UN says Kiwi kicked out of South Korea for refusing AIDS test should be compensated

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NZN

The United Nations says a New Zealander kicked out of South Korea for refusing an HIV/AIDS test should be compensated.

Source: Breakfast

It has also taken South Korea to task for the tests on foreign teachers, which it says don't appear to be justified.

In 2009, the woman, who has been identified by media as Lisa Griffin, refused to take the test to renew her teaching certificate because it was "discriminatory and an affront to her dignity".

Griffin's employer, the Ulsan Metropolitan Office of Education, had said that HIV/AIDS tests were "viewed as a means to check the values and morality of foreign English teachers", the Geneva-based Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination says in a statement.

Local teachers were not required to undergo the same test.

The UN called on South Korea to grant Ms Griffin "adequate compensation for the moral and material damages she suffered".

The HIV/AIDS test "does not appear to be justified on public health grounds or any other ground and is a breach of the right to work without distinction to race, colour, national or ethnic origin".

It also urged it to review the employment of foreigners and to abolish, in law and practice, any legislation which creates or perpetuates racial discrimination.

The South Korean government should also counter any manifestations of xenophobia, through stereotyping or stigmatising, of foreigners by public officials, the media and the public at large, the committee said.

South Korea has said it scrapped the HIV/AIDS tests for expatriate teachers in 2010.

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