The involvement of the ILO in the global response to HIV/AIDS started in 1988, when it held a joint consultation with the World Health Organization (WHO) on AIDS and the workplace.
In 1999 a tripartite meeting in Namibia drafted a Platform of Action on HIV/AIDS in the context of the world of work in Africa, which was then endorsed at the ILO's 9th African Regional Meeting in Cote d'Ivoire.
A Resolution concerning HIV/AIDS and the world of work was adopted at the 88th Session of the International Labour Conference (June 2000) and the ILO Programme on HIV/AIDS (ILO/AIDS) was formally established in November 2000.
The ILO Governing Body adopted a pioneering Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work which was launched at the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS in New York in June 2001. The ILO Code of Practice, which is now available in more than 50 languages, has been applied extensively at the national, sectoral and enterprise levels to develop HIV/AIDS policies and programmes in the world of work.
The ILO joined in October 2001 the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), which coordinates the UN system response to HIV/AIDS. The ILO has been working closely since then with the UNAIDS Secretariat and its UNAIDS fellow cosponsors: UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank.
A new international labour standard on HIV and AIDS and the World of Work
In March 2007, the ILO Governing Body decided to place a standard-setting item on the agenda of the International Labour Conference in 2009 and 2010 for the development of an international labour standard on HIV/AIDS and the world of work.
The ILO Recommendation concerning HIV and AIDS and the World of Work, 2010 (No. 200) was adopted by governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations at the 99th International Labour Conference in June 2010 with an aim to strengthen national responses to HIV and AIDS.
Recommendation No. 200 lays out a comprehensive set of universal principles that all workers in all sectors of economic activity in the public and private sectors as well as in the formal and informal economies, at all stages of their working life. These rights also extend to their family members and dependants.
In March 2011, the Governing Body of the ILO adopted a Global Action Plan, which sets out the actions proposed to be taken by the Office in providing technical and advisory support to the constituents to assist them in giving effect to Recommendation No. 200.