ILO recommendation on HIV and Aids noted by Cabinet


Cabinet has noted the recommendation adopted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) concerning HIV and Aids and the World of Work (Recommendation No. 200).

Acting Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams said that Cabinet had noted it and approved the submission on the ILO recommendation to Parliament for noting.

Cabinet, at its meeting this week, also noted the revised South Africa Code of Good Practice on HIV and Aids and the World of Work, 2012 (HIV Code), including its technical Assistance Guidelines (TAGS).

"As a signatory of the ILO, South Africa is required to table this recommendation concerning HIV and AIDS and the World of Work, 2010 (No.200) to Cabinet and Parliament for noting, this will enable the effective development and implementation of national tripartite workplace policies and programmes on HIV and Aids.

"These include the revised SA Code of Good Practice on HIV and Aids and World of Work, the recommendations have already been endorsed through the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC),' said Williams.

The development and implementation of workplace policies and programmes on HIV and Aids facilitate access to prevention, treatment, care and support services for workers and their families and dependants, thereby also reaching out to the larger community.

The resulting Recommendation No. 200 constitutes an unequivocal commitment by the ILO?s constituency of member states and the representatives of employers and workers, in close collaboration with organisations of people living with HIV and partner international organisations, in particular UNAIDS, to tap into the immense contribution that the world of work can make to ensuring universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support.

The Recommendation reflects the need to strengthen workplace prevention efforts and to facilitate access to treatment for persons living with or affected by HIV and Aids.

It calls for the design and implementation of national tripartite workplace policies and programmes on HIV and Aids to be integrated into overall national policies and strategies on HIV and AIDS and on development and social protection.

It calls for respect for the fundamental human rights of all workers, including observance of the principle of gender equality and the right to be free from compulsory testing and disclosure of HIV status, while encouraging everyone to undertake voluntary confidential HIV counselling and testing as early as possible.

The Recommendation also invites member States to implement its provisions through amendment or adoption of national legislation where appropriate.

Where workers are free from stigma and discrimination on the basis of real or perceived HIV status, they and their dependants benefit from improved access to HIV education, information, treatment, care and support at the national and workplace levels.

Such access helps them to lead long and productive lives and to contribute to the national economy and the community. -

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Would these processes do enough to encourage equality in the workplace and what can be done further to promote equality?