In the transport sector, violence and harassment are still often seen as part of the job – this is an unacceptable reality that we, as trade unions, are fighting hard to change.
Thanks to the efforts of trade unions everywhere – working to pressure both employers and governments – we’ve achieved a milestone.
Today, the ILO Violence and Harassment Convention 190 – the first international treaty to address violence and harassment – comes into force.
Together with Recommendation No. 206 , Convention No. 190 recognises the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment and provides a common framework for action.
To date, six countries have ratified C190 – Ratifying countries are legally bound by the provisions of the Convention a year after ratification.
Disappointingly, Europe has yet to ratify, and the ETF will continue to actively campaign for the ratification and implementation of ILO C190.
We especially urge EU Member States to start with the ratification process and not wait on the adoption of the Council Decision and call on Member States blocking this Decision, notably Poland and Hungary, to stop hindering EU-wide ratification.
But, as unions, we are not used to sitting around and waiting for governments to act. That’s why at the ETF, we created a Workplace Guidance to address violence and harassment against women at work for trade unions and companies.
Our Guidance builds upon the tools and minimum standards set out in the Convention and trade unions can use it to put this issue on the agenda whether their government chooses to ratify or not.
The Guidance will support social partners at company and sector level to develop effective workplace policies that prevent and eliminate violence and harassment against women transport workers.
While we will continue to call on governments to ratify the Convention, we urge trade unions to use the Guidance as a tool to lead the fight in the everyday battle to eliminate gender-based violence.
Explanatory videos by the author, Jane Pillinger