Workshop On HIV And AIDS Workshop

A number of health and other officials gathered at the Fort Young Hotel on Tuesday July 17th, for a Skills-Building Workshop on the Development of a National Workplace Policy on HIV and AIDS and other Chronic illnesses.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Labour Commissioner in the Ministry of National Security, Immigration and Labour, Mr. Matthew Leblanc says this workshop is to ensure there is a decent working environment for all employees.

He said at the end of day one of the two day workshop, a committee will be selected among the participants who will work with a consultant, who is to be nominated by the participants for this consultation to be considered by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Executive Director of the Dominica of the Dominica Employers’ Federation Mr. Achille Joseph pointed out that, because the pandemic of HIV and AIDS is eating away at the productive sector, employers have to address it, since it is a growing issue.

He said that although scientific data shows aids cannot be spread by touch, no one wants to be in contact with someone with the disease.

Mr. Joseph also added that, the environment employees work in should be safe and healthy.

He added that the major issue in this country is fear which operates as a catalyst at the workplace, although there is a workplace policy, which is serving the employers well.

Mr. Joseph went on to say, they will be making improvements to the workplace document which they will send out to all employers.

General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union, Mr. Thomas Letang says Trade Union is pleased with effort of (ILO) to develop this policy.

Mr. Letang says he hopes that this policy, will have the anticipated impact on improving life for all, and that stakeholders should spare no costs in promoting the policy which is very important.

Minister of National Security, Immigration and Labour, Honourable Charles Savarin says, AIDS and chronic illnesses is one of the formidable challenges for development especially in developing countries.

Mr. Savarin pointed out that the Caribbean has been identified as 2nd to having the highest infections in the world, and governments have to take charge.

He went on to say with this breakthrough we can expect new drugs to fight this epidemic going forward.

Director of International Labour Standards Department in the International Labour Organization Ms. Cleopatra Henry says, this policy is required by the ILO recommendation #200, which is the first instrument of this policy.

The workshop will end on Wednesday July 18th.

© 2012 SAT Telecommunications Ltd.

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