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Towards a convention on gender based violence in the workplace

7 June, 2018The annual International Labour Conference (ILC) started in Geneva on 28 May, where Director-General Guy Ryder opened the conference calling for strong action to end violence and harassment at the workplace. Delegates from governments, workers and employers from the 187 ILO Member states came together to negotiate the nature and the scope of a future instrument on violence and harassment at work.

IndustriALL spoke to affiliate, Rose Omamo from the Amalgamated Union of Kenya Metalworkers, who is part of the Workers’ group pushing for ILC to adopt standards on violence and harassment in the world of work.

“the negotiations were tough but we really got a lot of support from Governments who really supported the workers to have a convention. We are happy because we have a convention supplemented by a recommendation,”

Governments, workers and employers have agreed that the nature of the future instrument on the issue should be a convention supplemented by recommendation.

The workers have achieved a lot, we have got the words ‘gender based violence’ in the preamble, we also got domestic violence in the preamble and scope. The worker definitions have been broadened to the world of work and not just in the workplace,” said Omamo

This is a significant achievement as it means that the worker is protected not only in the workplace but outside the workplace as well (eg. at the bus stop or at the worker’s home).

“We hope to package what we have not been able to tackle for next year. We are happy about this workers really wanted a standard that would be used globally, so for us we are happy with the achievements and we will continue to work on the challenges in the years to come,” Omamo concluded.