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UN HIV/AIDS PERSONNEL POLICY and THE UNDP “WE CARE” INITIATIVE IN THE WORK PLACE Milly Katana, Global Advisor JPO Regional Workshop, 25-29 Nov. 2002. 2. Background to “We Care” Initiative.

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UN HIV/AIDSPERSONNEL POLICY andTHE UNDP “WE CARE” INITIATIVE IN THE WORK PLACEMilly Katana, Global AdvisorJPO Regional Workshop, 25-29 Nov. 2002


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2

Background to “We Care” Initiative

  • UN HIV/AIDS Personnel Policy approved by the Executive Heads of all UN organizations, through the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), in April 1991

  • The June 2001 UN General Assembly-Special Session on HIV/AIDS, calling for development of workplace policies that protect the rights and dignity of people living with HIV/AIDS in the workplace

UN HIV/AIDS Personnel Policy


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Why We Care Now?

  • The Spread of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic is Reversible

  • UN Agencies are advocating for Generating an Extraordinary Response:

    Nation-wide

    Multi-sector

    Gender sensitive

  • Response, with Results


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Why should the UN Care?

  • Because HIV/AIDS is a problem affecting the UN the same way it affects the rest of the community

  • Silence surrounding the epidemic is making it difficult in many countries for SMs and eligible dependants to benefit from existing care schemes

  • UNDP has a global mandate of creating an enabling environment for countries to effectively respond to HIV/AIDS

  • The enabling environment must, first and foremost, be created in the UN work place


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Why the Initiative?

  • The value UN places on its staff and other personnel to deliver its mandate

  • The commitment of the Administrator to fully support staff members and their dependants who are affected and living with HIV/AIDS

  • The opportunity to enhance the caring culture of UN for its staff who face serious situations that may impair them from performing their duties


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Aims of the “We Care” Initiative

  • To stimulate reflection and discussion on complex issues underlying the HIV/AIDS challenge so as to engage all SMs and other personnel in a common action that will support an HIV/AIDS competent workplace

  • To enhance capacity of UN country offices to support SMs and their dependants, with particular emphasis on access to care and treatment


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“We Care” Initiative: Objectives 1

  • To ensure full implementation of the UN Personnel Policy on HIV/AIDS and the ILO Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS in the world of Work

  • To ensure that all SMs and their dependants have at any given time 100% access to antiretroviral treatment

  • To facilitate access to adequate care, treatment and support to all SMs


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“We Care” Initiative: Objectives 2

  • To ensure that all SMs and their eligible dependants have access to voluntary confidential counseling and testing (VCT)

  • To enhance prevention through information, education and training so as to reduce personal vulnerability

  • To ensure protection of the rights of those affected by HIV/AIDS

  • To provide a supportive workplace environment free from discrimination and stigmatization of those affected and or living with HIV/AIDS


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Mode of Implementing the “We Care” Initiative

  • Phase 1:

    Formal Training for Staff in 18 countries

    Launch activities in 10 countries

    Phase 2:

    Assessment of performance of the initial 10 countries and expansion to an additional 10 countries


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Resources Available for Implementation

Specific Resources

  • The “We Care” Team

  • The “We Care” Project Manager

  • Provision for External Facilitators

  • The Global “We Care” Advisor

  • Budget of up to $30,000 for year 1 activities

    General Resources

  • The Office of Human Resources (OHR) Team in HQ

  • The Special Initiative on HIV/AIDS Team in the Bureau for Development Policy (BDP)

  • Expertise from all UN Agencies operating at Country Level


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11

UN HIV/AIDS Personnel Policy: Highlights

  • A. Information and education

  • B. Testing, counselling and confidentiality

  • C. Terms of appointment and service

  • D. Health insurance benefits

UN HIV/AIDS Personnel Policy


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Other UN Workplace Initiatives

  • Access, Care, Treatment and Inter-Organizational Needs (ACTION) financed by UNAIDS

  • Caring for Us-Financed by UNICEF

    Other efforts

  • Inter-agency Task Team on HIV/AIDS in the World of Work

  • Inter-agency Advisory Group on HIV/AIDS

  • UNAIDS Learning Strategy, etc


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Key themes of the ILO Code

  • Prevention of HIV/AIDS

  • Management and mitigation of the impact of HIV/AIDS in the workplace

  • Care and support of workers infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS

  • Elimination of stigma and discrimination on the basis of real or perceived HIV/AIDS status


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Overriding Principle in the Code of Practice

  • The key principle for implementation is applying the Rights-based approach to HIV/AIDS in the work place

  • It has 10 general principles


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Recognition of HIV/AIDS as a workplace issue

Non-discrimination

Gender equality

Health work environment

Social dialogue

Prohibition of screening for purposes of exclusion from employment

Confidentiality

Continuation of employment

Prevention

Care and support

10 Principles in the ILO Code


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Important Policy Issues to Remember-1

  • UN Staff living with HIV/AIDS are entitled to the same rights and opportunities as other staff with serious and life threatening illnesses

  • Health Insurance coverage is available for all eligible UN staff and their dependants regardless of HIV/AIDS Status

  • UN SMs and their dependants must be provided with up-to-date information to enable them to protect themselves and their dependants, and to cope with the presence of HIV/AIDS in their lives as well as within UN work environment


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Important Policy Issues to Remember-2

  • UN/UNDP does not oblige any SMs or other personnel living with HIV/AIDS to inform the organization or any of his/her colleagues of his/her status

  • No UNDP SMs and other personnel can be forced to take an HIV test

  • Confidential and Voluntary Counseling should be available to all UN/UNDP staff members and their dependents

  • All UN SMs and other personnel, together with their dependants should have access to a consistent supply of quality condoms


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Important Policy Issues to Remember-3

  • All UN SMs and other personnel must have access to disposable syringes and needles

  • All UN SMs and other personnel must have access to safe blood and plasma expanders

  • UN SMs and other personnel who are living with HIV/AIDS must not be subject to any form of stigmatization, harassment or discrimination, and have the right for their medical information to be kept confidential


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What’s there-1

  • Goodwill among top management to support staff

  • Basic information on HIV/AIDS

  • Efforts to raise the profile of HIV/AIDS not only among UN agencies but country wide

  • Formal training among some UN agencies in management of HIV/AIDS as a workplace issue

  • Inter-agency collaboration in workplace programs


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What’s there-2

  • Prevention technology support including condoms

  • Death in the staff ranks from HIV/AIDS

  • Staff members directly affected by HIV/AIDS

  • “Confidence” that enough intervention is in place

  • The MIP and Van Breda Schemes for Health Care


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What is missing-1

  • Trust and confidence among staff in top management and the institution to deal with HIV/AIDS

  • Clarity on what is available in terms of policy between HQs and COs

  • A deep appreciation of how HIV/AIDS affects UNDP as an institution

  • Denial among especially national SMs on the risks posed by HIV/AIDS on the UN workforce in the countries


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What is missing-2

  • Clarity on the difference between program support and in-house support to SMs and dependants

  • Delineating staff support to other agencies (not UNDP)

  • Actionable intentions for supporting SMs to build confidence in the organization

  • Active support to personnel who are not on a fixed-term arrangement with the organization


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What is missing-3

  • Time committed to staff development


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What is Possible-1

  • To match the goodwill and actions that support SMs and dependants to deal with HIV/AIDS

  • Alignment at all levels on issues of policy and practice

  • Resource Mobilization in-country for staff activities


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What is Possible-2

  • Generating a deeper understanding among SMs on HIV/AIDS and how it affects us in the UN

  • Engaging all SMs to integrate HIV/AIDS in their different work-lives/areas

  • Use of the UN RC system to support other workplaces in strengthening their interventions


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What is Possible-3

  • Assign some permanent SM the responsibility of staff welfare including HIV/AIDS

  • Having an AIDS competent UN workplace free from fear, stigma and discrimination


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Formal Training-18

Angola

Botswana

Cameroon

Central African Republic

Fiji

Haiti

India

Kazakhstan

Kenya

Malawi

Mozambique

Namibia

Nigeria

Congo-DR

South Africa

Uganda

USA

Zimbabwe

10-Demonstration Countries-2002-3

Botswana

Egypt

Haiti

Lesotho

Malaysia

Mozambique

Namibia

South Africa

Swaziland

Ukraine

Additional 10 countries 2003-4

WE CARE COUNTRIES


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Cambodia

Ethiopia

India

Ivory Coast

Nigeria

Rwanda

Senegal

Tanzania

Uganda

Zambia

Zimbabwe

A.C.T.I.O.N. COUNTRIES-11


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Way Forward

  • Continued support to the teams in the Initial 10 countries-Networking and capacity enhancement

  • Additional 10 countries-2003

  • By 2005, scale up the Initiative to all UN country Offices


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Selection of the Countries

  • Emphasis on the levels of prevalence

  • A balance on regions


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