BANGKOK (ILO News) - Thousands of Thai workers infected with HIV or whose lives have been affected by the disease are at the heart of a new initiative to develop a national policy on HIV/AIDS and the world of work, the focus of a two-day ILO workshop starting in Bangkok tomorrow.
The National Workshop on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work will bring together some 100 participants from the Thai Government, the business community, employers’ and workers’ organizations, non-governmental organizations and UN agencies. MOLSW Permanent Secretary Mr. Elawat Chandraprasert, will open the workshop at 9am on Thursday 13 September, at the Siam City Hotel. The recently developed ILO Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work will provide an important basis for discussion. The Code is part of the ILO’s efforts to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS in the workplace, providing guidance on prevention, as well as testing, screening, and confidentiality, non-discrimination in employment and gender issues.
The ILO estimates that at least 23 million of the 36 million people infected with HIV worldwide are working people, aged between 15 and 49 years. Some 3.5 million of these working people live in Asia. The workshop will consider the impact of the epidemic at the workplace in Thailand; and will stress the importance of actively involving employers and workers in developing policy responses, including HIV/AIDS education programmes at the workplace.
Speakers will include:
- Mr. Franklyn Lisk, Director, ILO/AIDS – coordinating the ILO’s global response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
- Mr. Johan Strydom, ILO consultant, human resources manager with the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, responsible for the company’s initiatives on HIV/AIDS. Pilot programmes currently include reaching out into communities where employees live, focusing on behaviour change, as well as care and support for people infected with HIV, or affected by the disease.
- Dr. Anthony Pramualratana, Executive Director, Thailand Business Coalition on AIDS, and author of a soon-to-be-released study on the impact of the epidemic in industrial estates in Rayong Province, commissioned by the ILO.
- Mr. Nick Ruskin, co-author of the ILO Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work.
Further information is available from
Mr. Franklyn Lisk, Director, ILO/AIDS,
tel. + (662) 247 0123;
Mr. Gunnar Walzholz, HIV/AIDS Focal Point, ILO Bangkok,
tel. + (662) 288 1765, fax. +(662) 288 3043, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org