Key principles

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4. Key principles
(a) trade union representatives, namely, representatives designated or elected by trade
unions or by members of such unions; or
(b) elected representatives, namely, representatives who are freely elected by the work-
ers of the undertaking in accordance with provisions of national laws or regulations
or of collective agreements and whose functions do not include activities which are
recognized as the exclusive prerogative of trade unions in the country concerned.
Vulnera bility refers to socio-economic disempowerment and cultural context, work
situations that make workers more susceptible to the risk of infection and situations
which put children at greater risk of being involved in child labour (for more detail see
Appendix I).
4. Key principles
4.1. Recognition of HIV/AIDS as a workplace issue
HIV/AIDS is a workplace issue, and should be treated like any other serious illness/
condition in the workplace. This is necessary not only because it affects the workforce,
but also because the workplace, being part of the local community, has a role to play in
the wider struggle to limit the spread and effects of the epidemic.
4.2. Non-discrimination
In the spirit of decent work and respect for the human rights and dignity of persons
infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, there should be no discrimination against workers on
the basis of real or perceived HIV status. Discrimination and stigmatization of people liv-
ing with HIV/AIDS inhibits efforts aimed at promoting HIV/AIDS prevention.
4.3. Gender equality
The gender dimensions of HIV/AIDS should be recognized. Women are more likely
to become infected and are more often adversely affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic
than me n due to biological, socio-cultural and e conomic reasons. The greater the gender
discrimination in societies and the lower the position of women, the more negatively
they are affected by HIV. Therefore, more equal gender relations and the empowerment
of women are vital to successfully prevent the spread of HIV infection and enable wom-
en to cope with HIV/AIDS.
4.4. Healthy work environment
The work enviro nme nt should be healthy and safe, so far as is practicable, for all con-
cerned parties, in order to prevent transmission of HIV, in accordance with the provisions
of the Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155).
A healthy work environment facilitates optimal physical and mental health in relation
to work and adaptation of work to the capabilities of workers in light of their state of
physical and mental health.
4.5. Social dialogue
The successful implementation of an HIV/AIDS policy and programme requires co-
operation and trust between employers, workers and their representatives and govern-

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