ILC 2010: Urgency to act for the respect of human rights catalyzes consensus within HIV/AIDS Committee

Geneva, 14 June 2010 – The Committee on HIV/AIDS and the world of work adopted its report today, together with the final text of the Recommendation on HIV/AIDS which will be submitted for adoption to the plenary session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) later this week.

News | 14 June 2010

Geneva, 14 June 2010 –The Committee on HIV/AIDS and the world of work adopted its report today, together with the final text of the Recommendation on HIV/AIDS which will be submitted for adoption to the plenary session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) later this week. High-level engagement and consensus on the urgency to act prevailed during this second and final round of discussion for the formulation of the first international human rights instrument to focus on HIV/AIDS and the world of work.

On behalf of the Rapporteur of the Committee, Ms Louise McDonough (Australia) presented the report while celebrating the work of the Committee as “an outstanding example of tripartism in action”.

The Chairperson of the HIV/AIDS Committee, Ms Thembi Nene-Shezi (South Africa) said the Committee “had made history” in the “crafting of this instrument which should be a source of pride for the ILO and its constituents”.

Over the 19 sittings of the Committee, delegates representing governments as well as employers’ and workers’ organizations discussed and reached consensus on 118 amendments without resorting to a single vote. Throughout the amendment process, committee members worked at formulating a recommendation all-inclusive in scope and as practical as possible. Universality of human rights, feasibility, efficiency, sustainability, and accountability were kept at the forefront of all discussions, spurred by a great sense of urgency to address the HIV pandemic.

The adoption of the recommendation is accompanied by a strong resolution for its follow-up, promotion and implementation, which also invites the ILO Governing Body to request regular reports from member States.

Wearing red t-shirts reading “Human rights at work”, committee members formed a human ribbon on the lawn of the Palais des Nations last Friday to celebrate the end of their discussions and express the hope opened by the proposed labour standard.

The report and the recommendation adopted by the Committee will be presented on 16 June to the plenary session of the 99th international Labour Conference. The record vote will take place on 17 June. The proposed Recommendation on HIV/AIDS and the world of work and the attached resolution will require a 2/3 majority vote to be adopted.