Employers, unions launch drive to ratify ILO convention on workplace violence, harassment

THE LEADERS Forum, an organization of employers and unions, said it will work towards getting the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Violence and Harassment Convention ratified.

The initial steps will involve consultations with workers and employers, the forum said.

The Violence and Harassment Convention or Convention 190 provides a framework for companies to create work environments that are free from violence and harassment, grounded on the principles of dignity and respect.

“(T)he (Leaders Forum) calls on its constituents to participate in this process so that workplaces, whether at home or in the site (e.g., factory, office, etc.) are free from violence and harassment in whatever form to achieve a safe space for all workers regardless of gender, sex, race, age, beliefs, and ability,” it said in a joint statement Tuesday.

The Leaders Forum members include the Employers Confederation of the Philippines, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Philippine Exporters Confederation, the Federation of Free Workers, Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Center for United and Progressive Workers), and the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines.

These groups are currently working with the Labor department for the ratification of the ILO Convention 190. The convention came into force on June 25 after it was ratified by two ILO member states, Fiji and Uruguay.

Five other countries have so far ratified Convention 190 — Argentina, Ecuador, Mauritius, Namibia, and Somalia.

The Leaders Forum said it recognizes the passage of Republic Act 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act in April 2019, and the signing of its implementing rules and regulations in October 2019, as significant developments aligning the country’s laws with ILO Convention 190.

The Safe Spaces Act expands the scope of Republic Act 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 by recognizing that sexual harassment may also occur among peers, co-employees, in the streets and other public places, and online. — Bianca Angelica D. Anago

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