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SL to ratify landmark ILO convention on workplace harassment

23 March 2021 09:30 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Laws to be drafted preventing gender-based violence and harassment as well
  • First int’l treaty to articulate right to a violence and harassment-free world of work

Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers has granted approval to ratify the landmark International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention on Eliminating Violence and Harassment in the world of work and to draft sweeping new laws and regulations to prevent violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and harassment.


Labour Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said the Cabinet nod has been received to ratify ILO Convention No.190 and Recommendation No. 206 that recognise the right of everyone to a world of work, free from violence and harassment, along with Recommendation No.205 on Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience.


In 2019, the ILO’s International Labour Conference adopted the Centenary Declaration on the Future of Work, expressing a clear commitment to a world of work free from violence and harassment with the commitment to life, with the adoption of the Violence and Harassment Convention (No. 190) and Recommendation (No. 206).

It was the first instance that the right to a world of work free from violence and harassment has been articulated in an international treaty, backed by a clear-cut and common framework, to prevent and address violence and harassment, based on an inclusive, integrated and gender-responsive approach. 


The recommendation, which is not legally binding, provides guidelines on how the convention could be applied.


The minister noted that the proposal, which was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers, will be tabled in Parliament and it would be taken up for extensive discussions in the Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus and Labour Ministerial Consultative Committee.


While incorporating the outcomes of these discussions along with the opinions of experts, the minister expects to complete the legislation process of the bill by the International Women’s Day, next year.


The Violence and Harassment Convention (No. 190) has registered five ratifications so far by Argentina, Fiji, Namibia, Somalia and Uruguay. It is scheduled to come into force officially from June 25, this year. 


Following a 12-month period into ratification of the convention, it will come to effect for individual member states of the ILO.


Each member that ratifies the convention is required to adopt laws and regulations requiring employers to take appropriate steps to prevent violence and harassment in the workplace. 


Sri Lanka is likely to become the first Asian nation to adopt the required laws and regulations related to the ILO convention in the legal system, according to trade unions. (NF)

 

 

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