the basis upon which all HIV/AIDS issues will be addressed," said Moiya.

Papua New Guinea Trade Unions Congress General Secretary John Paska said such laws were long overdue and were a cause for "justifiable satisfaction."

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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