Chinese HBV carriers: 93 million (MOH, 2011). Discrimination forms: deny of equal opportunity or treatment, usually in areas like education, employment and healthcare. Serious outcomes of discrimination: no proper education from kindergarten to postgraduate, no job, no basic healthcare, extreme end of life.
Library based research Specific research visit to Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou between Aug and Sep, 2011 a series of 35 semi-structured interviews interviewees include: people suffered from the discrimination (HBV carriers), health professionals, lawyers, academics, health or human rights related NGO workers, representatives or principals of work units, educational institutions and hospitals, deputies of People’s Congress, department officers, judges, etc.
The process of establishing an anti-discrimination mechanism
Awareness of the problem of discrimination based on ‘health status’ Beginning of using legal and policy tools to deal with discriminatory practices
the State v. Zhou (HBV Carrier homicide) Zhang v. Wuhu Personnel Bureau (the 1st HBV discrimination case) Bai v. Henan Finance College (the 1st HBV discrimination case in education) amendment of the Constitution (the 1st ‘human rights’ article) amendment of the Infectious Disease Prevention & Cure Law (discrimination against patients with real or suspected infectious diseases or pathogen carriers is illegal) issuance of the Interim Common Standards of Health Checks in Civil Servant Recruitment (HBV carriers are eligible to be civil servants) establishment of Yirenping Centre (several surveys on HBV discrimination in education & employment areas)
Further legislative and regulative efforts in tackling discrimination especially in the employment area More discrimination cases accepted and supported by the courts
Long v. Chengdu West District Hospital (the 1st hospital violating the privacy of a HBV career’s case, the plaintiff win) acceptance of HBV discrimination cases throughout the country (over 70% acceptance rates) adoption of the Employment Promotion Law (contain a general anti-discrimination article) issuance of the Opinions on Protecting the Right to Work for HBV Carriers (HBV carriers get specific employment rights protection) establishment of China Anti-discrimination Legal Action Group (further surveys of employment status in specific industries and groups of people) action act of Lei Chuang (the 1st certificate of health for HBV carriers)
Ban of discriminatory health check tests in employment and education areas More focus on the implementation of the anti- discrimination laws and policies by both official and non- official parties
Over 200 reported HBV discrimination cases by Aug, 2011 issuance of the Notice Concerning Further Regulating the Health Check Items in Education Admission and Employment in order to Protect the Right to Education and Right to Work for HBV Carriers (specific HBV test is banned in health checks) issuance of the Notice on Thoroughly Implementing the Regulations on the HBV Test in Health Checks in Employment (further notice in implementing the above Notice) examination of the implementation of the above Notice (Ministry of Health, Human Resources and Education combined supervision groups) Provision of employment priorities for marginalized groups by many NGOs (encouragement work opportunities for HBV carriers)
Efforts of different social bodies in participating in the process
Anti- discrimination mechanism legislat ors lawyers acade my govern ments courts media HBV carriers NGOs hospita ls employ ers Edu institut ions
Collect public opinions and submit proposals to different levels of People’s Congress Make new laws and revise discriminatory laws Participate in examination of the implementation of anti-discrimination laws
More immediate response to social requirements Issue administrative rules to implement relevant laws Make or revise policies to ban specific HBV health check and unlawful discrimination Examine the implementation of laws and rules, punish illegal acts
Rise the acceptance rates of discrimination cases Provide legal aids to poor affected people Increase the victory rates of the plaintiffs Implement effective judgments
Sue or report the unlawful discrimination behaviors, protect individual rights Participate in education and dissemination projects, awake the public sympathy Organize HBV community and establish relevant NGOs, increase ability to influence the society
Assist HBV carriers to submit lawsuits or reports Participate in media and public advocacy Strengthen the capability building of the community Lobby the deputies of People’s Congress Conduct surveys and report results
Report relevant events, laws and cases immediately, arise the national pity for discrimination stories Provide wide opportunities to disseminate right HBV knowledge Lead the public opinion, supervise the public bodies’ behaviors
Legal factors: The laws are still weak, lack of relevant definitions and protection mechanisms, vague contents, conflicted articles, too abstract and not enforceable. The governments continue making wrong administrative actions or policies sometimes and set bad examples in implementing the laws. The judicial environment is not always kind to people claiming for equality rights, still lack of independence, unfair judgments, high costs and low efficiency. …
Non-legal factors: Unnecessary fear comes from lack of right knowledge of diseases, esp. their transmission routes, influenced by fraud medical advertisements. Misunderstanding of autonomy in recruitment, one-sided pursuit of economic benefits and perfection. Intolerance in the Chinese traditional culture, lack of respect to individuals’ rights and personal dignity. …
China has started establishing a mechanism tackling discrimination based on ‘health status’. This process is slow and tortuous. However, it develops continuously and mobilizes plenty of social bodies to participate. These bodies’ mutual efforts have prompted the equal rights protection of the affected ones. There are still substantial obstacles.