Please join the call to action to #RatifyC190 - by posting messages in social media about why C190 is important and why your government should #RatifyC190 now! Invite others to join the call to action: in your union, across allied civil society groups or supportive politicians and employers. We will post all contributions in a photo gallery (available on the #RatifyC190 webpage Wakelet and Facebook page from 25 November onwards).
Are you organising an event? Please share in social media via the hashtag #RatifyC190 (or send an email to [email protected]). Look out for the announcement of the ITUC webinars on 25 November on the #RatifyC190 Facebook page
With the ratifications in Uruguay, Fiji, Namibia, Argentina and Somalia, we are now at nine . Whilst depositingthe instrument at the ILO in July (2021), Mauritius’ Minister of Labour, Mr. Soodesh S. Callichurn welcomed the ratification of C190, particularly within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic: “ (….) Millions of workers have been laid-off and the working ecosystem is adjusting itself in the wake of mutations arising. This ratification exercise is, therefore, a huge leap forward in terms of guaranteeing a safe environment for workers who are our main resource and who contribute immensely to the social and economic development of our country”. Ecuador ratified the Convention in May, Greece in August and Italy in October 2021.
Over 20 governments are in a process to #RatifyC190!, including France and the UK . At the UN Women’s Generation Equality Forum in France (June, 2021), the governments of Kenya, Spain, Mexico, South Africa, Canada and Germany publicly committed to RatifyC190, and a Collective C190 Commitment, aimed at accelerating its ratification and implementation, received the support of governments and other stakeholders. Other countries who are currently in a ratification process are Albania, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Finland, Gabon, Ghana, Ireland, Madagascar, Nigeria, Netherlands, Panama, Samoa and Sri Lanka.
ILO C190/ R206 Guide The Guideprovides insights on the provisions of C190 and R206 and examples of national laws and policies initiated by governments to advance on the prevention and elimination of work-related violence and harassment. The Guide forms part of the ILO’s #RatifyC190 campaign and includes a toolkit. Since the launch in June 2021, the ILO is sharing social media messages from trade unions, employers’ organisations and governments in support of the ratification of C190 – here a few examples:
PSI Report (June 2021): "Violence and harassment in the world of work, from a gender perspective, within the framework of Covid" The report is comprised of testimonies of 1,828 public health care workers from Chile, Peru, Brazil, Colombia and El Salvador (available in Spanish). 78.8% of those surveyed reportedhaving experienced violence or harassment in the world of work and within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Those affected most are women and young workers (under 39 years of age), workers with low levels of formal education and workers operating in the lower hierarchical structures of their organisations.
UK TUC welcomed the next steps made in the ratification process with the announcement by Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey that the UK government will lay the text of C190, in the form of a Command Paper in both Houses together with an Explanatory Memorandum stating the Government’s proposal that the UK should ratify it. If no objections are raised over the next weeks, the Government will proceed with the ratification. The Government states that it has the legal framework in place to ratify C190, including civil and criminal law provisions, as well as occupational health and safety law. However, it plans to further strengthen its law and policies with the requirement for employers to take steps to prevent their employees from experiencing sexual harassment and introducing explicit protections for employees from harassment by third parties, for example customers or clients. - During the NASUWT’s Women Teachers’ Consultation Conference, the Union called on the UK Government to take action to end the scourge of sexism, misogyny and sexual violence and harassment and to ratify C190. Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:“The Covid pandemic has seen a significant increase in violence against women, including the murders of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard. (…) Schools and colleges are not immune, as we have seen shocking evidence of daily sexual assaults, including inappropriate touching, sexually explicit and derogatory comments, sexting and upskirting targeting girls and women teachers. (…) More than one in three women have experienced sexual violence, and Black women are disproportionately more likely to be subject to sexual violence and assault.”
In collaboration with ActionAid International, CARE and International Women’s Rights Action Watch - Asia Pacific have initiated a dedicated #RatifyC190 campaign website (link to the website) and 21 June, the second anniversary of the adoption of C190, they organised a webinar, released a social media package and launched a petition. See the weblink here.
Felix Anthony, National Secretary of the FTUC and General Secretary of National Union of Workers (NUW) shares about the role of Fijian trade unions in ending violence and harassment in the world of work in thisILO coverage and video clip (25 June, 2021) AUSTRALIA
ACTU joined gender equality advocates to condemn the Morrison Government’s response to sexual harassment and made four demands concerning what the Federal Government should be doing to immediately make workplaces safer. These include changes in health and safety laws, the Fair Work Act, for the Sex Discrimination Act to provide real protections against sexual harassment and to ensure employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace (April). Press release + Statement + Press Conference. JAPAN
At their symposium (July), JTUC-RENGO underscored the importance of creating a dignified international society free from violence and harassment. It renewed its commitment to create an enabling environment to expedite the ratification of the C190. Read more here and the related statement.
MONGOLIA ILO Mongolia launched its social media campaign in support of the ratification of C190.
The ILO C190 action group - comprised of focal points of the government, employers’ organisations and trade unions (launched in February 2021)- organises training sessions and meetings to enhance their understanding of (gender-based) violence and harassment in the world of work including through case studies and to develop recommendations for law, policy and institutional reforms. Related quotes from NTUC and ANTUF, more quotes from unions, governments and employers and coverage of a three-day training session can be found here.
The Pakistan Workers Federation and the ITUC-Asia Pacific have launched a campaign in Pakistan for the ratification of ILO Convention C190 to end gender-based violence and harassment. Covered in the news (May)
CSA-TUCA Jordania Ureña Lora, secretary of Social Policies of TUCA “Harassment manifests itself in different ways and in different contexts, deprives people of their dignity and is incompatible with decent work and social justice. Persistent inequalities and demographic changes, as well as changes in work organisation and technological developments, can further exacerbate violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and harassment ”.
In March 2021, CUT Chile – with the support of FES Chile - organised a series of three training sessions on the ILO Convention 190. The recordings of all the trainings have been made available on CUT’s website.
In response to continued delays of the government to ratify C190 while the current law does not provide any adequate legal protections and punitive measures for perpetrators, the head of ZCTU’s legal, education, and gender department, Fiona Magaya, urged the government to ratify C190 and stated that “As ZCTU, we are demanding the urgent amendment of Section 8 of the Labour Act to incorporate proper definition and types of sexual harassment, protection and right to compensation for victims and punitive measures for perpetrators.” - The ILO, in cooperation with the UN, organised a session during which they called on employers to eliminate sexual harassment and gender-based violence at the workplace. The ILO director for Zimbabwe and Namibia, Holopane Phororo, stated that “There are many forms of harassment at work, ranging from sexual, verbal, physical, financial and emotional and some people fail to report these cases because of fear of losing their jobs.”
In April, members of the ITUC affiliate - The Network of Women’s Committees of Togo (RECOFET) - participated in three days of comprehensive training on gender-based (sexual) violence and harassment in the world of work. Supported by FES, the purpose of the workshops was to equip participants with the tools to raise awareness and advocate around issues concerning violence and harassment, to speak out when it is experienced or witnessed as well as to campaign and lobby for the ratification of C190. President of RECOFET Claudine Akakpo, described violence and harassment as a ‘scourge’ in Togolese society.
The Gabonese authorities have launched a helpline to facilitate the reporting of incidents of violence and harassment by survivors and witnesses. The new “1404” service is free, confidential, anonymous and operative 24/7. In addition to the hotline, there’s an accompanying web-based resource to raise awareness around sexual, physical and moral violence and harassment and the importance of gender equality.
Since 2019, COFESYB-UITA and other union affiliates have launched a series of activities dedicated to combatting violence and harassment in the world of work. On 15-17 September 2021, a training workshop was organised to evaluate what has been done since the 2020 meeting and to develop strategies in the fight against violence and harassment in the world of work. According to UITA-Benin coordinator, Guillaume Tossa ‘We must act in the most determined way possible in businesses and administrations through education and targeted training that frees [workers] to speak; to break the silence. This will help put an end to impunity which emboldens perpetrators and potential perpetrators’. *** COSI Benin and CNV International organised earlier this year a capacity building session on C190.
On 18 May 2021 the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) foundation, in collaboration with four major Burkinabé unions (CSB, CNTB, ONSL, USTB), held an opening ceremony for a workshop to strengthen the capacity of women leaders in popularising/raising awareness about Convention 190 and Recommendation 206. Over the course of three days women trade union members would be trained in-depth on the ILO instruments.
ITUC and the Global Union Federations are leading the way with a pioneering campaign for the worldwide ratification of C190 and its effective implementation, including R206, to realise a world of work free from violence and harassment, in particular gender-based violence and harassment. The campaign is supported by human and labour rights and feminist advocates including Human Rights Watch, ActionAid International, Oxfam, WECF, Solidarity Center and the Global 16 Days campaign.
ITUC #RatifyC190 campaign resources (available in English, Spanish and French):
NEW: ITUC and the Global Unions C190 Training Toolkit (will be available soon too in Arabic, Russian, Hindi)
Global Union Federations - C190 campaign webpages UNI Global Union * PSI * BWI * EI * IFJ * IndustriALL * ITF * IUF * IDWF Share with us your lobbying and #RatifyC190 campaign updates at [email protected], including new developments in law and practice and collective bargaining agreements. Share this newsletter with your union, allies, networks and friends.