ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LEGISLATION BEING WORKED ON

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Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Rev. Joseph Atherley (at left), being navigated through the new website by C.E.O. of Acute Vision, Ricky Redman (at right), whose company designed the website. Officials of the Ministry of Health are looking on in the background.

 

Government is working assiduously to prepare anti-discriminatory legislation for Barbados which will embrace the rights of workers and employers.

This was disclosed today by Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Rev. Joseph Atherley, who was speaking moments after officially launching the Ministry of Health’s HIV/AIDS web portal at the Hilton, Barbados.

“It’s basically in its formative stage. We are looking at a report which emanated from the hands of Professor Mickey Waldron, and the synthesis of opinions around that report. Much of what is in that report has been embraced however, some of it has not been accepted.

“The more controversial areas that are not supported by major public opinion are the business of decriminalising homosexuality and prostitution and the issue of condoms in prisons, for example,” the Minister said.

He noted that in the proposed legislation, Government intended to focus primarily on stigma and discrimination.

According to the Minister of State, people’s rights must be protected.  “The frontline of it (the legislation) will be to tackle discrimination in the workplace, so that anyone who is affected or infected by HIV is in no way the victim of discrimination at any workplace here in Barbados,” he said.

He noted that several ministries were involved in the drafting of the legislation: the Ministry of Labour; the Prime Minister’s Office; the Ministry of Health and the Attorney General’s Office.
Commenting on the Ministry of Health’s new HIV/AIDS website, the Minister stated that he welcomed the initiative because it would prove to be a very important instrument for several reasons.

“We need to interface with people using the new technology. If communication is to be meaningful and useful, disseminating it at a fast pace will be essential. I see the website as an addition to the current arsenal the Ministry of Health possesses,” said Rev. Atherley.

The website can be accessed at www.minofhealthhivaids.org.

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