World Aids Day - 1st December 2009

ILO Director-General says HIV/AIDS programmes crucial in crisis response

The ILO’s Global Jobs Pact adopted earlier this year to address the global economic and jobs crisis, can play a crucial role in an effective workplace response to the impact of the crisis on people living with HIV/AIDS, ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said in a statement issued for World AIDS Day on 1 December.

Press release | 30 November 2009

GENEVA (ILO News) – The ILO’s Global Jobs Pact (Note 1) adopted earlier this year to address the global economic and jobs crisis, can play a crucial role in an effective workplace response to the impact of the crisis on people living with HIV/AIDS, ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said in a statement issued for World AIDS Day on 1 December.

Mr. Somavia said that “in times of economic crisis it is the most vulnerable that tend to be hit first and hardest. Those living with or affected by HIV and AIDS often belong to the most vulnerable segments of society. Suffering multiple disadvantages, they see their livelihoods and their very lives threatened.”

“The Global Jobs Pact calls for workplace programmes on HIV/AIDS as part of an effective crisis response. It also advocates a social protection floor so that all have access to basic social services, and income transfers for the poorest.” Mr. Somavia explained.

The policy recommendations outlined in the Global Jobs Pact emphasize action to protect people, a vital element the ILO considered missing from many of the various stimulus packages so far enacted. The Pact out-lines tried and tested social protection and job creation measures, which are designed to help ensure a sustainable route out of the economic crisis.

In addition to the Pact, the ILO’s International Labour Conference in June 2010 will consider a new international labour standard on HIV/AIDS and the world of work. The Recommendation would include provisions on prevention programmes and anti-discrimination measures at national and workplace levels, and strengthen the contribution of the world of work to universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.


Note 1 – Faced with the prospect of a prolonged global increase in unemployment, poverty and inequality, and the continuing collapse of enterprises, the ILO’s tripartite constituents of Governments and Workers’ and Employers’ organizations adopted a Global Jobs Pact in June 2009. It was subsequently endorsed by ECOSOC, the G8 and G20. The Pact proposes a range of crisis-response measures that countries can adapt to their specific needs and situations and offers a portfolio of options based on successful examples and is designed also to inform and support action at the multilateral level.