T he TUC and its affiliates were instrumental in formulating policies aimed at combating discrimination against HIV/AIDS sufferers at the workplace.
The TUC has made a significant contribution towards the ICFTU Project aimed at preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, combating discrimination and alleviating suffering, implemented in co-operation with Africa Regional Organisation (AFRO). The ICFTU initiative involves nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa where the disease is having a devastating impact. TUC Aid - charitable arm of the TUC - co-sponsored with the LO-Norway a training workshop for shop stewards held in Lusaka, Zambia, in April 2002. In addition, the TUC Aid paid for the printing of the English and French versions of the HIV-AIDS Manual for shop stewards and sponsored two other training workshops in Nairobi, Kenya, and in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
In 2004, the TUC sponsored part of the ICFTU-AFRO Campaign on HIV/AIDS in Mozambique and funded the printing of the Swahili version of the training manual. This year, it is meeting the cost of reprinting and distribution of both the English and French Manuals to be used by shop stewards in training programmes in Anglophone and Francophone countries in Africa. Moreover, in our development co-operation initiatives, especially in Health and Safety, there has often been emphasis on prevention of HIV/AIDS. A section on HIV/AIDS was integrated into the Training Manual developed in collaboration with the Industrial Health Research Group of the University of Cape Town in South Africa under the Training of Health Professionals in the Diagnosis of Occupationally related Diseases Project.
The TUC has been promoting the ILO Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work as a practical guide for formulating appropriate workplace policies, prevention and care programmes. It also made a written submission to the House of Commons International Development Committee inquiry into the impact of HIV/AIDS on developing countries' social and economic development in 2000. In 2004, the TUC made another submission to the DfID on the Governments strategy on HIV/AIDS. It has also been involved in the campaign for increased resources for the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. The General Secretary has written to the Prime Minister, drawing his attention to the need for more resources for the Global Fund.
A major conference attended by some 150 delegates on the Workplace Response to the Global Challenge of HIV/AIDS was held in Congress House in December 2004, with Sir Bill Morris, former General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) in the chair, in collaboration with affiliates, ICFTU, ILO, National AIDS Trust and other interested organisations. Mr Stephen Lewis, UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS, Mr Gareth Thomas, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, Dr Franklyn Lisk, Director of the ILO Programme on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work, Ms Clementine Dehwe, Global Unions HIV/AIDS Co-ordinator and Mr Peter Busse, HIV/AIDS Consultant and Trainer from South Africa were among the key speakers.
A number of workshops on themes closely related to the workplace response to the disease were held in collaboration with agencies with appropriate expertise. The TUC is planning follow-up action on the recommendations of the Conference and hopes to assist affiliates in their efforts to develop workplace policies and programmes on HIV/AIDS.
Briefing document (600 words) issued 4 May 2005
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