Resolution on Health Promotion and Education for the Prevention of AIDS and Health-Threatening Behaviours

published 22 July 1995 updated 31 March 2017

The Education International First World Congress meeting in Harare (Zimbabwe) from 19 to 23 July 1995:

1. Deeply concerned with the rapid expansion of the AIDS pandemic in all regions, and particularly in Africa and Asia, as well as other threats to healthy human development around the globe;

2. Particularly troubled by the growing number of children, adolescents and women of child-bearing age infected by the HIV virus, and other threats to health;

3. Convinced that schools have a critical role to play in promoting the health of children, adolescents and school personnel in preventing HIV/AIDS and other health risks;

4. Noting with satisfaction the development by the UN of a common programme to fight the disease which will enable the various UN institutions to work more closely and better coordinate their efforts;

5. Adhering to the Declaration of Consensus on AIDS and Schools adopted at the World Consultation of Teachers' Unions held at UNESCO in April 1990;

6. Also noting with concern the increase in the use of intravenous/illegal drugs, a major factor in the transmission of AIDS;

7. Considering that these afflictions can be hazardous to the social, economic and even political stability of nations;

8. Considering that health status affects learning and academic success and that education should influence or modify attitudes and behaviours to allow children or adolescents to become the first persons responsible for their own health;

9. Considering that comprehensive school health programmes including instruction, health services and school environment can support healthy behaviours for children, adolescents and school personnel;

The Congress urgently asks States to:

10. Adopt and implement global, concerted policies to prevent the use of intravenous/illegal drugs;

11. Actively promote a comprehensive school health policy that includes prevention of HIV/AIDS notably by implementing effective sex education programmes;

12. Establish partnerships based on solidarity, particularly with developing countries;

13. Be specifically attentive to children, adolescents and women of child-bearing age;

14. Develop policy and programmes on AIDS;

15. Improve the availability of choice and the use of protective means and methods;

16. Eliminate all forms of discrimination at school and the work place and all forms of exclusion by prohibiting, notably, unfair dismissals or pre-employment detection tests as well as all forms of exclusion by the marginalisation of groups considered to be "at risk";

17. Better assess the negative effects of AIDS on social and economic development.

The Congress encourages EI member organisations to:

18. Give greater consideration to the crucial role that the school system and the entire educational staff can play to combat expansion of the disease by means of health education and education for the prevention of HIV/AIDS;

19. Play an active role in developing health education policies for school programmes in close collaboration with the ministries of education and health;

20. Become further involved in all stages of planning, implementation and assessment of programmes combatting AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases;

21. Take action to ensure that all education personnel receive initial and in-service training on HIV and AIDS, and overall aspects of a comprehensive school health programme;

22. Combat all forms of discrimination and exclusion against students or educational staff infected by HIV/AIDS;

23. Create or develop relationships with organisations of health care professionals.

Role of Education International:

EI should:

24. Continue and strengthen its collaboration with the institutions in the United Nations system particularly with WHO, UNESCO and ILO;

25. Actively participate in international meetings on the issue of comprehensive school health programmes and HIV prevention, and in the organisation of regional and world events aimed at heightening public awareness, especially among youth, with regard to health education issues;

26. Gather as much information as possible on these issues and address it to member organisations;

27. Introduce a theme on comprehensive school health programmes HIV/AIDS prevention in its cooperation and development programmes.

Moreover, the Congress applauds the joint Conference to be held from 24 to 26 July with WHO and UNESCO and fervently hopes that this congress will be the occasion of concrete proposals and real commitment of all those men and women who contribute to health education in the educational system.