Ghana urged to ratify ILO Convention on workplace violence and harassment

Accra- Ghana Trade Union Congress (TUC) has urged government to expedite action on ratification of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 190 on violence and harassment in the world of work.

The Convention (C190) seeks to tackle elimination of violence and harassment at workplaces, and its affirmation by member states would help provide and sustain a work culture based on mutual respect and dignity.

Ms Naomi Naadu Lartey, the Head of Legal Department Unit of TUC, made the call in Accra at the 6th National Women’s Conference of Mineworkers’ Women Union, therefore urged Government to expedite action on the ratification to protect workers and employees, irrespective of their contractual status.

The convention targets persons in training, interns and apprentices, workers whose employment has been terminated, volunteers, job seekers and job applicants.

The new C190 and accompanying recommendation (206) to combat violence and harassment in work settings was adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 108th session, held from 10th to 21st June, 2019.

It is defined as behaviours, practices or threats that aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm.

According to the convention, Violence and harassment at workplaces, can constitute a human rights violation or abuse and considered as a threat to equal opportunities, unacceptable and incompatible with decent work.

Member states are reminded of their responsibility to promote a general environment of zero tolerance.

Violence and sexual harassment had been the order of the day in workplaces, homes and other places especially for women, affecting their confidence and image, Ms Lartey said.

Therefore, she said it was imperative for all to support the call in the ratification in order to fight discrimination and inequality.

Workplace risk assessment as set out in the Convention, could help change attitudes towards gender-based violence and harassment, she added and called on Ghanaians to actively campaign for the ratification of the convention.

Commenting on the conference theme: “Women Maximizing Opportunities,” Mr William Ankrah, the General Secretary of Ghana Mineworkers’ Union, said the Union had over the years opened up many opportunities to women.

He said it was done through deliberate constitutional reforms, he added, and would continue it to enhance holistic development.

Ghana had recently witnessed several top corporate positions occupied by women at MTN, Vodafone, Barclays, and Nestle and in the academia where Professor Jane Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang became the first female Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast.

Mrs Theresa Obosu, Chairperson of National Women’s Committee of Ghana Mineworkers’ Union, encouraged women to take advantage of the emerging world order to upgrade their knowledge and become competitive in the market.

She also urged women to report any acts of sexual harassment to authorities for the necessary action.

Source: Ghana News Agency