Seames faces ableism claim

Seames faces ableism claim

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is urging the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Secretariat (Seames) to compensate a job applicant who was denied a position due to his disability.

NHRC member Wasan Paileeklee on Thursday said the complainant is a state official attached to the Education Ministry with a doctoral degree from the United States.

The applicant had received an education fund for his disability rights activism, Mr Wasan said.

Mr Wasan said the man applied for a position at Seames, an intergovernmental organisation comprising education ministers from Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

During the process, the complainant met every criterion and the organisation later sent a letter to the Education Minister of Thailand in November seeking approval for his employment, Mr Wasan said.

However, executive officials of the organisation later denied hiring the applicant after learning he was disabled, Mr Wasan said.

If true, the NHRC will consider the denial discriminatory as stipulated by Section 27 of the constitution and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which promote equal rights for disabled people.

An inspection showed that Seames claimed the physical condition of the applicant didn't meet the job qualification, while such details were not clearly defined in the first place. It also reasoned that the job requires coordination between domestic and international networks.

However, the NHRC said that Seames should've first gauged the applicant's abilities, such as by providing a probationary period for him.


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