Call on your government to Ratify ILO C190 to end gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work


Trade unions and civil society organizations from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain who make up the Coalition for Women’s Rights and Dignity are coming together in conjunction with the UN Commission on the Status of Women meetings and the Generation Equality Forum to be held in Mexico to demand that governments ratify and implement International Labour Organization Convention 190, the landmark global, binding labour standard adopted in June 2019 to eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work, including gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH).

Convention 190 made history as the first international treaty to recognize the fundamental right to a world of work free from violence and harassment, and in particular the right to be free from GBVH. That right is under renewed threat from the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As governments meet at the end of the month at the Generation Equality forum in Mexico to discuss how to achieve immediate and irreversible progress towards gender equality, it has never been more urgent to adopt comprehensive measures that address how GBVH in the world of work has impacted the rights of women and other marginalized workers. This includes addressing the role of governments in ensuring safe, respectful working environments for all workers and taking action to mitigate the impact of domestic violence in the world of work.

In any circumstances the ratification and proper implementation of C190 and R206 would be urgent to address the epidemic of violence and harassment in the world of work, and particularly the prevalence of GBVH. The COVID-19 pandemic has, however, brought a new urgency. There has been a dramatic rise in violence and harassment including GBVH against workers deemed “essential” such as health and care workers, food retail workers and transport workers. Migrant women workers have experience increased exploitation including violence and harassment including GBVH as they are forced to stay in the homes where they work because of the pandemic or be trapped in unsafe conditions unable to travel home. In addition, there has been an alarming surge in cases of domestic violence worldwide due to the effect of confinement measures. C190 and R206 set out clear steps that governments and the social partners can take to mitigate the impacts of domestic violence, including when home is the place of the work. As suggested in the article 18 of the Recommendation 206, such measures could be:

(a) leave for victims of domestic violence;
(b) flexible work arrangements and protection for victims of domestic violence;
(c) temporary protection against dismissal for victims of domestic violence […]
(d) the inclusion of domestic violence in workplace risk assessments
(e) a referral system to public mitigation measures for domestic violence, where they exist; and
(f) awareness-raising about the effects of domestic violence.

During the Generation Equality Forum in France (30 June – 2 July), governments will be asked to commit to the ratification of ILO Convention 190. Join us and call on your government to Ratify ILO C190 to end gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work.

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Signatures: 832 / 1.000