Jump to main content
IndustriALL logotype

Unions push to ratify ILO Convention 190

4 February, 2021Since the start of 2021, three countries have voted in favor of authorizing the ratification of Convention 190 on the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work.

Latin American unions continue to work for the ratification of C190. On 17 January, Ecuador voted and approved the ratification of C190.

The Confederation of Free Trade Union Organizations (CEOSL) said that the campaign by its affiliate, the National Union of Domestic Workers and related workers, together with the National Council for Equality, UN Women Ecuador and the Simón Bolívar Andean University played a fundamental role.

On 26 January, Chile voted and approved a draft agreement requesting that steps be taken to ratify C190 and adopt ILO recommendation 206. It is a big step forward, following on CUT’s campaign, #TrabajoSinViolencia, with the participation of the International Trade Union Confederation and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES Chile).

More countries are in line to ratify C190. On 11 January, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged to ratify the convention. Violence in the world of work affects a large part of women workers in the country. A study from 2018 estimated that 30 per cent of women were victims of unwanted sexual advances in their workplaces. IndustriALL affiliates are campaigning for the ratification of C190 and it has been taken up by the President and the parliament.

Data shows that domestic violence has exploded during the pandemic, with reports of a global increase of domestic violence.  Social consequences of the outbreak and related confinements leading to a loss of social interaction may have increased tensions inherent to forced cohabitation and increased the risks of domestic violence.

Trade unions are reporting cases where women have been asked for sexual favours in return for equipment to protect against Covid-19. The past shows that women are at an elevated risk of abuse and quid-pro quo sexual harassment during an economic downturn and when jobs are fewer.

“With the current pandemic and its economic consequences it is even more urgent to fight against violence against women. Trade unions should continue their efforts for ratification of C190 in their countries. In the countries where the convention has been ratified, the unions and their campaigns made a difference,”

says Armelle Seby, IndustriALL gender coordinator.