Joint ILO/UNESCO Southern African Sub-regional Workshop: Improving responses to HIV/AIDS in education sector workplaces

The tripartite workshop held in Maputo was organized under the auspices of an ILO-initiated programme begun in 2004-2005 to enhance a sectoral approach to HIV/AIDS education sector workplaces (the action programme on A sectoral approach to HIV/AIDS at the workplace). The programme was set up as a complement to the ILO’s Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS in the world of work, adopted in 2001, and became a joint ILO/UNESCO programme by mutual agreement. The Workshop, composed of representatives of Ministries of Education and Labour, teacher trade unions, private employers and National AIDS Councils/Commissions from Southern African countries, considered, modified and validated an HIV/AIDS Workplace Policy for the Education Sector in Southern Africa that was jointly developed by the ILO and UNESCO.

The model policy is based on key concepts and principles of the ILO code of practice on HIV/AIDS, the international Recommendations on teachers and related international labour standards. The policy is designed as a tool for adaptation and use by education practitioners - senior education sector management, private school employers and managers and education sector unions - in conceiving, implementing and evaluating their own policies to meet the needs of schools, technical and vocational training sites and universities in preventing the spread and limiting the impact of HIV and AIDS. It provides a framework for addressing HIV and AIDS as a workplace issue in education sector institutions and services through social dialogue processes, complementing other national workplace or overall education sector policies. The policy has been endorsed by the UN Inter-Agency Task Team on HIV and AIDS in education.