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OAS funds major HIV/AIDS "In The Workplace Project”

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Monday, April 14, 2003 - The Organisation of American States (OAS) has agreed to fund a US $50,000 HIV/AIDS project for Saint Lucia. “HIV/AIDS in the Workplace” was submitted by the Department of Labour Relations under its Occupational Health and Safety Policy.

As explained by Minister for Labour Relations, the Honourable Velon John, the project is linked to strides being made to provide mechanisms for improving occupational health and safety conditions in the workplace, through well managed occupational hygiene programmes. “The objectives of this sub sector are as follows: the maintenance and promotion of workers health, safety and working capacity and the improvement of the working environment, and work culture in a manner that supports health and safety at work and augmentation of productivity.”

The Memorandum of Understanding between the government of St. Lucia and the OAS Secretariat was signed in November 2002.

The programme will seek to implement specific policy guidelines for dealing with HIV/AIDS in the workplace in terms of discrimination, unfair treatment and dismissal of workers living with HIV/AIDS.

A committee has been established for the implementation of the project. It comprises personnel from the Ministries of Health, Planning, the Public Service, Labour Relations and the AIDS Action Foundation. The OAS HIV/AIDS in the workplace project will also adopt the guidelines of the International Labour Organisation HIV/ AIDS model. The project may be expanded into an OECS wide programme.

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