Response stories

First REAct Successful HIV Discrimination Court Case

The REACT system in the Republic of Moldova was launched in December 2019.

For the first half of 2020, 115 appeals from representatives of key groups and people living with HIV were documented.

One of the first registered cases was about discrimination against an HIV-positive person in employment:

December 2019
“A 30-year-old man was hired as a loader at Bomba in November 2019. A month later, the man was dismissed from his post due to the fact that he has a positive HIV status, as well as due to the fact that he has a criminal record, which is associated with multiple discrimination. All the difficulties in the workplace arose for the beneficiary, as he was forced to disclose his HIV status to his immediate supervisor. Even from the day when he was forced to reveal his status, he could no longer work, as being obliged to submit several health certificates, although he had held this position for more than a month. In addition, the recordings of conversations with company representatives clearly indicate that the reason for the firing is HIV-positive status since the working group does not accept an HIV-positive person.”

*Name has been changed

The client was immediately referred to a project lawyer from the Positive Initiative organization. An application was drawn up to the Council for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Ensuring Equality. The Council ascertained the fact of discrimination against this person on the basis of social status (former prisoner) and HIV status (HIV-positive) and made a corresponding decision. Further, the lawyer O.A. “Positive Initiative” went to court and defended the interests of the applicant in this process.

And so, on November 23, 2020, in the building of the capital’s court in the Center sector, a decision was announced in the case of discrimination by the Bomba company. Judge Lupashku Natalya partially granted the motion filed by M.A., the discriminated and dismissed person from this company, and ruled to:

  • Cancel the order to dismiss M.A. from the position of a loader;
  • Reinstate him on the position
  • Recover material damage (collection of unpaid wages due to forced absence from work, a fine for delay and moral damage) from the company “Bomba” in favor of the plaintiff

This is an important victory and a precedent for the Republic of Moldova, in which justice has shown that it is an ally in eliminating discrimination from our society.

“We are pleased with the results of the review of the process. We hope that this court decision will send a message to the whole society that the phenomenon of discrimination is unacceptable and will not be allowed, ”said Andrei Lungu, O.A. “Positive Initiative”.

Read also:

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on human rights in Moldova. First observations

Discrimination against pregnant women living with HIV in a maternity hospital

You might be also interested in:

An analytical report for the first half of 2020 has been published.