The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) in collaboration with Action Aid, Ghana organized a two-day out of station intensive training workshop from 24th to 25th March 2021 at Tomreik Hotel, Accra.
The programme, under the theme “Understanding International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 190-Violence and Harassment in the world of work” was sponsored by Action Aid, Ghana. The Convention 190 was adopted on the final day of the 108th and 100 years anniversary celebration of the ILO in Geneva, Switzerland. The Convention recognizes that Violence and Harassment in the world of work constitute human rights violations and are both unacceptable and incompatible with decent work.
The two-day programme sought to raise awareness on Violence and Harassment in the world of work, not restricting it to women and covering all the different forms of the act. It brought together over 45 participants including representatives of senior government officials from public institutions, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), MELR, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Labour Department (LD), as well as gender focal persons, among others.
Mrs. Ruth Ferkah Kyere, the Deputy Director, HR and Head of the Gender Desk of the Ministry set the ball rolling by giving a welcome address to all present.
In her speech, she indicated that the workshop could not have been held at any better time than this era when COVID-19 and its associated protocols have proven to the world the need to always strengthen safety measures, particularly at the workplace. She reiterated that our workplaces cannot be safe and conducive for work if we are faced with the issues of Violence and Harassments.
She disclosed that, we have downplayed the issue of Violence and Harassment particularly at the workplace and this explains the reason why government cannot boast of any reliable national database on the issue for pragmatic decision. The lack of institutional support systems may have also contributed to the reason why victims of Violence and Harassment may feel reluctant to report such occurrences especially at the workspace, she added.
In their remarks, participants applauded the MELR for initiating the move to facilitate the ratification of C 190. Participants were trained in topics such as: ‘Gaps in Geographical laws and workplace policies’, ‘Key areas for consideration in developing national laws on Violence and Harassment in the word of work’, and ‘Development of workplace guidelines on Violence and Harassment’.
It is remarkable to note that the ILO and its member States have, for the first of its kind, adopted a New International Labour Convention and its accompanying recommendations to combat Violence and Harassment in the workplace.
The ILO subsequently encourages member States to commence dialogue to ratify the Convention and its Recommendation and domesticate it to suit their respective countries.
Thus, going forward government corporate institutions and companies are to take the necessary steps to put Violence and Harassment training in place and establish policies in the world of work.