Employers and workers together

Back in 2003, the ILO hosted the Global Compact Policy Dialogue on HIV/AIDS. During this event, the Secretaries General of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) – now the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) - issued a historic joint statement committing their organizations and their members to collaborative action on HIV/AIDS at all levels, especially in the workplace.

Fighting HIV/AIDS together: A programme for future engagement is a statement of principle, as well as a declaration of commitment that clearly demonstrates one of the key principles of the ILO Code of Practice - social dialogue - being applied practically and effectively.

At regional level, a similar agreement was signed in September by ITUC African Regional Organization and the Pan-African Employers’ Confederation. This was warmly welcomed at the 10th Session of the ILO African Regional Meeting, in December 2003, and noted in the Resolution on the role of social dialogue in addressing HIV/AIDS in the world of work.

Other regional initiatives include the ITUC/IOE joint capacity-building meeting on HIV/AIDS for employers’ and workers’ organizations in Anglophone Africa (Kampala, December 2006) which was hosted by the National Organization of Trade Unions of Uganda (NOTU) and the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE), with support from the ILO.

On 30 and 31 March 2004, a meeting was held in Geneva to launch the IOE-ICFTU Joint Action Plans in Africa. For more information, see the IOE-ICFTU meeting to launch joint action plans on HIV/AIDS in Africa .

These policies and agreements are operationalized in countries where employers’, workers’ and their organizations work together, negotiate workplace policies and agreements to counter discrimination and stigma, include HIV/AIDS in existing entreprise structures, put programmes in place for prevention and care, and promote ‘know your status’ and access to treatment.