Ukraine adopts the National Tripartite Cooperation Strategy on HIV and AIDS in the World of Work

Article | 01 March 2012


Ukraine - March 2012

Issues

Issues

In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the number of people living with HIV almost tripled between 2000 and 20091. The Russian Federation and Ukraine together account for nearly 90% of newly reported HIV infections.

Ukraine has the highest adult HIV prevalence in this region, at 1.1% [1.0%–1.3%]. As the HIV epidemic spreads from people who inject drugs (predominantly male) to their sexual partners, the proportion of women living with HIV is growing. By 2009, women represented 45% of people living with HIV in the Ukraine, compared to 37% in 1999. Over 80% of people living with HIV are in the most productive age group of 15 to 49 years. This highlighted the need for action against HIV and AIDS in the world of work.

Ukraine demonstrated a strong leadership to strengthen the legal and policy environment to enhance action against HIV in the world of work.

Description

On 20 February 2012, the National Tripartite Socio-Economic Council (NTSEC) adopted the National Tripartite Cooperation Strategy on HIV and AIDS and the World of Work. The Strategy aims to consolidate the efforts of the tripartite constituents, encourage the development of public-private partnerships, promote gender equality, organize the collection of data for research, mobilize resources and ensure more effective collaboration with NGOs. The strategy is based on the ILO Recommendation concerning HIV and AIDS and the World of Work, 2010 (No. 200).

“I strongly believe that National Tripartite Cooperation Strategy on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work for 2012-2017 developed under the aegis of the National Tripartite Socio-Economic Council is an important document. It succeeded in consolidating efforts of the government and the social partners for the sake of HIV prevention in the world of work as one of the key components of the overall response to HIV epidemic in Ukraine”- Mr. Bronislav Morozovych, acting Head, NTSEC Secretariat.

The Strategy was developed as a result of continued advocacy, research and consultations amongst different stakeholders. Key steps leading to the adoption of the Strategy are as follows:

  • The Law on HIV and AIDS of 1972 was last amended in 2010 and entered into force on 15 January 2011. The amended law provides for the protection of rights, including the right to employment of people living with HIV, and calls for the involvement of enterprises in HIV prevention activities.
  • The Federation of Employers of Ukraine and the Union of Small, Medium and Privatized Enterprises of Ukraine developed and approved HIV prevention policies for their organizations with the support of ILO, GIZ and UNAIDS.
  • A gender analysis in the context of HIV and AIDS in the world of work was conducted to inform the Strategy.
  • Three trainings workshops were organized in 2011 to build the capacity of the tripartite partners to familiarize them with the ILO Recommendation No. 200 that calls for the development of national policies on HIV and AIDS and the world of work.
  • A Tripartite Expert Group was established in April 2011 to draft the Strategy. The group consisted of six members: two from the Government (the Ministry of Health and the State Labour Inspection Service), two from the employers (the Federation of Employers of Ukraine and the Association of Employers of Ukraine) and two from the unions (the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine and the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine).
  • The Expert Group drafted the Strategy and shared it with all relevant stakeholders for their comments/inputs.
• The draft was revised based on suggestions, validated and submitted to the National Tripartite Socio-Economic Council for approval. The NTSEC approved the strategy on 20 February 2012.
  • The draft was revised based on suggestions, validated and submitted to the National Tripartite Socio-Economic Council for approval. The NTSEC approved the strategy on 20 February 2012.


Lessons learned

    1. Development of national policies/strategies takes time and calls for regular follow up.

    2. Evidence-based consultations with key stakeholders, including people living with HIV, played a key role in building consensus.

    3. Advocacy and training based on the ILO Recommendation No. 200 were critical inputs into the process.

    4. Availability of a favourable legal environment helped.

    5. The Strategy should be integrated in related national policies and plans, including new State AIDS programme, which will be developed within the next two years.

Next steps

  • The strategy contains directions for its implementation. A tripartite working group will be established under the NTSEC to develop a work plan to give effect to the strategy in consultation with key actors. The work plan will be integrated in the next State Programme on HIV and AIDS.
  • ILO will continue to provide technical assistance to support the constituents in moving forward.

Ms. Larisa Savchuk, National HIV and AIDS Focal Point for Ukraine, ILO, larisa@mlsp.gov.ua
Ms. Ingrid Sipi-Johnson, HIV and AIDS Legal Officer, ILO, sipi-johnson@ilo.org
Mr. Syed Mohammad Afsar, HIV and AIDS Senior Technical Specialist, ILO, afsar@ilo.org

1 UNAIDS vision: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths. Fact sheet on Eastern Europe and Central Asia