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TUC urges Gov’t to ratify ILO Convention (190) on workers’ rights

The Trade Union Congress Ghana (TUC), has urged the government to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 190 to protect the rights of workers.

The ILO Convention 190 seeks to protect workers from gender-based violence and sexual harassment across the world, a commitment to apply a set of standards governing one aspect of decent work to all men and women.

Mr Kizito Ballans, Chief Director, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), at the launch of the ILO ratification campaign in Accra on Wednesday, said violence and harassment in the world of work continued to be pervasive, affecting all countries, occupations, and work arrangements.

Therefore, preventing gender-based violence and harassment in the workspace would help contribute to delivering Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 10 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

He explained that the convention and its accompanying recommendations would also serve as meaningful tools for fighting discrimination and inequal
ity in the world of work.

Mr Ballans said ratifying the convention must therefore be seen as an opportunity to change the narrative for expanding opportunities for employment while ensuring that the workplace was safe for the average worker, employers and even third parties.

He said the government would continue to strengthen its policies to ensure a safe and healthy workplace for all irrespective of gender, class, social status, or disability.

He hoped that a nationwide campaign would enlighten and improve the understanding of the ratification of the ILO.

Dr Yaw Baah, Secretary General, TUC Ghana, said the approval of the convention would help combat sexual harassment and violence against people, especially women.

He said sexual harassment and gender-based violence against people were prevalent in the country, but victims could not report it.

‘Even some cultures promote it, when girls reach a certain age in their lives, they make them go naked in public which makes men excited and portray some pervert
actions against young girls,’ he said.

‘Our constitution doesn’t have anything on sexual harassment; therefore, we must ensure it contains policies about it and must be strong enough to ensure its implementation,’ he added.

Dr Baah said the ratification and the effective implementation of Convention 190 would be essential to addressing the scourge of violence and harassment in the world of work, particularly the prevalence of gender-based violence.

He called on government and social partners to take part in the mitigation of the impact of domestic violence, including violence perpetuated against individuals who work at home.

Mrs Inviolata Chinyangara, Senior Technical Specialist, ILO-ACTRAV, educated participants on the ILO 190 and called on stakeholders to add their voices to calls for the ratification of the ILO Convention 190.

She said sexual harassment and violence could affect productivity since what happened at home reflected on the performance of workers.

Mrs Chinyangara said the Domestic Violenc
e Act and other laws of the country frowned on sexual violence and harassment.

Mrs Hilma Kupila Mote, ILO, GENEVA, said the ILO campaign ratification was aimed at providing trade unions with adequate knowledge, capacities, and practical tools to engage and participate actively in the International LABOUR Standards (ILS) systems and its supervisory mechanism.

Source: Ghana News Agency