ITUC Campaign Newsletter 8: August 2020

In this newsletter:

  • NEWS: Two ratifications of C190, by Uruguay and Fiji.
  • New ITUC #RatifyC190 campaign toolkit.
  • C190 campaign updates from unions across the world, the ILO and allies.

C190 will enter into force: Uruguay and Fiji ratified C190  
21 June 2020 marked the first anniversary of the historical adoption of the ILO Violence and Harassment Convention 190 and its accompanying Recommendation 206Furthermore, in June, Fiji and Uruguay became the first two governments to ratify C190. With two ratifications in place, C190 will now enter into force!  

“By ratifying C190, we aim to build a freer, more just and  efficient world of work, and – once and for all – eradicate all forms of violence and harassment in the world of work.”
Gerardo Cedrola, Ministery of Labour and Social Security, Uruguay

Uruguay, the first country to ratify C190   
On 17 December 2019, the House of Representatives unanimously adopted C190, followed by its official deposition at the ILO on 12 June 2020. Uruguay therefore became the first ILO member State to ratify C190. Following years of union campaign efforts, as well as advocacy for law reforms, the foundation was laid for this remarkable first ratification. As stated by Ana Aguilera of the Gender, Equality and Diversity Secretariat of PIT-CNT: This Secretariat has been working for many years on sexual harassment at work and on gender-based violence against women. 15 or 20 years ago we worked in coordination with the legislators to submit a proposal for a law on sexual harassment in the workplace and education, through a tripartite commission”. Uruguay subsequently adopted new laws which paved the way towards the ratification of C190.

Fiji swiftly followed, becoming the second country to ratify C190
The parliament voted unanimously for the ratification of C190 on 28 May 2020 and deposited the instrument at the ILO on 25 June 2020.  On that occasion, Fiji’s ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan underpinned that the ratification of C190 “…is timely and highly applicable to address real challenges in the world of work today... The Convention encompasses the intersectionality of the sources of discrimination, thus encompassing the reality of the lives of many workers."  Latileta Kurabui,  assistant national secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, looks forward to the effective enforcement and implementation of C190. The Fiji Commerce & Employers Federation’s video statement acknowledged and thanked the Fiji government for the ratification of C190.  

A growing number of governments across the world are committed to the ratification of C190...
Namibia announced ‘live’ at the ILO webinar on 19 June 2020 that it will ratify the convention and in Argentina campaigns of national trade union centres and an alliance of unions and allies have built momentum for a majority vote of senators in support of the ratification of C190. As a result, they are  now moving towards the next steps of the ratification process. 
Solidarity works!
In these challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic, let us stand united with our lobby and advocacy campaigns for the wide ratification of C190. Let our collective voice and action grow and resonate across the globe, for a world of work free from violence and harassment. 

NEW: ITUC #RatifyC190 campaign toolkit
The #RatifyC190 campaign toolkit aims to assist unions in addressing gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work and campaigning for C190 ratification. The #RatifyC190 campaign toolkit includes: 

 A new #RatifyC190 campaign video clip will be available soon.

ILO C190 resource materials within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic:

Global unions joined forces for a gender-equal new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond in a series of three webinars.  During the 2nd webinar “Stopping gender-based violence in the midst of a pandemic” on 2 June 2020 women in unions across sectors and regions underpinned how C190 is more relevant than ever to prevent and address gender-based violence in the world of work, including domestic violence. The recordings of the webinar are available in English, Spanish, FrenchArabic, Russian, Japanese, Korean and Hindi.        

Webinar: Stopping gender-based violence in the midst of a pandemic

You can also watch the recordings of:

Campaign updates from around the world

Global updates

“There are remedies, tools for government and employers to address this increase [in violence because of COVID-19 lockdowns]. We know that there is a strong connection between violence at home and work, and we absolutely need to address this in terms of human rights.”  
Silvana Cappuccio, CGIL Italy (
Equal Times, 22 May 2020) 

Regional updates

BRAZIL:C190 has translated into many victories—it has opened new areas of dialogue and negotiation for local unions with employers in their collective bargaining agreements, ranging from use of bathrooms to verbal abuse”. Rosana Fernandes, Secretariat of the Committee to Combat Racism, CUT Brazil  (Solidarity Center video) // TUCA’s webinar on Violence and harassment in the world of work before and after the pandemic with Eulogia Familia, Chair of TUCA’s Women’s Committee and Chidi King, Director of ITUC’s Equality Department (26 June 2020). // ARGENTINA: National alliance of unions and allies pushing for the ratification of C190 organised a series of webinars, including on mental health and violence at work within the context of the  COVID-19 pandemic (May 2020) // CANADA: CLC Canada’s resource centre on domestic violence guidance for union representatives and a domestic violence legislation map, Canada’s Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations, which applies to federal employers,  will come into force along with the legislation (on 1 January 2021). // HONDURAS: "ILO Convention 190 (…) is a necessary instrument for the struggle to protect and defend the rights of women who work, and for this reason it is essential that the government of Honduras ratify this convention"  Marisa Montoya, SITRAUNAH university workers union (Solidarity Center video). // Women domestic workers of Asmujeres TD circulated in social media their collective call for the ratification of C190. // PERU:  CATP’s social media clip with General Secretary Rolanda Torres urging the government to ratify C190. /USA: Respect at work has to become the New Normal It is clear that the convention provides an important framework for addressing the systemic discrimination and exploitation workers are facing around the world”. Cathy Feingold, AFL-CIO // NICARAGUA: We need to ensure all our sisters and brothers and comrades can work free from violence. This pandemic has left us even more vulnerable, and suffering even more rights violations—and highlights the importance of the work of domestic workers.” Andrea Morales Perez, secretary general of FETRADOMOV (Solidarity Center video).

ITUC-AO, Actionaid, Care and IWRAW webinar The world is changing! Why ILO C190 matters more than ever (18 June 2020). Unions and allies shared good practices around gender-based violence in the world of work within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and ILO C190. // AUSTRALIA: ACTU’s call on the Australian government to ratify ILO Violence and Harassment Convention   (21 June 2020) The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) inquiry into sexual harassment in the workplace has made the recommendation  (no. 15) to ratify ILO C190.  The recommendation is now being processed at the federal state level. // INDONESIA: KSBSI, KSPN, Jala-PRT, Solidarity Centre and 39 other partners formed an alliance and engage in social dialogue  with the government and employers to demand the ratification of C190. // Many trade unions have also initiated keeping records of cases and victims of violence and harassment in the world of work. Another positive thing we have identified is that some companies, through their management, join our forces in campaigning for the elimination of all forms of violence and harassment in the world of work.” Sumiyati, chairperson for Women and Children’s Affairs at the National Industrial Workers Union Federation, SPN–NIWUF (Solidarity Center video).  

FRANCE: Initiated by the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT) and others, unions and feminist organisations sent an open letter to the President, Emmanuel Macron and launched a petition to demand the start of immediate negotiations on the ratification of C190. // UKRAINE: KVPU  reports that employers and the Ministry of Social Policy expressed a readiness to start consultations on the ratification of C190 (16-04-20) while the Ukraine unions circulated a social media clip urging the government to ratify C190.  -“Recently, we provided our proposals to the National Action Plan to the National Human Rights Strategy to ratify C190 and implement its provisions in Ukrainian legislation. We hope that our proposals will be implemented.” Nataliya Levytska,  KVPU vice president and chair of the gender equality committee (Solidarity Centrer video). // ALBANIA: BSPSH released a video covering their #RatifyC190 campaign and underpinning the importance of collective bargaining to establish workplace policies to eliminate violence (video in cooperation with the Solidarity Center).  

NIGERIA: The Nigerian Labour Congress has strategically mainstreamed Convention 190 into all programmes, activities and events to popularise and continuously sensitise our members and all workers,” says. Mercy Okezie, chairperson of the NLC Women Commission  (Solidarity Center video) // Artilce “Ratify Convention 190 now, against gender-based violence in the workplace” by Lai Brown, national organising secretary of AUTOBATE, affiliate of Trade Union Congress Nigeria. // ZAMBIA:  Zambia Congress of Trade Unions and affiliates campaigning for the ratification of Convention C190. // ZIMBABWE: ZCTU and the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare participated in Emthonjeni Women’s Forum radio show to assess the legal frameworks on sexual harassment in the world of work. // Gender-based violence has increased to the extent that in the first eleven days of the COVID-19 lockdown, we had 700 cases of gender-based violence.”. Fiona Magaya, gender coordinator for the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)  // UGANDA: NTV News Talk: ‘Convention 190 can change lives’ with IUF youth representative and the Director of the Ministry of Gender, Labour, Social Development and OSH.
Human Rights Watch video
#RatifyC190: End Violence and Harassment at Work
About the #RatifyC190 Campaign
ITUC and the Global Union Federations are leading the way with a multi-year and pioneering lobby and advocacy campaign for the worldwide ratification of
C190, its effective implementation, including R206, to realise a world of work free from violence and harassment with a strong focus on the elimination of gender-based violence and harassment.  The campaign is supported by human rights and feminists’ advocates including Human Right Watch, ActionAid International and the 16 Global Action Days campaign.

ITUC campaign resources:

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.

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