Posted: Saturday, 1 December 2012
OTTAWA – On the occasion of World AIDS Day 2012, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), which represents 3.3 million Canadian workers, calls on governments across the globe to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets and achieve an AIDS‑free generation by 2015.
Although the global growth of new HIV infections has receded, an estimated 2.5 million people were newly infected last year. 1.7 million more died of HIV-related illnesses and 34 million people continue to live with HIV. Once again, this year’s figures underscore the need to step up efforts at HIV prevention, especially in the workplace.
A coalition of trade unions throughout Africa and Canada succeeded earlier this year in securing the G8’s commitment to strive for “an AIDS‑free generation by 2015,” to renew support for the Global Fund and to recommit to the goals of the Muskoka Initiative for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.
The CLC calls on national governments around the world to share responsibility and deliver promised resources to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, especially through workplace actions.
We renew our call for a concerted effort to carry out national implementation plans for the International Labour Organization (ILO) “Recommendation 200 concerning HIV and AIDS and the world of work.” The Canadian Government could set an example by implementing its own report on R200 and promote a zero-tolerance policy on HIV-related stigma and discrimination in all workplaces.
An AIDS‑free generation can only be achieved by meeting the Millennium Development Goals, which must be pursued with more vigour if these critical targets are to be met. Equality of access to treatment, care and support for those living with or affected by HIV is critical. But the priority must remain to prevent new HIV infections in the first place.