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Ratify ILO Convention 190


States have a responsibility to promote a ‘general environment of zero tolerance’ to gender-based violence.

The Center for Women’s Global Leadership recently released its 2019 Global 16 Days Campaign Advocacy Guide to support and strengthen efforts by advocates worldwide in engaging, mobilising and scaling up efforts to end gender-based violence.

Although the Advocacy Guide focuses on the 2019 theme of 16 Days to end gender-based violence (GBV) in the world of work, it also supports actions to ratify the newly adopted International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 190 that establishes global standards to end gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work.

#RatifyILO190 is a central demand of this year’s Global 16 Days Campaign: the aim is to mobilise women’s movements to collectively take action in advancing the ratification and implementation of the newly adopted ILO instruments: Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (C190) and Violence and Harassment Recommendation, 2019 (R206).

The Convention enters into force 12 months after two member States ratified it. The Recommendation, which is not legally binding, provides guidelines on how the Convention could be applied.

The Convention has recognised that violence and harassment in the world of work ‘can constitute a human rights violation or abuse…is a threat to equal opportunities, is unacceptable and incompatible with decent work’.

It defines ‘violence and harassment’ as behaviours, practices or threats ‘that aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm’.

And it reminds member States that they have a responsibility to promote a ‘general environment of zero tolerance’.

A key goal of this year’s Global 16 Days Campaign is to now influence a wave of ratifications for C190, which is an important first step towards the implementation of these standards at the national level.

The 2019 Global 16 Days Campaign Advocacy Guide explains why this campaign is needed, and recommends specific actions that can be taken in the 16 days from 25 November – 10 December 2019 to amplify the call for ratification and implementation of C190 and R206.

This is the first new Convention agreed by the International Labour Conference since 2011, when the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189)  was adopted.

The Advocacy Guide has been distributed to all partners of the Global 16 Days Campaign, in English, Spanish and French, and utilised in actions with partners and stakeholders around the world.

It contains key information on background, approaches, contexts and actions for campaigning on issues related to economic insecurity, intimate partner violence, women’s health, invisible labour and other issues relevant to ending gender-based violence in the world of work.

The annual Global 16 Days Campaign is a global effort that was launched in June 1991 when feminists from 21 countries were convened by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL).

That gathering agreed to designate the period from November 25, which marks International Day against Violence Against Women in Latin America, to December 10, which is International Human Rights Day, as the 16 days of Activism to End Violence Against Women.

The Global 16 Days Campaign has since been used by 6000+ organisations in 187 countries to expose the scourge of violence against women and demand its elimination.

“Ending gender-based violence in the world of work will require joint action by women workers, Unions, Parliamentarians, Journalists and Human Rights Activists,” Melissa Upreti, Senior Director, Program and Global Advocacy at CWGL, said.

“This Advocacy Guide helps show the way and, if utilised, will create a surge in demands for ratification that governments will not be able to ignore.”

Resources including examples of promising practices and shareable items can be found on the 16 Days Campaign website.

To read the full advocacy guide, click here.

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