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Historic opportunity for an ILO Convention on violence at work

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6 June, 2019The second and final discussion on an ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work begins next week at the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva.

The trade union movement has long campaigned for a strong and binding international instrument to fight violence and harassment at work. IndustriALL believes that it is now time for governments and employers to play their part in making this new international standard a reality.

During the discussion in the Standard Setting Committee at the ILC, the government, employers’ and workers’ groups will negotiate over a period of nine days a proposed text for both a Convention and recommendation on violence and harassment in the world of work. At the end of the ILC, the governments will vote on the adoption of these instruments.

Jenny Holdcroft, IndustriALL Global Union assistant general secretary, said:

“A new Convention is an historic opportunity to fill the gap in the protection of millions of workers, especially women workers. We should not miss it. No worker should be left unprotected.”

Trade unions are calling for the adoption of a strong, ambitious and progressive binding international standard. For two years, IndustriALL and its affiliates - along with the trade union movement around the world - have campaigned for this Convention to be adopted by the ILO this year.

Some employers have already taken up their responsibilities: ahead of the negotiations, companies including l’Oréal, Kering, Sodexo, ASOS, H&M, BNP Paribas, Avon, Diageo, M&S and Unilever, Tchibo and Esprit have made a public statement or have addressed a letter to the International Organisation of Employers to express their support for the Convention. Other companies have lobbied their national employer associations and governments in support of the adoption of a binding text.

IndustriALL calls on its affiliates to continue to voice their support for this Convention. It is time for trade unions to mobilize and put pressure on governments and employers during the next two weeks of negotiation.

Unions can post stories, quotes and pictures on social media that highlight the need and support for an ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work, using the hashtags #StopGBVatWork, #ILOendGBV and #ALLWomen.