Ombudsman Commission urges private sector to be cautious of people’s right to choice regarding mandatory vaccination

The “No Jab, No Job” move by the private sector has prompted the Ombudsman Commission to call on the private sector to act with caution when it comes to the constitutional rights of citizens regarding mandatory vaccination imposed by private sector.

The Ombudsman Commission has noted with concern that more and more organisations, especially the private sector, have imposed No Jab, No Job policies in their workplaces which borders on the rights of citizens who have chosen not to be vaccinated.

“Whilst the Commission is mindful of the private sector’s rights and obligation to protect their businesses, we urge them to come up with arrangements that does not infringe on people’s right to choose.  People must have a choice and that choice must not be taken away from them,” said the Chief Ombudsman Richard Pagen.

The Commission is urging the private sector to explore all possible avenues to protect the rights of employees who choose not to take the vaccine.

The Ombudsman Commission does not have jurisdiction over the private sector, but as a supervisor of public administration, it is committed to the protection of constitutional rights of the citizens of the Country. And  even though it (the Ombudsman Commission) does not have a specific mandate on human rights enforcement, it however has the mandate to inquire into matters of discrimination pursuant to Section 218 (b) and Section 219 (1) (c) of the Constitution.

This anti-discrimination and equal opportunity jurisdiction is an added source of the mandate that gives the Ombudsman Commission the responsibility to supervise the enforcement of these constitutional rights which falls squarely within its general jurisdiction.

Hence, the Ombudsman Commission maintains that it is important to prevent discrimination happening to the citizens of Papua New Guinea in relation to the COVID 19 vaccine mandates.

The Commission is also calling on relevant government authorities dealing with private companies and entities to ensure that they are aware of their actions when it comes to people’s right and freedoms.

 “The Ombudsman Commission is fully aware that PNG is a signatory to several core Human Rights Treaties and that it’s National Constitution is very unique that it almost contains all the rights and freedoms enshrined in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. As a signatory to these UN Human Rights Treaties and Conventions, we as a Country have an obligation to assist our citizens to ensure that their rights and freedoms are not taken away and that their choices are respected”, said the Chief Ombudsman

The Ombudsman Commission urges all who have been affected by the vaccine mandates or have been treated unfairly at work to lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman Commission.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Jacob Pesul

    Very good statement posted here for the sake of our people. It is good that private sector can give their emplyees the freedom of choice whether to take or not! This No Jab No Job thing sacred most of us who are working with private sector and some us were forced to leave but later they gave us choice. But for other private sector, one of my cousin sister who have currently employed PNG Jacks at Vision City was force to resign if not they told her you have to be vaccinated and she got it already. I think that is not really good and it is against our constitutional law and rights in our own FREEDOM Country PNG. Please fight for those are not vaccinated in the private sector and public sector as well.

    Jacob Pesul

  2. Maylyn

    Thank you for standing up for the unvaccinated employees. Great duty

  3. NAZEL Watts

    we the employees of MAPAI Transport Limited here in Lae will be shut out of the gate by tomorrow Monday 18th October..
    Vaccinated go to work.
    Unvaccinated go back home, no work.

  4. Simon Auh

    Individual human rights must be respected at all costs.

  5. Tounie Sambai

    Thank you Ombudsman commission to make your stand on this issues that have been or are about to affect us (unvaccinated) regarding no jabs no job policy put in place by the firms. Please keep on protecting our constitutional rights.

  6. Barbara Gunzel

    Thank you very much really appreciate what you have done to us people of PNG and that’s our rights.
    We the unvaccinated are humans just like the vaccinated so we should be treated equally.
    Thank you Ombudsman Commissioner and may God Bless 🙏 you all, Amen

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