ILO conference adopts int’l labour standard on HIV and AIDS

The 99th International Labour Conference on Thursday adopted a new international labour standard on HIV and AIDS — the first international human rights instrument to focus specifically on the issue in the world of work. The new standard, adopted by representatives of governments, employers and workers following two years of intense and constructive debate, is aimed at strengthening the contribution of the world of work to universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, said a conference statement.

The standard, in the form of a Recommendation, contains provisions on potentially life-saving prevention programs and anti- discrimination measures at national and workplace levels.

It also emphasizes the importance of employment and income- generating activities for workers and people living with HIV, particularly in terms of continuing treatment.

The conference also adopted a resolution on the standard’s promotion and implementation, which invites the International Labour Organization (ILO)’s Governing Body to allocate greater resources in this respect.

The resolution also authorizes the establishment of a Global Action Plan to ensure the standard’s widespread implementation and regular reporting from ILO member states.

“With this new human rights instrument we can harness the strength of the world of work and optimize workplace interventions to significantly improve access to prevention, treatment, care and support,” said Sophia Kisting, director of the ILO Programme on HIV and AIDS and the World of Work.

“We cannot do it alone but this standard will, I believe, provide a major contribution to making the dream of an AIDS-free generation a reality,” Kisting said in the conference statement.


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