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Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus presented letters of appointment to the members of the HIV Workplace Advocacy Advisory Board yesterday.

In an address at the ceremony, the minister and expressed her appreciation to them for accepting their new roles of public service. and advised them that as members of a multipartite board they are aptly poised to fulfil an important mandate to protect the rights of HIV infected persons in the workplace.

Offering a brief historical perspective on the origins of the board, Baptiste-Primus said a project advisory board was established in 2006 to oversee implementation of the International Labour Organization (ILO)/US Department of Labour (USDOL) HIV and AIDS Workplace Education Programme—An Accelerated Response: Trinidad and Tobago. It was a three year pilot project to address HIV/AIDS in the world of work in T&T.

Following the end of the project in 2008 and the official hand over to the ministry for continued implementation, Cabinet agreed to the re-designation of the project advisory board as the HIV/AIDS Advocacy and Sustainability Centre (HASC) Advisory Board for a period of three years.

In October, Cabinet agreed to the change of name of the HIV/AIDS Advocacy and Sustainability Centre to the HIV Workplace Advocacy Unit. The name of the board was then changed to the HIV Workplace Advocacy Advisory Board.

The new board is mandated to:

° Guide formulation and review of the National Workplace Policy on HIV and AIDS, HIV Workplace Advocacy Unit’s Sustainability Plan, Work Plan and the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework on HIV and AIDS in the world of work.

° Monitor, evaluate and report on the annual work plan in line with the monitoring and evaluation framework and recommend adjustments in the implementation of proposed activities and timelines.

° Ensure alignment of HIV Workplace Advocacy Unit activities with the goals and targets of the National Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS, regional and international conventions, recommendations and strategic frameworks as applicable.

° Facilitate mobilization of human, technical and financial resources to ensure the sustainability of work of the HIV Workplace Advocacy Unit.

° Advocate for necessary legislative changes towards creating a more enabling environment for persons living with HIV in the workplace.

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Source: Guardian Newspaper

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