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‘It’s time for FG to ratify ILO Convention against workplace violence’

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ILO Convention on violence, ILAW

By Victor Young

The Nigeria chapter of International Lawyers Assisting Workers Network, ILAW, has joined organised labour in Nigeria to implore the Federal Government to ratify the International Labour Organisation, ILO, convention against violence and harassment at workplaces.

Recall that one of the landmarks of the centenary celebration of ILO in June 2019 was the adoption of Violence and Harassment Convention No.190 by member-countries including Nigeria.

In a statement by Femi Aborisade for ILAW Nigeria to mark this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, contended that in “the context of the combined provisions of Article 19(5) of the ILO Constitution and Section 254C(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, ratification of an ILO Convention is an executive function, which excludes the prescribed legislative role of the National Assembly under Section 12(1) of the 1999 Constitution.”

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Among others demands, ILAW urged the “Federal Government to ratify ILO Convention No. 190, by executive action, without any further delay.

“The Violence and Harassment Convention No.190 and the accompanying Recommendation No. 206 are the first international standards, which seek to protect the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment.

“The Convention recognises that behaviours that subject the other person to violence and harassment constitute human rights violation issues.

“It thus provides a framework to prevent, remedy and eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work, including gender-based violence and harassment.

“The Convention protects everyone who works, irrespective of gender or contractual status, i.e. worker or employer: this Convention protects workers and other persons in the world of work;

“Whether persons in training, including interns and apprentices, workers whose employment has been terminated, volunteers, job seekers and job applicants, and individuals exercising the authority, duties or responsibilities of an employer.

“Indeed, the scope of coverage includes all sectors of the economy, private and public, formal or informal, urban and rural areas, in physical or virtual work settings, including work related to internet communications.

“Given the phenomenally rising rate of conflicts, crises, violence, multiple forms of socio-economic and political tensions, Boko Haram insurgency, abuses in internally-displaced persons, IDP, camps; wanton and arbitrary police killings, and particularly the alarming incidents of rape and killing of rape victims, the most auspicious time to ratify Convention 190 is now.”

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