Extra! Korea

October 26, 2010

HIV rules relaxed for foreigners … except for E-2 visa holders

Filed under: expatriates, health, xenophobia — extrakorea @ 2:25 pm

The Ministry of Health and Welfare has announced that the rules regarding HIV and foreigners will be relaxed … except for E-2 visa holders. This is in contrast to the changes announced (and reported by Chris) in July. Why?

The policy will remain in place for E-2 visa holders – foreign language teachers – because of strong public opposition.

Come again?

“Education is considered a very intimate relationship. According to an unofficial survey by the Prime Minister’s Office, the majority of parents wanted solid evidence of their children’s teachers’ HIV status,” said an official of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

“The continuation does not mean the government regards foreign teachers to be HIV positive or have the potential of transmission ― it is just intended to assure the parents. We are considering revisions in this area, too,” he added.

So, instead of trying to educated these prejudiced parents, the government has chosen instead to pander to their stereotypes.

A National Human Rights Commission officer said in an interview with The Korea Times that the regulation infringes upon human rights.

Benjamin Wagner, a professor at Kyung Hee University, filed a complaint with the agency last year, claiming that the visa regulations were based on unfounded biases and prejudices that Westerners were promiscuous and used drugs.

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