Last 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, PSI General Secretary, Rosa Pavanelli, wrote to world leaders urging them to take the necessary steps, including consultation with worker organisations, to expedite the ratification process of ILO Convention C190 on the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work, but equally to enable its implementation once the Convention enters into force in a country.
Ecuador was one of the first countries to ratify the convention and it will enter into force in May 2022. The National Council for Gender Equality has written back to reiterate the commitment of the new Government of Ecuador to guarantee a life free of violence for all people, especially against women. A C190 manual on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work - Ecuador Chapter has been developed and, joining forces with the Ministry of Labour and UN Women, a roadmap for the implementation of C190 and its R206 is planned.
Canadian Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan, in his reply to the PSI General Secretary wrote that “the Government of Canada recognizes that violence and harassment at work is a serious and pressing issue. It disproportionately affects women and marginalized groups and has been exacerbated in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic” adding that “we hope to ratify Convention 190 at the earliest possible opportunity.”
The Government of Canada is currently working closely with provincial and territorial governments with a view towards ratification of Convention 190. This process includes detailed technical reviews of the Convention to assess conformity with its principles in domestic laws, regulations, policies, programs and practices. The federal government, as well as a majority of provincial and territorial jurisdictions, must then complete a multi-step approval process before being able to officially endorse ratification. This entire process, from the initial technical reviews to official support for ratification, can take considerable time to finalize.
Since the adoption of the convention and its related recommendation in June 2019, only 10 countries have so far formally ratified C190. While many countries publicly committed to ratification during the Generation Equality Forum meetings in Mexico and Paris, these have not yet been formally submitted.