Thursday, April 5: Trade unions throughout Africa are promoting a recently issued Canadian report on AIDS as an international model for government action in the workplace.
The report, produced by the Public Health Agency of Canada, examines the Canadian compliance to International Labour Organization (ILO) Recommendation 200 adopted in 2010 by the ILO on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work.
Both Canadian and African unions are encouraging the G8 Summit in May to support the implementation of this recommendation. The African regional organization of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa) and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) have joined forces to encourage Canadian government leadership in convincing other governments to endorse the recommendation at the G8 and to undertake similar assessments of their own.
The Canadian report is available at: http://documents.clc-ctc.ca/international/ILO-Rec-200-Can-Rpt-final-EN.pdf
The Canadian unions say the strength of the Canadian report lies in that it has involved the cooperation from government, employers, trade unions and others to produce it. The report examines gaps and opportunities. In a recent letter to Prime Minister Harper, the CLC has asked that he convene a meeting of these groups to discuss follow-up to the report and to help fashion joint solutions.
African unions are seeking the support of Canadian embassies for undertaking national assessments – comparable to Canada's – of the ILO Recommendation in their own countries. To make the point, African unions in over 20 countries are currently setting up meetings with Canadian embassies, consulates or field offices, asking them to deliver their message to Prime Minister Harper directly.
Backing up ITUC-Africa and the CLC are some of Canada's largest unions: Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), Canadian Federation of Nurses Union (CFNU), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). They have put their weight behind the G8 campaign, believing they can help put a dent in the spread of the pandemic once and for all.
As part of the 2012 G8 campaign, unions want to highlight that workplace HIV/TB prevention programs are underutilized elements in the global AIDS response. Workplace programs can help implement a 'treatment as prevention' strategy. Unions have also argued for workplaces to become HIV discrimination-free zones since stigma and discrimination on the job persist at intolerable levels for many workers.
It's important that the UN Political Declaration on AIDS targets the workplace as a focus, urging member states to implement the ILO Recommendation 200 as a national road map to protect human rights, eliminate stigma and discrimination, and expand AIDS prevention.
See the background document: http://documents.clc-ctc.ca/international/2012-TU-G8-HIV-AIDS-Backgrounder-EN.pdf
Join the Petition Campaign: Click on the following link and sign the petition to deliver a message to Canada's Prime Minister Harper: http://cupe.ca/action/hiv-aids
Help collect signatures from a paper copy: http://documents.clc-ctc.ca/international/HIV-G8-Petition-printable.pdf
Join us on Facebook: "I Support an AIDS Free Generation by 2015!"
For more information contact:
En Afrique/in Africa:
Contact : M. Yahya Msangi
CSI-Afrique, Route Internationale d'Atakpamé,
P.B.: 4401, Lomé, Togo
Téléphone : 228 22250710
Télécopieur : 228 22256113
Au Canada / in Canada :
Contact : M. David Onyalo
Congrès du travail du Canada
2841, promenade Riverside, Ottawa, Ontario K1V 8X7
Téléphone : 613.521.3400
Télécopieur : 613.521.4655