Response stories

Empowering equality: fighting discrimination against HIV in Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alen (name changed) reached out to the NGO “Partnerships in Health”, about his positive HIV status (with which he has lived for 13 years). His disclosure to his employer led to adverse treatment, including an abrupt halt in his work attendance without explanation. Initially, his department head indicated work was unnecessary, assuring him of continued salary, a situation enduring 13 years, leaving Alen increasingly isolated and eager to return to work.

Attempting to resume work and address potential social exclusion, Alen contacted his employer, only to be instructed to stay home, contrary to his hopes. After 20 years of service, the company mandated a disability pension assessment without specific reasons. Despite a medical certificate affirming his job fitness, regardless of his HIV status, Alen faces potential discrimination and ambiguity regarding the disability assessment and his workplace exclusion, raising concerns about employment law and anti-discrimination regulations.

To confront these issues, “Partnerships in Health” commits to supporting Alen comprehensively by engaging in legal representation. An attorney will offer legal counsel and serve as Alen’s representative in related legal proceedings to resolve employment issues effectively. This proactive approach underscores the organization’s dedication to safeguarding Alen’s rights and addressing complexities through legal channels. Advising Alen against the assessment presently and urging written communication with his employer the attorney aims to gather evidence for potential future legal action. “Partnerships in Health” remains steadfast in its mission to uphold the rights of individuals facing discrimination, ensuring equitable treatment in the workplace.

Also read:

A test of strength: fighting for truth and justice in Armenia

“I have my right to work”: the resilience of a person living with HIV working in a hospital in North Macedonia