HIV and AIDS Workplace Policy Developed
Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education is in the process of developing an HIV and AIDS workplace policy. UNESCO Harare supported this process through the Department for International Development (DFID) project on strengthening HIV and AIDS programmes in higher and tertiary educator sector in Zimbabwe.
In a series of consultations, key stakeholders reviewed existing policy frameworks that guide the development and implementation of HIV and AIDS workplace policies which include Zimbabwe’s Public Service Commission HIV and AIDS Policy, Zimbabwe’s Behavioural Change Strategy and the UNESCO / International Labour Organisation (ILO) HIV and AIDS Workplace Policy for the Education Sector in Southern Africa among others.
Representatives from the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture, International Labour Organisation, United Nations Population Fund, National AIDS Council, Zimbabwe National Commission for UNESCO, teacher’s unions and civil society attended these consultations.
The policy is expected to assist the education sector in:
- Preventing further HIV infection
- Ensure recognition of HIV and AIDS issues in the workplace
- Create a supportive environment for HIV infected and affected personnel and learners
- Protect the rights of all employees infected and affected by the epidemic.
In 2005, UNESCO and the ILO initiated a project to assist member states in developing HIV and AIDS workplace policies and related resource materials for use by education staff and stakeholders at national and institutional levels.
In line with the provisions of the project, representatives from seven countries including Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia, attended a workshop to explore ways of improving responses to HIV and AIDS in education sector workplaces.
Recommendations from this workshop called for the development of a regional workplace policy to guide the development of national documents. Key outcomes from this workshop were the UNESCO / ILO HIV and AIDS Workplace Policy for the Education Sector in Southern Africa.