9 March, 2023Since the ILO Convention 190 on violence and harassment in the world of work was adopted in 2019, unions around the world have been campaigning for its ratification. To date, 25 countries have ratified C190, with Canada and Ireland being the latest additions.
Uruguay was the first country in the world to ratify the convention. IndustriALL affiliates in the country played a huge role by conducting workshops to explain the content of the Convention and why it is a useful tool for unions.
Unions in the Philippines urged the government to fight harassment and to ratify the Convention. The union campaign had workers hold up posters stating Ratify ILO C190. To create more awareness workers wore masks and t-shirts with the words Ratify C190 on them.
Indian law compels employers to form anti-harassment committees. However, these committees are not effective. As part of their ratification campaign unions call for effective functioning committees and create awareness of the Convention among working people. The government has yet to comment on the ratification.
Bangladeshi unions have taken street action to demand ratification of C190. The government has repeatedly promised to investigate ratification, but nothing has materialized.
In Sri Lanka, unions have conducted dialogue sessions between unions and other interest groups on the ratification of C190. Unions are part of the National Labour Advisory committee which discusses workers’ rights and have raised the importance of ratification. The previous labour minister pledged that the country would ratify soon, but with current political changes there has been no movement from the government.
In Uganda, unions had joint meetings with the government, held a press conference and a media campaign using posters with the slogan Ratify and domesticate Convention 190. These activities have made the public aware about the Convention and the importance of ratification.
In Madagascar, conversations are held at every women activity with the intervention of ILO experts. After an ILO comparative study on the existing provisions for women, social partners agreed to start the ratification process. Employers are doubtful, but the process continues. There has been a proposal for reworking of the labour code and C190 has been included in the text.
Unions in Nicaragua have been campaigning for C190, but there is slow movement from government.
In Trinidad and Tobago, unions have conducted a gap analysis of the current legislation and have identified the ratification as a priority. A forum on the Convention has been held and unions were invited to speak.
In Colombia, trade unions and politicians held a public hearing on the Convention and the President has committed to ratifying the Convention.
“IndustriALL applauds affiliates for the C190 campaigns. Gender-based violence and harassment in the workplace has a domino effect on all of us. We urge unions to continue their campaigns until governments have ratified this Convention,” says Christine Olivier IndustriALL assistant general secretary.
IndustriALL with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung has developed a training module, modules 1,2 and 3, on Gender Based Violence entitled Violence. Not in our workplace.