Step 1: Read the Positive Allies Declaration
Your first step is to read our Positive Allies Declaration. We have designed this so it is easy to follow, clear, and easy to implement in your organisation. The declaration is open to all organisations, whether NGOs, local auithorities, educational establishments, self-employed businesses and large private organisations. Show your inclusion to others and become a place to be safe for people living with HIV, by reading the declaration below, then attending our free training course. After that, you are welcome to sign our declaration!
Our legacy at Positive Allies:
In 2018, Positive Allies was launched as a formal Charter Mark at the University of Sunderland. Pulled together by a working collective made up of academics, HIV activists, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), and human resources professionals. From the launch and onwards, we achieved a number of organisations signing up to the Positive Allies Charter Mark, and we have celebrated many successes, bringing onboard signed up organisations from schools, universities, Third Sector NGOs, and private sector businesses. You can read more about our history, here.
Under the tagline, of Respect. Support. Educate, we recognise that more is to do regarding reducing, and finally eliminating, HIV-related stigma in places of employment and volunteering, but we also recognise that all successful projects must continue to grow and evolve.
With this in mind, we have shifted the model of the Positive Allies Charter Mark to make it even easier for you to show your support, and to pledge to tackle HIV-related stigma. We will continue to provide our excellent and well-received HIV and AIDS Awareness training courses, but we now ask that a senior member of your organisation simply signs the pledge on behalf of your organisation, and then you send key members of your staff, including the named senior member, to our training course. The signed senior member, and the organisations name, will appear below our pledge on our website. You can read who has signed the Positive Allies Declaration, here.
This pledge is open to all organisations, whether large or small, whether they have paid staff or volunteers. It is global in its scope and open to all organisations to sign, no matter where they are based in the world.
Be part of the new change at Positive Allies, as we shift from a charter mark to a new global declaration.
Preamble to the Positive Allies Pledge:
This organisation recognises that HIV is a workplace issue. We will work toward ensuring that our workplace, or place of volunteering, is free from prejudice or discrimination against people living with HIV or AIDS, based on unfounded fears, myths, and misconceptions.
This includes discrimination against job applicants or employees on the basis of their actual, or perceived, HIV status, spreading rumours about a person's supposed HIV status, and refusal to associate with, or work with a person living with, or affected by HIV. We recognise that people living with HIV can lead normal working lives, are entitled to privacy and dignity at work, and do not present a risk to people around them.
Who needs to sign this in my organisation?
We require somebody from your organisation to sign the Positive Allies Pledge, who is in a senior position and able to ensure that this pledge is not only signed, but is driven forward in your organisation. We will ask for their contact details at the end of the pledge, and we may follow up queries to check on what your organisation has done.
What happens next?
By signing this Positive Allies Pledge, your name, role, and organisation will appear soon on our website, as a public declaration of your commitment to tackling HIV-related stigma.
We, the undersigned organisation come together in this Positive Allies Pledge to emphasise our shared belief that to achieve the elimination of HIV-related stigma within the workplace, we must educate and inform staff and/or volunteers. This pledge recognises that this organisation will abide by the three key principles of this Positive Allies Pledge, which is to respect, support, and educate.
In order to RESPECT, we will:
Provide a safe, comfortable, and supportive environment for employees and/or volunteers living with HIV and AIDS, with respect, privacy, and dignity as a priority. Signing this pledge is a clear statement that you take a zero-tolerance policy to discrimination against anyone, whether employee, volunteer, or job applicant, on the basis of their HIV status. This commitment should be explicit and unconditional.
If are a U.K. based organisation with paid staff, we pledge to fully adhere to the Equality Act (2010), whereby HIV is a named disability under U.K. law, ensuring that our organisation and or members, are aware of this.
If we are a global organisation, or based in another nation state, we pledge to respect laws of that nation state which protect people living with HIV and AIDS within workplaces. If these laws are absent, we will ensue the protection, dignity, confidentiality, and equity of opportunity to people living with HIV and AIDS in our workplace. We will not unduly dismiss employees and will ensure that people living with HIV and AIDS are equitable in our organisation.
Pledge that if we have volunteers in our organisation living with HIV and AIDS, we will protect them and ensure that they have protection, dignity, confidentiality, and equity of opportunity, despite volunteers often not (or rarely) being covered by equality legislation. We will not unduly dismiss their volunteering and will ensure that people living with HIV and AIDS are equitable in our organisation.
In order to SUPPORT, we will:
Take our Duty of Care to all employees and/or volunteers seriously and acknowledge that staff and/or volunteer well-being has a foundation free from prejudice, harm, and discrimination toward people living with HIV and AIDS. As such, we will provide a Duty of Care to people living with HIV and AIDS as staff and/or volunteers.
Ensure that we will have a member of staff or volunteer who will ‘champion’ the roll out of HIV related materials (such as weblinks, posters, safe sex information) providing access to current education and support.
Work to combat the long-term impact on mental health that many people living with HIV and AIDS face in places of employment and/or volunteering. We will ensure a safe space for all.
Ensure that where possible, and where we are able to do so as an organisation, we will have policies put in place to tackle HIV-related stigma, such as ensuring that our bullying and harassment mechanisms and policies explicitly mention HIV-related stigma. Where possible, we will outline clear and accessible grievance procedures for addressing issues related to discrimination, harassment, or stigma.
In order to EDUCATE, we will:
Eliminate stigma and discrimination based on lack of knowledge on what it means to live with HIV. We pledge to keep up to date with information surrounding HIV and AIDS, and to ensure there is access to further information for staff and/or volunteers, if they want or need it.
Ensure that the senior person who has signed this Positive Allies Pledge, will attend Positive Allies HIV and AIDS Awareness course.
Aim to offer further opportunities to our staff and/or volunteers to also have time to take part in Positive Allies HIV and AIDS Awareness course.
Celebrate notable events in our organisation, such as actively engaging in campaigns to reduce HIV-related Stigma, both internally and externally. This could include participating in public-awareness campaigns such as such as World AIDS Day and HIV Testing Week.
Ensure that this Positive Allies Pledge is not simply signed and ignored as a passive ‘tick box activity,’ but is embraced to create structural change, and a supportive place for staff and/or volunteers living with HIV and AIDS. Information about the Pledge, and this organisation’s signing of it, will be made public knowledge both internally within the organisation, and externally through our social media.
We require somebody from your organisation to sign the Positive Allies Pledge, who is in a senior position and able to ensure that this pledge is not only signed, but is driven forward in your organisation. Ready to start stage two and to attend our free training course? Click on the button below to get booked up!