There are many stories of stigma and discrimination based on HIV status in the workplace. There are many stories of workers and employers who reject those infected and affected by the virus.
However, there are also many stories of workers and employers showing solidarity with their sisters and brothers who are HIV+.
There are many stories of how the workplace can be a place of acceptance, friendship, care and support, a place where "decent work" means that all women and men, regardless of real or perceived HIV status, enjoy productive work under conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity, in which rights are protected and adequate remuneration and social coverage are provided.
We know those positive stories are out there, and we want to hear them.
The contest, "Positive Workers Write!", is open to all workers and employers in Latin America. The main criteria is that the authors must either be a worker/employer living with HIV or a worker/employer who has reached out to her/his HIV+ colleagues and made their workplace a better place as a result. The format can be a narrative, short story, poem or any type of written reflection of no more than 1500 words, and can be written in Spanish, Portuguese, French or English.
Each contest applicant will receive a "Certificate of Recognition" for their writing sample issued by the ILO and the ITUC. A Joint Committee of the ILO/ITUC will then select the top 3 writing samples they feel best represent the theme "Positive Workers". These samples will be published on the websites of ILO, ITUC and TUCA. The first-place entry will be awarded with a laptop.
The ILO/ITUC Joint Committee will then select writing samples, based on their own criteria, and will use them during activities leading up to, during, or following, World AIDS Day, December 1, 2010. The decision of the ILO-ITUC panel is final and not open for appeal.
Entries, along with the submission form (VERY IMPORTANT), can be submitted either by regular mail or by e-mail (see contact information below). Authors can choose to write under their own names or to use pseudonyms.
Entries should be sent by:
"Positive Workers Write!”
Eric Stener Carlson, Sub-Regional HIV/AIDS Specialist
Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT)
Av. Dag. Hammarskjöld 3177- Vitacura
Casilla 19.034, Correo 19 - Santiago de Chile
Deadline: All writing samples must be received by October 31, 2010 to be considered.