Namibia: Ministry to Table Convention On Violence At Work

The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation will table the International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention on the elimination of violence and harassment when parliament resumes in September.

The convention on the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work was adopted in June 2019 at the Annual International Labour Conference in Geneva.

Namibia then declared its interest to ratify this convention, being the first African country to declare such an interest.

The convention protects workers and other people in the world of work, including employees as defined by national laws and practices, and persons working irrespective of their contractual status, persons in training, workers whose employment has been terminated, volunteers, job seekers, customers and job applicants as well as individuals exercising the authority, duties or responsibilities of an employer.

Namibia's Cabinet recently directed the labour minister to table the convention for consideration and ratification.

"The ratification of the convention is believed to fill the gap as there is currently a legislation vacuum to help eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work," executive director of labour Bro-Matthew Shinguadja said.

He said preparations are at an advanced stage for Namibia to accept the convention.

The labour ministry announced this during a stakeholders' meeting last week.

Shinguadja said a number of violence and harassment cases have been witnessed in workplaces in the past, which are circumstances the ministry believes necessitate the ratificatio, of the convention.

These and other unreported incidents project a scary picture which could mean workplaces could become places of brutality, assault, physical and emotional abuse.

The ministry called on stakeholders to come up with a plan to attract collaboration, cooperation, networking and support from all individuals, organisations and other technical operators.

Vicki ya Toivo, special adviser to the ministry, said Namibia will deposit an instrument for ratification with the ILO as soon as the National Assembly approves thereof.

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