At today’s Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women we want to make clear that violence is never “only” a private issue or “only” a workplace issue.
Since the start of the pandemic, domestic violence has increased. At the same time, services that usually give support to victims have found it difficult to function: Victims of violence have often had less access to health care, shelters or legal assistance.
With so many people working from home, the difference between domestic violence and violence in the world of work has become blurred. However, even under normal circumstances domestic violence can have an impact on work. This is recognised in the ILO Convention 190, the “Convention concerning the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work” and its accompanying recommendation R206. Judith Kirton-Darling, industriAll Europe Deputy General Secretary: “The convention does not only recognise the effect domestic violence can have on employment, productivity and health and safety, but also points out how employers’ and workers’ organizations can help to respond and support.”
Recommendation 206 suggests e.g. leave for victims of domestic violence, flexible work arrangements and protection for victims of domestic violence, the inclusion of domestic violence in workplace risk assessments or awareness-raising about the effects of domestic violence. “At today’s Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women we want to make clear that violence is never “only” a private issue or “only” a workplace issue. One effects the other. As trade unions we are committed to play our role. We appeal to all employers to play theirs.”
The convention in itself represents a milestone, addressing violence and harassment in the world of work: behaviours, practices, or threats “that aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm”. So far, only two countries have ratified the convention and only thirty (ten European) have started the ratification process. IndustriAll Europe calls on all governments to ratify C190!