GENEVA (ILO News) – A proposed new labour standard on HIV/AIDS in the world of work has received solid support from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization during the annual meeting of the International Labour Organization (ILO) here.
Speaking at the International Labour Conference discussion on the new standard, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director Jan Beagle said, “UNAIDS is encouraged by the new standard which is ground breaking in its scope and reach as the first global human rights instrument to focus specifically on HIV and the world of work. With its strong focus on the protection and promotion of rights, the labour standard will give new impetus to anti-discrimination policies at national and workplace levels and will help strengthen HIV prevention strategies at the country level.”
Dr. Maria Neira, Director of the WHO Department of Public Health and the Environment said, “The implementation of the proposed new standard at workplaces will not only support human rights, but also make an important contribution to the prevention of all modes of transmission of HIV... We welcome the recommendations which deal with the role of the workplace in facilitating access to treatment, in decreasing stigma and avoiding discrimination, and make it an empowering environment for the protection of the workforce and society.”
The new standard is the subject of a second and final round of discussions between the government, and employer and worker organizations at the Conference. If adopted it will take the form of a Recommendation, one of the two kinds of labour standards that the ILO can adopt.
The proposed standard contains provisions on prevention programmes and anti-discrimination measures at national and workplace levels aimed at strengthening the contribution of the world of work to universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
Dr. Sophia Kisting, Director of the ILO Programme on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work said, “for the ILO, the engagement of governments and workers’ and employers’ organizations in the development of national tripartite workplace policies on HIV/AIDS will be a significant outcome of the new recommendation.”
A final decision on adoption of the standard will take place on Thursday 17th June. For information on the Recommendation and the ILO Programme on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work visit Questions and Answers on the proposed Recommendation on HIV/AIDS and the world of work
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