Namibia to Ratify ILO Convention On Violence and Harassment

19 February 2020

Namibia has declared an interest in ratifying the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 190 concerning the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work. In preparing the ratification, the labour ministry has scheduled a stakeholders' sensitisation workshop slated for 27 February 2020.

The convention was adopted in June 2019 at the Annual International Labour Conference. Its adoption means that the world of work, for the first time, has an international binding instrument aimed specifically at eliminating violence and harassment. The convention protects workers and other persons in the world of work, including employees as defined by national laws and practices, as well as persons working irrespective of their contractual status, persons in training (including interns and apprentices), workers whose employment has been terminated, volunteers, jobseekers, customers and job applicants as well as individuals exercising the authority, duties or responsibilities of an employer.

The convention also recognises that violence and harassment in the world of work constitutes a human right violation and is also a threat to equal opportunities and thus is unacceptable and incompatible with decent work. It also 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.

As a result, stakeholders at the workshop will look at implications of the convention and its recommendations for action, identifying possible roles and needs of each stakeholder in the fight against violence and harassment at workplace in Namibia and identifying priority areas for technical support.

So far, the ministry in collaboration with the ILO commissioned a Study on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work in Namibia in 2019. The overall objective of the study was to contribute to the formulation of policies and programs aimed at preventing and eliminating violence and harassment against women and men in the world of work in Namibia. The report on the study was validated and is expected to be launched during the workshop.

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