Swedish Workplace HIV/AIDS Programme
A 2006 study by the Joint Economic AIDS and Poverty Programme revealed that business owners regarded HIV/AIDS as only ninth out of a list of 10 concerns facing their businesses. Many entrepreneurs are too busy focusing on those businesses to devote time or money to educating staff about the disease.
Why are we asking this question now? More than 24,000 scientists, activists, health workers and other experts are in Toronto for the 16th International AIDS conference -the biggest ever held. The week-long event will hear about the latest progress in preventing HIV infection and treating AIDS, 25 years after the first cases were reported. Many at the conference, including the billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, who was a keynote speaker yesterday, believe medical science may be on the cusp of a real breakthrough in beating a modern-day plague that has so far killed more than 25 million people and infected 65 million more.
Goal of the conference: To stimulate more effective, large-scale action that addresses the links between HIV/AIDS and food and nutrition insecurity.
The World Bank and the South African Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (SABCOHA) today launched guidelines for building business coalitions against HIV/AIDS throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
HIV/AIDS is holding back economic growth and putting a massive strain on workers in some of the world's poorest nations, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has said.
Guidelines developed in South Africa for companies and other organisations to report on their HIV/AIDS policies and practices are set to become the international standard for such reporting. The guidelines have already e been tested by 16 South African organisations and will soon be made available in other regions affected by AIDS, such as India, China, South America and the rest of Africa. They were developed by the local office of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an Amsterdam- based non-governmental organisation that seeks to encourage companies and other organisations to elevate their reporting on sustainability issues to the same level as their financial reporting, The World Health Organisation and the International Labour Organisation, as well as several multinationals, other companies, trade unions, advocacy groups, accounting bodies, investor organisations and others, contributed to their development. The King Report on corporate governance last year suggested that every organisation should provide targets for a strategy and policies to address and manage the impact of HIV/AIDS. It also recommended that organisations should monitor the performance of their policies and report to stakeholders regularly. The Johannesburg Securities Exchange is also promoting a more formalised approach to HIV/AIDS reporting. It said last year it was investigating a requirement that all companies on the exchange should report on HIV AIDS. The widespread acceptance and use of the guidelines will elevate the credibility of HIV/AIDS reporting, since they provide a reputable reporting benchmark to measure or compare the HIV/AIDS performance of various organisations. However, many organisations are not aware of the existence of policies and programmes that will assist a response, or of the effectiveness of various interventions. The guidelines will help organisations to identify best practices on HIV/AIDS, so strengthening management decisions. They can be used to report on HIV/AIDS in the context of a document such as an annual report, a health, safety and environment report or a sustainability report. (Source: Sowetan, 27 October 2003) LINK //\// Contact GRI on 011-643-3179. website: http://www.global-reporting.org
More than 7 000 local motor sector employees and 42 000 family members have been reached in one of the most wide-ranging efforts by the private sector to deal with the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Mamongalo Mahlatsi, the Automotive Industry Development Centre's project manager for socioeconomic programmes, will reveal in a progress report today at the Autocluster Africa 2003 motor industry conference in Kyalami that 18 companies in South Africa have already put in place HIV/AIDS programmes under the workplace wellness initiative of the centre. The car sector was particularly threatened by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and Mahlatsi would report on how the pioneering efforts by the large vehicle assembly companies were now being followed by the rollout of proactive HIV/AIDS strategies by smaller component suppliers. Retail motor dealers were now joining the centre's programme after awareness of the threat posed by HIV/AIDS right across the motor business had been raised through 130 briefing sessions to senior management. To date 70 line managers, 20 HIV/AIDS co-ordinators and 40 peer educators have undergone training under the programme. Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen and BMW were among the vehicle assemblers that pioneered private sector HIV/AIDS initiatives at their South African plants, and their suppliers and dealers were now also initiating programmes. The release of details of the success of the centre's motor industry programme follows the controversial discussion paper, which was written by the Human Sciences Research Council, and which links globalisation and corporate restructuring to the AIDS pandemic. (Source: Business Report, 30 September 2003) //\//Link GLOBALISATION AND THE IMPACT OF HIV/AIDS ON THE LABOUR FORCE http://www.hsrc.ac.za/research/npa/EEP/discussion/20030923.pdf
South Africa has been chosen as the pilot site for the testing of the first phase of the Global Reporting Initiative, and is expected to lead the way indeveloping a set of internationally recognised HIV/AIDS reporting standards for business. The mission is to develop guidelines in terms of social, economic and environmental aspects. The country's biggest healthcare consultants, Alexander Forbes, announced its support this week for the draft reporting document on HIV/AIDS by listed companies, which addresses the debate around to what extent corporations should disclose the impact of HIV/AIDS on their business. Currently, this disclosure is optional. Colin Hundermark, of Alexander Healthcare Consultants, said reporting on the quantification of costs of HIV/AIDS on business would not be possible until the impact of the pandemic on businesses was better understood. The draft document on HIV/AIDS reporting will be revised, based on the public comments and feedback from the pilot testing conducted by South African companies. The JSE, with the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants, is developing a set of HIV/AIDS disclosure requirements for listed companies. The requirements will be developed with the additional guidance of the Global Reporting Initiative and input from the Actuarial Society of South Africa. (Source: The Cape Argus, 1 May, 2003)