LAHORE: 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.
The historic and first-ever international labour standard to address gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work, the Convention (190) and Recommendation (R206) on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work, was adopted at the Centenary International Labour Conference in June 2019. This convention will enter into force on June 25, 2021.
So far, five countries have ratified the convention, with a few more completing the national ratification process. However, for C190 to be more impactful, more countries need to ratify it. 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 experienced increased exploitation including violence and harassment as they are forced to stay in 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.