Canada must ratify ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment, urges NUPGE | National Union of Public and General Employees

Canada must ratify ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment, urges NUPGE

"Addressing violence and harassment in the world of work is a crucial step in the fight against gender-based violence and inequality.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President

Ottawa (11 Dec. 2019) — NUPGE has submitted a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, urging him to ratify the latest International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention on Violence and Harassment (No. 190).

"Addressing violence and harassment in the world of work is a crucial step in the fight against gender-based violence and inequality,” wrote Larry Brown, NUPGE President. “We call on your government to ratify ILO Convention No. 190.”

The first of its kind

The ILO adopted the new treaty in June of this year. Until then, there had been no international standard on violence and harassment in the world of work.

Convention No. 190 is also ground-breaking in its scope. It recognizes that violence and harassment occur in both private and public sectors, in rural and urban settings, and in formal and informal types of employment. It also applies to the entire world of work, which includes the workplace, as well as, work-related communication, travel, training, commuting, or events.  

Violence and harassment are too common

“Violence and harassment remain far too prevalent in and around workplaces across the country,” wrote Brown.

“Our members know this all too well as the front-line health care professionals, justice workers, social services providers, care workers, and even liquor store workers who experience unacceptable high rates of workplace violence.”

Disproportionate effects

Violence and harassment have uneven effects, with women workers facing a higher risk. "Marginalized women, including Indigenous women, racialized women, women with disabilities, immigrant and refugee women, and LGBTQI2S people in Canada disproportionately experience violence and harassment," Brown noted. 

Importantly, the Convention recognizes and seeks to address these inequities.

Responsibility to act

“Canadian governments, employers, and unions all have a role to play in eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work, and to ensure the proper supports are in place for those who are affected,” wrote Brown. “In fact, we all have a responsibility to do so.”

Canada must walk the walk

The Trudeau government is a self-described world leader in advancing gender equality.

“Ratifying ILO Convention No. 190 would demonstrate Canada’s commitment to the right of all workers to a work environment free from violence and harassment,” urged Brown. “Further, the Convention also provides a roadmap for governments on how to get there. This includes measures for preventing violence and harassment in the world of work, and for protecting those who are affected.”

Read the letter here:
Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau: Ratify ILO Convention 190


NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE