ILO Convention on workplace violence and harassment ratified

Labour law specialists at the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Professor Arellano Ortiz (left) and Valerie van Goethem (second from left) in conversation with Minister of Labour, Social Security, and Third Sector, Colin Jordan after the opening session of the workshop on Access to Labour Justice: Evaluation and Strengthening of the Employment Rights Tribunal on Wednesday

Barbados ratified the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019, becoming the second Caribbean country to do so.

Minister of Labour, Social Security, and Third Sector, Colin Jordan announced that the country lodged its instrument of ratification of the most recent ILO Convention on September 1 that addresses the elimination of gender-based violence and harassment in the workplace.

Jordan said that “as a progressive country”, Barbados took a lead role in developing the Convention during the Centenary International Labour Conference for years ago.

“Many hours, much negotiation, and a successful outcome,” he said, while also recounting his role in the effort. “I had the privilege of indicating to the ILO member states, in the plenary session, that the Convention was necessary, that it was reasonable, and therefore it was capable of being ratified.”

Antigua & Barbuda was the first Caribbean nation to ratify the Convention in May of this year.

The minister gave the commitment that Barbados will assist other countries to follow its lead.

“We will be doing all that we can to encourage other countries within the Caribbean region, but also the ILO region, which is referred to as the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean countries … to ratify this Convention,” he said.

The ILO’s Violence and Harassment Convention protects workers in all sectors from unacceptable behaviours and practices or threats that aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual, or economic harm, and includes gender-based violence and harassment.


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