“We are committed to working with our members to educate, involve and mobilize them to take on this challenge… They must not sit back and wait for others to do it or for others to lead. Our efforts, of course, are only part of the solution to this global crisis and must be a powerful force for change. It is, literally, a matter of life and death.”
Guy Ryder, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
Trade unions, long concerned with rights and working conditions of the labour force, now face the challenge of protecting the livelihood, health and lives of workers and their families from the threat of HIV.
Nationally and internationally, trade unions are able to mobilize extensive networks of members, negotiate workplace agreement, make use of experience in education and training and build on their influence in the community and with government. Trade union leaders play a crucial role in building the confidence of workers in HIV/AIDS policy and programmes by being involved in their implementation.
In addition to the ILO Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and its Education and Training Manual, the ILO has developed a number of policy guidelines and tools to support workers and their organizations in their initiatives including:
- Using the ILO Code of Practice and training manual - Guidelines for trade unions
- A workplace policy on HIV/AIDS: what it should cover
- Tuberculosis: guidelines for workplace control activities
- HIV/AIDS Behaviour Change Communication – A toolkit for the workplace
The ILO has been involved in activities for capacity building of workers and their organizations providing technical assistance for the development of their policies and programmes as well as for the training of their representatives in 70 countries around the world.