Govt urged to ratify ILO Convention on workers’ rights

The government has been urged to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 190 to protect the rights of workers.

Ghana adopted the ILO 190, which focuses on the elimination of sexual harassment and violence in the world of work.

The Youth Urban Women’s Movement (YUWM), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), said the approval of the convention would help combat sexual harassment and violence against people, especially women.

According to the YUWM, sexual harassment and violence against people were prevalent in the country, but victims could not report.

The President of YUWM, Bernice Boakye, made the call in Accra, yesterday,at a dialogue on ILO Convention 190, organised for traditional, religious and influential leaders, under the auspices of ActionAid, another NGO.

She said “Convention 190 and recommendation 206 are the first international legal standards that specificallyrecognise the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and harassment.”

Ms Boakye said the ratification and the effective implementation of Convention 190 would be essential to addressing the scourge of violence and harassment in the world of work, particularly the prevalence of gender-based violence.

“Research conducted by the ActionAid Ghana in collaboration with YUWM in 2018, showed that 44 per cent of young urban women in the formal sector suffered repeated sexual oriented behaviour such as touching, rubbing or groping, 49 per cent had been sexually abused in the world of work and 44 per cent had been harassed more than once,” she said.

Ms Boakye said YUWM was observing an alarming surge in cases of domestic violence worldwide, including Ghana, because of confinement measures, resulting from COV ID-19.

Sheasked government and social partners to take part in the mitigation of the impact of domestic violence, including violence perpetuated against individuals who work at home.

Bashiratu Kamal of Ghana Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU) educated participants on the ILO 190,and called on stakeholders to add their voice to calls for the ratification of the ILO Convention 190.

She said sexual harassment and violence could affect productivity, since what happened at home reflected on the performance of workers.

Kamal said the Domestic Violence Act and other laws of the country frowned on sexual violence and harassment.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE

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