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The 2011 UN General Assembly Comprehensive AIDS Review will take place from June 8 - 10, 2011. It will adopt a declaration that will serve as a road map that will govern the future of the global AIDS response.

Please join with us in writing to the Canadian Minister of Health to make sure that workplace-based responses to HIV and AIDS are included as part of the declaration.


The Letter

I support the call by the International Trade Union Confederation – Africa (ITUC-Africa) and Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) for the government of Canada to take a leadership role at the HLM on HIV/AIDS to incorporate and strengthen ‘workplace-based’ HIV and AIDS responses in the outcomes of the meeting.

We/I believe your intervention is vital to ensure that the workplace—the one venue that may be more commonly shared by people than any other—is not neglected in the global AIDS response.

We are also encouraged that Canada is considering the adoption of the ILO recommendation #200 “HIV/AIDS and the World of Work.” 

Until the barriers raised by stigma and discrimination are removed, every dimension of the AIDS response will be impaired.  With the vast majority of new infections affecting people of working age a workplace response is an imperative.  That is why Canada’s leadership and recognition of the importance of the workplace in halting and reversing the spread of HIV is so important not just for workers, but also their families. 

Canada could indeed become a model among industrialized countries for implementing the Recommendation as well as demonstrate how to build direct cooperation on AIDS issues with countries of the south.

The social and financial consequences of HIV & AIDS are unacceptable in [name your country] and in many other countries, especially in combination with other issues such as [poverty, illiteracy, inequality, food security, water and climate change] that we deal with each and every day. Nonetheless, Canada can make a huge difference in working with African governments to reduce these burdens by helping to shape the outcome of the HLM and the Declaration.

At the HLM we/I urge Canada to lake leadership in arguing for the following:

  • Support the principles underlining the workplace provisions of the 2006 UNGASS Declaration of Commitment & Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, which affirms the key role of civil society organizations, including trade unions (para #32) and identifies the world of work as a platform of change (para #49).
  • Strengthen workplace-based prevention programmes that promote trade union and employer collaboration tailored to the country-level circumstances of the epidemic, respond to gender concerns and ensure prevention measures for occupations at risk.
  • Amend the draft Declaration to clearly state support for ILO Recommendation #200 “HIV/AIDS and the World of Work”and call for a commitment by countries to adopt national implementation plans and strengthened cooperation among northern and southern countries.
  • Integrate activities for addressing HIV, AIDS and MDG goals within a framework to implement sustainable development, where decent work is recognized as a cornerstone.