UN's Ban asks S. Korea to drop HIV test requirement

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 16, 2010 14:24

EOUL, South Korea — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging South Korea to scrap a requirement that foreign teachers take an HIV test, an official said Tuesday.

South Korea dropped a travel ban in January for most foreigners with the virus that causes AIDS, drawing praise from the United Nations. But it still requires foreign teachers, most of whom teach English, to take HIV tests. The ban is largely the result of pressure by parents.

In a meeting last week with Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik in Seoul, Ban urged that the HIV test requirement be abolished, said Yoo Sung-sik, a spokesman for Kim. Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, was in Seoul to attend a summit of the Group of 20 leading economies.

Kim told Ban he would carefully review the request, Yoo said.

South Korea has faced calls to protect foreign workers from discrimination, and the government is eager to show the nation is changing into a modern society. It's unclear, however, whether the government will heed Ban's call to drop the requirement.


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