July 13, 2004

IV. Violations in Access to Work and at the Workplace

Women and men are routinely tested for HIV as a condition for access to work in two of the Dominican Republic's most important industries: the tourism industry and the export processing industry in free trade zones.[55]Domestic law prohibits the administration of HIV tests as a condition for work, but the law is not implemented, and many workers Human Rights Watch spoke to did not even know the testing was illegal.Both the tourism industry and the export processing industry are essential to the country's development strategy for generation of foreign currency and, indeed, employment.Women, in particular, look to the tourism industry[56] and free trade zones for work.[57]

Involuntary HIV testing as a condition for work is a violation of the human right of all individuals to have the opportunity to gain their living by freely chosen work without discrimination of any kind, as protected by articles 6 and 2(2) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).[58]The lack of effective legal protection also constitutes a violation of the right to equal and effective protection against discrimination of any kind, contained in article 26 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).[59]

Dominican domestic legislation specifically prohibits HIV testing as a condition for obtaining or remaining in a job, setting the sanction for companies that practice such testing at 30,000 to 100,000 pesos [U.S.$667 to U.S.$2,222],[60] plus compensation in the amount of one year of salary for the affected worker.[61]This law is honored in the breach. Many women workers told Human Rights Watch that they were subjected to involuntary HIV tests in both the tourism and export processing sectors with the clear intent of denying them work or firing them if they tested positive.

The testimony of Gabriela Lpez illustrates the impact that these violations can have. Lpez, twenty-four, had known for about two years that she was HIV-positive. She had five children, ages one to eight, and said she was infected by her husband who had raped her repeatedly. "He took me by force.He was jealous.He was a bit violent, I guess.He said 'Oh, yes, you will.I want sex.Do you have another man?'"Lpez said she agreed to sex to prevent her husband from beating her.Condom use was never discussed.Lpez became the sole provider for her children in 2002 after she tested positive for HIV during her last pregnancy because her husband decided at that point to move in with his mother."He has brushed away any responsibility.He does not have anything to do with these children now."[62]

In her attempt to make enough money to feed her children, Lpez tried to get a job in the free trade zones and the tourism industry.In both sectors, she was fired from jobs for being HIV-positive.At the free trade zone job, she said "They did a test.They did not tell me what it was.They just took my blood, right there.Then they fired me.I had been working for three months."In the hotel industry, she said the company apparently relied on hearsay to guess her HIV status and then fired her.She believed that she was dismissed due to her HIV status because they fired her immediately after she told colleagues about her husband's hospitalization."The same day my husband came out of the hospital [for an AIDS-related illness] they fired me."She had worked at the hotel for several months.Lpez now maintains herself and her children through random jobs."Day after day I have this difficulty, are they going to accept me or not. My son says 'Mommy, I want a cookie,' but I don't have anything."[63]

Involuntary Testing in the Touris m Industry

I looked for work again at [a hotel in Bvaro].I spent 1,000 pesos [U.S.$59] [64] to get my papers ready.They did the interview.They sent me to do analysis. The next day they tell me that they can't give me a job because I have HIV.Just like that.I had used money that I did not have to go to the interview.They said, "We can't give work to someone like that."I did not know until then that I had HIV.
-Sergia Bez, thirty-three years old[65]

Two recent independent studies note that HIV testing as a condition to gain or retain employment in the tourism industry is widespread.[66]This conclusion is confirmed by the evidence Human Rights Watch gathered.Bayardo Gmez, founder of an NGO that has engaged with the hotels on the northern coast to convince them to stop illegal HIV testing practices, told Human Rights Watch that many hotels carry out HIV testing as part of a misguided marketing strategy to be able to declare their hotels "AIDS free" for tourists.[67]

The Caribbean has been a popular tourist destination for American and European tourists for decades.Spanish-speaking Caribbean destinations, led by the Dominican Republic, emerged as major Caribbean tourist destinations in the latter part of the 1990s.[68]In the Dominican Republic from 1992 to 1999 the tourism industry grew 74 percent in terms of number of stay-over arrivals, 467 percent in terms of cruise arrivals, and 102 percent in terms of visitor expenditure.By 1999, the Dominican Republic had the highest number of hotel rooms of any Caribbean country-whether Spanish-, French-, or English-speaking-at almost 50,000 rooms.[69]The hotel sector suffered from the tourism decline following the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.However, the Dominican tourism industry is reported to have suffered less than that of other countries.[70]Indeed, despite the post-September 11 tourism crisis, the devaluation of the Dominican peso against the U.S. dollar in 2002 contributed to an increase in the number of American tourists traveling to the Dominican Republic to over 710,000 from 666,000 in 2001.[71]

Human Rights Watch spoke to several women living with HIV who had been fired or not hired in the tourism industry, presumably because of their HIV status.Antonia Martnez, for example, told Human Rights Watch that she had looked for a job in October 2001 at Playa Dorada, one of the most popular vacation destinations for European and American tourists.She was tested for HIV on the spot. "They take your blood themselves and they send it to a laboratory.They said that they could not give me work [and that] they do not give work to people with HIV.The head of personnel called me [to tell me]. I can't look for work now."[72]

Human Rights Watch spoke to hotel employees who said that HIV testing was routine for hiring in the hotel industry, and in many cases was followed up by periodic retesting.Those who test positive were fired or simply never hired."You can't work here if you are not healthy," said one hotel receptionist.[73]A hotel manager told Human Rights Watch that the hotel she worked at retested employees for HIV about every six months, and that they generally fired HIV-positive employees within two to three days after receiving the test results.[74]

Involuntary Testing in Free Trade Zones

I went to the free trade zone.They sent me to do a pregnancy test and an HIV test.They send you to a laboratory.They take your blood. Then they send the results to the boss. ... Then the boss tells you there is no work.
-Judelka de la Cruz, thirty-one years old[75]

Many companies operating in the Dominican Republic's free trade zones routinely tested job applicants for HIV and pregnancy.[76]Those who were HIV-positive were not hired.Most often, the company required a blood sample for testing and did not disclose to the potential employee which specific tests were done.The results were generally sent directly to the company's personnel department without informing the tested individual.In some companies, employees were retested periodically or even arbitrarily because of rumors that they were HIV-positive.

Since their creation in 1969, free trade zones have played an important role in the Dominican Republic's economy.In 2001, free trade zone exports accounted for 32 percent of the Dominican Republic's total exports of goods and generated net exports of nearly U.S.$1.7 billion, or 7.9 percent of the GDP.[77]Those numbers have been increasing in recent years and are predicted to continue to do so.

In 2002, the free trade zones employed approximately 171,000 persons, 70 percent of them in the textile manufacturing sector.[78]Women constitute the majority of the workforce in free trade zone industries, including pharmaceuticals, textile manufacturing, electronics, tobacco, and plastic products.[79]Jobs in the free trade zones are an important source of employment for women nationwide but have only a marginal impact on employment rates for men, who have many more employment opportunities within other sectors of the Dominican economy.[80]

Forty-two-year-old Aracela Lantgua, had worked at four different companies in two free trade zones in Santo Domingo over the past two decades, and was also active in the movement of people living with HIV in Santo Domingo.She found out that she was HIV-positive in 1985, when she was tested during a hospital visit.Her husband died from AIDS-related diseases in 1996.She therefore already knew that she was HIV-positive when she was fired from a free trade zone company in 1999 after they tested her, she believes, for HIV."When I was fired, they said they were laying off people.That's what they say-it is a method they use. They told us to take our clothes and go to a laboratory. They fired everyone with HIV, everyone."Lantgua explained to Human Rights Watch that she believed many companies cover up the fact that they are carrying out illegal HIV testing: "They give you a list of analyses and they send you to a laboratory.They say [the test] is for pregnancy, but it is blood, and from that they [test for] everything.If you have HIV, they don't tell you that you have HIV.They tell you something [to fire you], but not that [you have HIV]."[81]

Rosa Polanco, thirty-four, believed she was tested for HIV and pregnancy before she was offered a job at a shoe-manufacturing company at a free trade zone in Santiago in 2001.At that point, she said, she must have been HIV-negative because she was offered a job.She had been working for one year and eight months at this company when she was hospitalized for two months with a liver infection.During her hospital stay, she was tested for HIV without her consent, and a doctor told her that she had HIV in front of her daughters.[82]"When I came back to work, there were rumors that the father of my children had died from [AIDS].They sent me to do the test.They took a group out [to get tested for HIV] so that it would not be suspicious.I lasted about a week.Then they did a reduction of the personnel.The others [who were laid off] were trainees-they had worked there very little time.They included me in that group."[83]

Some companies discriminated against allegedly HIV-positive employees solely based on rumors.Dominga Cspedes, thirty years old, found out that she was HIV-positive when she was pregnant with her third child in 2000.She was fired from a company in a free trade zone some time later: "Someone told my husband's cousin [that I have HIV], and she told them at the factory.They called me to tell me that they were laying off personnel.I got one week. I saw that they were hiring persons, so they did not have to lay off anyone, and that's how I found out [that they had fired me because of my HIV status.]"[84]

Human Rights Watch research suggests that companies operating in free trade zones generally tested female job seekers for HIV through private laboratories either within the zones or in nearby cities.Human Rights Watch spoke to representatives from commercial laboratories that carried out HIV testing for companies in the free trade zones in two cities in the northern part of the Dominican Republic,[85] the area with the largest concentration of free trade zones.[86]Both laboratory representatives confirmed that they were contracted by companies in the nearby free trade zones to carry out HIV testing of job seekers.One laboratory manager said: "We do many different tests for the free trade zones. With HIV it depends on the employer, because with HIV there is a law that says you cannot do it [test for HIV], so that is only upon request from the company.They have to authorize it."[87]

When laboratories and companies transfer personal information regarding the HIV status of a job applicant or employee to third parties-including companies-without that person's authorization, their actions are inconsistent with the right to privacy, as protected by article 17 of the ICCPR.[88]

Adverse Effects of Involuntary Workplace Testing

If I didn't have HIV, I would be working, I would be with my children. I feel less worthy than other persons because people treat me like a parasite in society.I would like to be useful again.
- Rosa Polanco, thirty-four years old[89]

The main effect of involuntary HIV testing in the workplace was unemployment, underemployment, and a general sense of disempowerment and lack of legal protection for women living with HIV.Moreover, the lack of public information on workers' rights in this area created the notion that all or most companies tested for HIV upon application for a job, even where this was not the case.Consequently, many women living with HIV decided not to apply for jobs because they did not want to risk exposing their HIV status.

Those who were excluded from the job market because of their HIV status often suffered long-term consequences, including permanent unemployment.Many women living with HIV were abandoned by their partners and left as sole providers for children.The economic hardship brought on by discrimination in access to work was therefore compounded by further economic burdens.As a consequence, some women found themselves forced to engage in work they would otherwise never have considered, including sex work.

Cristable de Yasmn, a thirty-two-year-old mother of three including a nine-year-old HIV-positive daughter, was visibly ashamed to tell Human Rights Watch that her economic situation sometimes forced her to sell sex.She struggled to hold back tears as she explained how her "normal waitress job" sometimes turned into sex work when she was particularly strapped for money."If someone offers you money [for sex] then there is no choice.I don't want to, and I don't always do it, but sometimes, I am a single mother, I have to make some money."[90]

Human Rights Watch interviewed many women who were unable to find gainful employment after they had been tested and fired either in the tourism industry or in the free trade zones.However, a more pervasive effect of the testing was its chilling effect.Virtually all women living with HIV we interviewed who had previously worked in the formal sector said they had stopped applying for jobs for fear of being tested, denied work, stigmatized in their communities, and eventually abandoned by their partners.Margarita de la Cruz, thirty-four, used to work in the hotel industry as a manager but has not attempted to get a job since she tested positive for HIV three years ago. "Now it is very different, I don't want them to do that [HIV test] to me."[91]Fatima Prez said that she had thought about looking for work, but "what happens is that those of us who live with this [HIV], all doors are closed to us.I am afraid to look [for work], because they will do the test."[92]

Since women were more likely to know their HIV status than men, they were also more likely to refrain from applying for jobs for fear of involuntary HIV testing and thus potentially more affected by the consequences of illegal HIV testing for access to work.Further, many women were tested for HIV and excluded from the workforce because of their HIV status while they were highly capable of work.Perhaps the most common testimony we gathered from women living with HIV was a desire to work and-through work-to regain some sense of autonomy, control, and dignity."All I want is a job," Sergia Bez told Human Rights Watch."I know that with a job and my willpower, I will move on."[93]

Government Response

The government has not intervened in any meaningful way to prevent or respond to blatant violations of the rights to nondiscrimination and privacy perpetrated by employers in the Dominican Republic.Both international and domestic law prohibits HIV testing as a condition to gain or retain employment, and domestic law establishes sanctions for companies that breach this prohibition.[94]The government has taken few steps to implement these provisions, and none that compel companies to adhere to the law.Companies may be quite aware that HIV testing is illegal, yet they have little incentive to stop this practice.

The Ministry of Labor has three mechanisms designed to ensure adherence to the domestic Labor Code and other relevant legislation such as the AIDS law.First, local offices of the Labor Ministry employ labor inspectors.The role of the labor inspectors is to visit companies upon request or at the inspector's own initiative, interview employers and employees freely, and report violations of the Labor Code and other work-related legislation to the Ministry of Labor.[95]Second, companies with more than twenty employees are obliged to form bi-partite[96] "hygiene and security committees" that operate within the company to oversee and address problems relating to industrial hygiene and security.[97]By law, these committees must cooperate closely with the Directorate on Security and Health at Work within the Ministry of Labor and report problems or infractions periodically.In order to benefit from the national health insurance, workers must participate or collaborate with the hygiene and security committee in their company.[98]Finally, the Ministry of Labor operates an office within the ministry that provides free legal aid to assist individuals with work-related problems.[99]

To date, none of these mechanisms has been genuinely engaged to prevent illegal HIV testing or other discrimination on the basis of HIV status.Paola Marte, from the HIV/AIDS Workplace Unit in the Ministry of Labor, told Human Rights Watch that the reason labor inspectors did not enforce the prohibition on HIV testing for access to work is that they have not received any training to do so.[100]However, the AIDS law provisions prohibiting HIV testing for work purposes have been in force for over a decade, are quite clear, and should have been implemented independently of any training.Moreover, the Dominican government has an obligation to provide the necessary training in a timely manner to ensure that domestic legislation is enforced.

Paola Marte noted that the hygiene and security committees are equally ill-equipped to deal with issues regarding HIV-related workplace discrimination, also due to lack of training.[101]By law, the Ministry of Labor must disseminate information regarding all relevant legal norms and regulations to the committees to ensure that these committees are able to fulfill their monitoring role. [102]So far, according to a public official we spoke to, the Ministry of Labor has failed to provide information on the illegality of involuntary HIV testing to the committees.[103]

The legal assistance office could have brought cases of alleged discrimination in the workplace because of a worker's HIV status, but a staff lawyer from this office told Human Rights Watch that, to his knowledge, the office has had no such cases.[104]The office does not seek out cases proactively, and its success as an enforcement mechanism consequently depends on the general population knowing how and where to bring cases of alleged violations.Human Rights Watch interviews suggest that such knowledge was lacking.We interviewed many women living with HIV who had been tested as a condition to gain or retain work, and who had only learned later, from NGOs and HIV/AIDS support groups, that this kind of testing was illegal.We also spoke to several women who did not know where to make a complaint.This implies insufficient effort on the part of the government in conveying to the general public that job seekers and employees have a legal right to refuse HIV testing and that the Ministry of Labor provides legal assistance in cases of alleged discrimination.

The women we interviewed who did know about the law and thought they had legitimate claims of discrimination, moreover, did not press charges since this could potentially expose them as HIV-positive.[105]The United Nations International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights (U.N. Guidelines), which provide guidance in interpreting international legal norms as they relate to HIV and AIDS, counsel that "people living with HIV/AIDS should be authorized to demand that their identity and privacy be protected in legal proceedings in which information on these matters will be raised."[106]According to a public official we spoke to, no such possibility exists in the Dominican Republic.[107]

Spurred by international funding, the Dominican Republic government recently embarked upon a much needed project to address HIV/AIDS in the workplace.In 2002, a coalition of public and private agencies, including the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Health, the Institute for Technical and Professional Training, the Dominican Social Security Institute, the Employers Confederation, the Presidential AIDS Council, the NGO Coalition on AIDS, and the National Trade Union Council came together with SMARTWork, an organization funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, to sign the Multisectoral Collaborative Agreement for HIV/AIDS Workplace Prevention.The agreement required signatories to develop plans that specify how each agency or organization would address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the workplace in the Dominican Republic.As one of the signatories, the Ministry of Labor developed and published its four-year plan in May 2003.The stated objective of the plan is to "[p]romote healthy and decent work through the adoption of policies and programs for the prevention of HIV/AIDS in companies."[108]In late 2003, the Ministry of Labor started implementing a small part of this project through the training of labor inspectors in HIV/AIDS prevention and monitoring.As of mid-April 2004, half of the eighty-plus inspectors in the capital had been trained, though none were based outside the capital.This is an important step in the right direction.

There is no plan, however, to improve the ministry's response to violations of the domestic AIDS law with regard to illegal HIV testing.Government officials and NGO representatives confirmed that ministry inspectors will not at this point be trained on the imperative to investigate and sanction companies that conduct HIV testing as a condition to gain or retain employment.[109]

[55] In 2002, the free trade sector employed 171,000 persons, most of them women, and generated about 80 percent of Dominican Republic's exports.Consejo Nacional de Zonas Francas de Exportacin de la Repblica Dominicana, "Informe Estadstico 2002," 2002.The tourism industry generated over 40 percent of the Dominican Republic's GDP in 1999, in visitor expenditures alone.Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, A Review of Caribbean Tourism in the 1990s and at the Beginning of the New Century (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, February 26, 2003) LC/CAR/G.734 [online] http://www.cepal.org/publicaciones/PortOfSpain/4/LCCARG734/G0734.pdf (retrieved March 23, 2004), p. 12.

[56] Demographic and Health Surveys, Repblica Dominicana: Encuesta Demogrfica y de Salud 2002, table 3.6 p. 59, table 3.19, p. 76; and Banco Central de la Repblica Dominicana, Departamento de Cuentas Nacionales y Estadsticas Econmicas, "Poblacin de 10 aos y ms por condicin de actividad segn gnero y rama de actividad econmica".

[57] Consejo Nacional de Zonas Francas de Exportacin de la Repblica Dominicana, "Informe Estadstico 2002", p. 3.

[58] International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966), ratified by the Dominican Republic in 1978, articles 2(2) and 6.Article 2(2) reads: "The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to guarantee that the rights enunciated in the present Covenant will be exercised without discrimination of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.Article 6 reads: "1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safeguard this right. 2. The steps to be taken by a State Party to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include technical and vocational guidance and training programmes, policies and techniques to achieve steady economic, social and cultural development and full and productive employment under conditions safeguarding fundamental political and economic freedoms to the individual."

[59] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966), ratified by the Dominican Republic in 1978, article 26.Article 26 reads: "All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law.In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status."

[60] The exchange rate used is 45 Dominican pesos to one U.S. dollar, the rate on March 26, 2004.

[61] Ley 55-93 sobre SIDA [AIDS law], articles 3(a) and 36.

[62]Human Rights Watch interview with Gabriela Lpez, La Romana, January 13, 2004.

[63] Ibid.

[64] The exchange rate used is seventeen Dominican pesos to one U.S. dollar, the average rate in 2001 at the time of the incident.

[65] Human Rights Watch interview with Sergia Bez, Santo Domingo, January 15, 2004.

[66] See Juan A. Llado, La Situacin de la Oferta y la Demanda de los Servicios de Salud para los Empleados Hoteleros de la Costa Este [The Situation of Supply and Demand of Health Services for Hotel Employees on the East Coast] (Santo Domingo: AccinSIDA/Academy for Educational Development, November 2, 2001).Magdalena Rathe, Dayana Lora, and Laura Rathe, Impacto Socio-Econmico del VIH-SIDA en el Sector Turstico de la Repblica Dominicana: Un Estudio de Caso en la Costa Este.

[67] Human Rights Watch interview with Bayardo Gmez, director, Center for Advancement and Human Solidarity [Centro de Promocin y Solidaridad Humana, CEPROSH], Puerto Plata, January 22, 2004.

[68] Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, A Review of Caribbean Tourism in the 1990s and at the Beginning of the New Century, p. 15.

[69] Ibid.

[70] Magdalena Rathe, Dayana Lora, and Laura Rathe, Impacto Socio-Econmico del VIH-SIDA en el Sector Turstico de la Repblica Dominicana: Un Estudio de Caso en la Costa Este, p. 19.

[71] In 2000, 644,000 U.S. tourists arrived in the Dominican Republic by air.Banco Central de la Repblica Dominicana [Central Bank of the Dominican Republic], "Llegada Mensual de Pasajeros, Va Aerea, Por Nacionalidad 2001"[Monthly Arrival of Passengers, By Air, By Nationality 2001] [online] http://www.bancentral.gov.do/lleg_men_nac2001.html (retrieved April 5, 2004); Banco Central de la Repblica Dominicana, "Llegada Mensual de Pasajeros, Va Aerea, Por Nacionalidad 2002"[online] http://www.bancentral.gov.do/lleg_men_nac2002.html (retrieved April 5, 2004); and Banco Central de la Repblica Dominicana, "Llegada Mensual de Pasajeros, Va Aerea, Por Nacionalidad 2000" [online] http://www.bancentral.gov.do/lleg_men_nac2000.html (retrieved April 5, 2004).

[72] Human Rights Watch interview with Antonia Martnez, Puerto Plata, January 20, 2004.Playa Dorada is a stretch of beaches on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic.

[73] Human Rights Watch interview with [name withheld], receptionist, Paradise Beach Resort and Casino, Playa Dorada, January 21, 2004.

[74] Human Rights Watch interview with [name withheld], front area manager, Paradise Beach Resort and Casino, Puerto Plata, January 20, 2004.

[75] Human Rights Watch interview with Judelka de la Cruz, La Romana, January 12, 2004.

[76] Though this report focuses on illegal HIV testing as a condition for work, it should be noted that pregnancy testing as a condition to gain or retain employment also is prohibited by international law.Human Rights Watch has documented sex discrimination in the workplace in many countries, including the Dominican Republic.See Human Rights Watch, "Pregnancy Based Sex Discrimination in the Dominican Republic's Free Trade Zones: Implications for the U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)," A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper, 2004; Human Rights Watch, "A Job or Your Rights: Continued Sex Discrimination in Mexico's Maquiladora Sector," A Human Rights Watch Report, 1998; Human Rights Watch, "No Guarantees: Sex Discrimination in Mexico's Maquiladora Sector," A Human Rights Watch Report, B806, 1996; Human Rights Watch, From the Household to the Factory: Sex Discrimination in the Guatemalan Labor Force (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2002); and Human Rights Watch, "Women's Work: Discrimination Against Women in the Ukrainian Labor Force," A Human Rights Watch Report, Vol. 15, No. 5(D), 2003.

[77] Economist Intelligence Unit, Dominican Republic: Country Report October 2003 (United Kingdom: The Economist Intelligence Unit, October 2003), data used from table on p. 5.

[78] Consejo Nacional de Zonas Francas de Exportacin de la Repblica Dominicana, "Informe Estadstico 2002," p. 3.

[79] Ibid., p. 30.

[80] Banco Central de la Repblica Dominicana, Departamento de Cuentas Nacionales y Estadsticas, "Poblacin de 10 aos y Ms por Condicin de Actividad Segn Gnero y Rama de Actividad;" and Consejo Nacional de Zonas Francas de Exportacin de la Repblica Dominicana, "Informe Estadstico 2002", p. 30.

[81] Human Rights Watch interview with Aracela Lantgua, Santo Domingo, January 11, 2004.

[82] Polanco also faced abuses in the health sector.See below footnote 143 and accompanying text.

[83] Human Rights Watch interview with Rosa Polanco, Santiago, January 19, 2004.

[84] Human Rights Watch interview with Dominga Cspedes, La Romana, January 12, 2004.

[85] Human Rights Watch interview with [name withheld], Laboratorio Garca & Garca, Santiago, January 19, 2004; Human Rights Watch interviewwith [name withheld], Laboratorio Clnico, Puerto Plata, January 22, 2004.

[86] Consejo Nacional de Zonas Francas de Exportacin de la Repblica Dominicana, "Informe Estadstico 2002."

[87] Human Rights Watch interview with [name withheld], Laboratorio Garca & Garca, Santiago, January 19, 2004.

[88] ICCPR, article 17.Article 17 reads: "1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation. 2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."

[89] Human Rights Watch interview with Rosa Polanco, Santiago, January 17, 2004.

[90] Human Rights Watch interview with Cristable de Yasmn, Puerto Plata, January 20, 2004.

[91] Human Rights Watch interview with Margarita de la Cruz, San Pedro de Macors, January 14, 2004.

[92] Human Rights Watch interview with Fatima Prez, Santiago, January 19, 2004.

[93] Human Rights Watch interview with Sergia Bez, Santo Domingo, January 15, 2004.

[94] Ley 55-93 sobre SIDA [AIDS law], article 3 and 36.

[95] Ley 16-92, Cdigo de Trabajo (Law 16-92, Labor Code), May 29, 1992, articles 433 and 434.

[96] Bi-partite entities refer to entities with representatives from both the employer and the employees.

[97] Secretara de Estado de Trabajo [Ministry of Labor], Direccin General de Higiene y Seguridad Industrial [Directorate for Industrial Hygiene and Security] "Reglamento sobre Higiene y Seguridad Industrial" [Rule on Industrial Hygiene and Security], Rule No. 807 (Santo Domingo: Secretara de Estado de Trabajo, 1966), articles 68 to 74.The Directorate for Industrial Hygiene and Security has been replaced by the Directorate for Security and Health at Work.

[98] Ley 87-01 de Seguridad Social [Law 87-01 on Social Security], article 4.

[99] Ley 16-92, Cdigo de Trabajo [Law 16-92, Labor Code], May 29, 1992, article 427.Article 427 establishes that the government may set up an office for legal assistance for workers and employers at its discretion.

[100] Human Rights Watch interview with Paola Marte, coordinator, HIV/AIDS Workplace Unit [Unidad VIH-SIDA en los Lugares de Trabajo], Ministry of Labor [Secretara de Estado de Trabajo, SET], Santo Domingo, January 30, 2004.

[101] Human Rights Watch interview with Paola Marte, coordinator, HIV/AIDS Workplace Unit, Ministry of Labor, Santo Domingo, January 30, 2004.

[102] Secretara de Estado de Trabajo, Direccin General de Higiene y Seguridad Industrial, "Reglamento sobre Higiene y Seguridad Industrial", article 74.

[103] Human Rights Watch interview with Paola Marte, coordinator, HIV/AIDS Workplace Unit, Ministry of Labor, Santo Domingo, January 30, 2004.

[104] Human Rights Watch phone interview with Israel Gonzlez, lawyer, Department of Legal Assitance [Departamento de Asistencia Legal], Ministry of Labor, Santo Domingo, April 15, 2004.

[105] Human Rights Watch interviews with Sergia Bez, Santo Domingo, January 15, 2004; with Fatima Prez, Santiago, January 19, 2004; with Alicia Lpez, Santiago, January 19, 2004; with Sandra Vargas, Puerto Plata, January 22, 2004.

[106] Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, HIV/AIDS and Human Rights International Guidelines(from the second international consultation on HIV/AIDS and human rights 23-25 September 1996, Geneva) (hereinafter U.N. Guidelines) (Geneva: UNAIDS, 1998), U.N. Doc. HR/PUB/98/1, para. 30(c).

[107] Human Rights Watch phone interview with Israel Gonzlez, lawyer, Department of Legal Assitance, Ministry of Labor, Santo Domingo, April 15, 2004.

[108] Secretara de Trabajo, Plan de Trabajo de la SET para la Prevencin del VIH/SIDA en Lugares de Trabajo, Perodo 2003-2007 [Work plan for the Ministry of Labor for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS in the Workplace] (Santo Domingo: Secretara de Trabajo, May 2003), unpublished document on file with Human Rights Watch, p. 3.

[109] Human Rights Watch interview with Paola Marte, coordinator, HIV/AIDS Workplace Unit, Ministry of Labor January 30, 2004; and Human Rights Watch interview with Elizardo Puello, executive director, Coordination Board for Socio-Cultural Activity (Coordinadora de Animacin Socio-Cultural, CASCO), January 7, 2004.