Policies to promote non-discrimination, generate jobs for the disable and prevent HIV in working places have been implemented in several medium and large-sized enterprises in northern Vietnam .

This was announced at a workshop to review the results of the “Opportunity for All” programme, coordinated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), in Hanoi on May 11.

Opportunity for All is a comprehensive programme of training and in-factory assistance to help enterprises develop an HIV prevention policy and strategy and a disability management policy and strategy.

The pilot programme was implemented in seven manufacturing companies employing 14,000 workers in Hanoi , and Vinh Phuc, Hung Yen and Hai Duong provinces.

The policies promote non-discrimination, ensure no compulsory HIV testing of workers or disclosure of HIV status when recruiting. Several of these enterprise have now established HIV awareness teams, which will provide training and communication for workers so they can protect themselves from HIV.

The companies have also committed to employment of people with disabilities.

Rie Vejs-Kjeldgaard, Director of the ILO Office in Vietnam , highlighted the pilot programme, saying, “In a very short period of time, these enterprises have taken concrete steps to hiring people with disabilities as well as preventing the HIV epidemic in their workplaces”.

She expressed her belief that the enterprises would continue to hire more people with disabilities and conduct HIV prevention activities.

In Vietnam , the 2009 census shows that 7.8 percent of the population or 6.1 million Vietnamese have disabilities. MoLISA estimates that 69 percent of these people are of working age and around 30 percent of them have a job and a stable income to support themselves and their families./.