Saturday, December 03, 2005

Bigotry back in style I

WHO are you? (said the caterpillar):

As of Dec. 1, all vacancy notices include a line stating that the U.N. health agency does not promote tobacco use or recruit smokers, Simpson said. Applicants are asked if they smoke or use other tobacco products, and if they answer "yes," the application process is terminated.


The ban on recruitment of smokers is legal under international law, which governs operations at WHO and other U.N. agencies regardless of location, Simpson explained. The ban, therefore, applies across all the agency's sites, including offices in New York, he said.

When asked whether WHO would soon stop hiring obese people or those drinking alcohol, spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said the agency was aware that its new rules "may seem discriminatory or even politically incorrect" to some. But she stressed that WHO needs to align its own employment practices with its principles.

"WHO tries to encourage people to try and lead a healthy life. There is safe sex, one can drink alcohol in a reasonable way and one can attempt eating in a balanced fashion," Chaib said. "But with tobacco, there is no middle ground, it is black and white and it kills half of those consuming it."

Expect WHO to start testing new-hires to make sure they know correct condom etiquette next?


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