Department of Labor (DoL)
The DoL implements Emergency Plan workplace-targeted projects that focus on prevention and reduction of HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination. DoL has programs in over 23 countries and has received PEPFAR funding for projects in Guyana, Haiti, India, Nigeria, and Vietnam. As of March 2006, DoL programs that work with the International Labor Organization and the Academy for Educational Development have helped 415 enterprises adopt policies that promote worker retention and access to treatment. These programs have reached more than 2,500,000 workers now covered under protective HIV/AIDS workplace policies. DoL brings to all these endeavors its unique experience in building strategic alliances with employers, unions, and Ministries of Labor, which are often overlooked and difficult to target.
DoL programs focus on three major components:
- Education - Increasing awareness and knowledge of HIV/AIDS by focusing on a comprehensive workplace education program, including the ABC approach and linkages with counseling, testing, and other support services.
- Policy - Improving the workplace environment by helping business, government, and labor develop and implement workplace policies that reduce stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS.
- Capacity - Building capacity within employer associations, government, and trade unions to replicate workplace-based programs in other enterprises; improving worker access to counseling, testing, and other supportive HIV/AIDS services.
The result is a direct contribution to the objectives and goals incorporated into the Emergency Plan to prevent new infections and offer care and support. Appropriate policy development to overcome discrimination and ensure continued employment is in itself an essential first step in care and support. Workplaces where workers and managers have already received training and policies are in place can be strategic locations for counseling and testing, care, support, and other services.
Another extensive DoL international technical assistance program focusing on child labor also involves the International Labor Organization, UNICEF, and non-governmental and faith-based organizations, in order to implement programs targeting HIV-affected children who must work to support themselves and/or their families, as well as children who have been forced into prostitution.