19 December 2012; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA (ILO news): The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the African Union Commission (AUC) signed a Letter of Intent marking the beginning of a collaboration to scale up the HIV and AIDS response programme in AU’s workplace.
The agreement aims at providing African Union staff with tools and programmes to reduce their vulnerabilities to HIV and create a non-discriminatory environment within the AU, its offices in Africa as well as its peace-keeping operations. According to the agreement, while the AUC will coordinate the programme, the ILO will provide technical support that will enable the Commission to implement it.
In her keynote address, Mrs Judica Amri Lawson, Deputy Regional Director for the ILO Africa Regional Office, emphasized that, “HIV and AIDS have a serious impact on society and economies, on the formal and informal workplaces, on workers, their families and dependents, on the employers’ and workers’ organizations and on public and private enterprises, and undermine the attainment of decent work and sustainable development”.
In light of this, The AU and ILO agreed to work together in the next months to design a comprehensive plan of activities and initiatives, including training, advocacy campaigns etc., to ensure that infections are reduced among AU staff, that morbidity and mortality are decreased and discrimination is eliminated at the workplace.
It is to be recalled that the Memorandum of Understanding that the ILO and the Organization of African Unity (before it changed to AU) entered on the 25th of November 1965, laid the ground for the policy that was adopted on April 1, 2009, during the 45th meeting of the African Union Commission. This policy takes into account the ILO Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work.
The ILO's Global Program on HIV and AIDS was launched in November 2000 following a resolution adopted by the International Labour Conference. The ILO became a cosponsor of UNAIDS in October 2001. As a cosponsor, the ILO works closely with other United Nations agencies, national AIDS coordinating bodies, and community-based organizations (CBOs).
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