WCCC staff attended a workshop on HIV /AIDS and Human Rights which looked into the rights of the HIV positive victims and how we can create a safe and supportive environment.
Participants included representatives from NGOs, civil society and Government Ministries. HIV Community trainer from the Tonga National Youth Congress (TNYC), Mr. Poli Kefu highlighted the emphasis of the training of eliminating discrimination.
“I was shocked when it comes to these issues, even though we are a Christian country but when it comes to the issue of discrimination Tonga is one of the worst, reading the situational analysis of People’s perception on HIV – it was very sad. When the case is known the individual is treated badly. These alarmed me and make me to further on doing the awareness and the training of the population about HIV and Human rights”
Counselor Advocate of the WCCC Lesila To’ia also attended the training. “ I learnt a lot from this workshop, especially to firstly change my mindset, attitudes to be positive towards people and to respect their rights. Also to help in educating people about this issue and to stop stigma/ discriminating those that are affected.”
Related issues of HIV/AIDS were discussed by the participants and indicated that they are dealt with very poorly here in Tonga, “Mainly because of ignorance. The majority of the people do not really or fully understand these issues unless they are taught about” said To’ia.
Kefu believes that the training will guide him for conducting work in the future. “I liked the right to protection of confidentiality and some other rights which are to be withheld and that gave me a foundation to human rights”.