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Ratify ILO Convention 190 to protect workers – Action aid

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Government has been urged to work to ratify the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 190 to fight violence and harassment at workplaces and protect the dignity and integrity of workers.

Action Aid Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organization through its Activista Ghana, youth group, Upper East Regional chapter, made the call as part of the celebration of the International Labour Month.

The ILO C 190 on violence and harassment is an international declaration that was adopted by the global community on June 21, 2019, and sought to eliminate all forms of violence, intimidation and harassment at workplaces and ensure better condition of service for workers.

It is also to enhance the rights and freedoms of workers and prevent employers from taking advantage of their employees.

The group which called on government to further intensify education on the Convention, marched across some of the principal streets of Bolgatanga holding placards with inscriptions such as “ratify IOL C190”, “protect women workers,” “stop sex for jobs”, “let’s end harassment at workplaces”, “stop gender based violence,” and “zero violence at workplaces” among others.

They further carried out public announcement at market places and lorry parks to educate people on the existence of the Convention so as to galvanize support for its ratification.

Mr Yakubu Akuka, the Upper East Regional Programmes Officer, Action Aid Ghana, said although there were laws such as the Labour Law and the 1992 Constitution, violence and harassment at the various workplaces was still prevalent.

The Programmes Officer said women were mostly affected due to vulnerability and said the informal sector experienced the worst cases.

“If you look around you will realize that a lot of people especially women go through a lot of harassment and violence and so we think if government ratifies this Convention, it will go a long way to contribute to addressing the menace”.

Mr Akuka therefore called on government to prioritize the ratification of the Convention during the 2021 ILO conference slated for June.

The Programmes Officer said when the convention was ratified it could contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially goals five and eight which talk about gender equality, and decent work and economic growth respectively.

Mr Nicholas Azebire, the Regional Coordinator, Activista Ghana, said due to unemployment most young people were mostly harassed when searching for jobs especially in the informal sector.

He said the future of the country was the youth and therefore it was imperative for stakeholders including government to take urgent steps to protect young people particularly those more vulnerable, and empower them to bring their knowledge and skills to develop the nation.

Mr Azebire said when the Convention was ratified it would strengthen the existing laws and regulations regarding decent work and make them operational to address the phenomenon.

Mr Samson Daadiya Abdulai, a member of the Activista Ghana, said Ghana was already a signatory to the Convention and its ratification would further cement Ghana’s respect for the rights of workers.

Source: GNA

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