By Michael Oche
Following the ratification of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention 190 by the Nigerian government, Solidarity Center in collaboration with Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have agreed to commence developing new strategies to ensure the speedy implementation of the Convention in order to prevent Gender Based Violence and Harassment (GBVH) in the world of work.
This was the resolution reached at the end of a stakeholders meeting which included several Civil Society Organizations, NAPTIP, Media Partners, youth leaders, and government agencies held in Abuja.
The workshop which also had participants from various unions and CSOs was to enable strategic actors to develop an advocacy campaign plan with advocacy activities targeting employers, governments, and parliament. It also includes building new relationships, expand the existing coalition, as well as develop strong networks and partnerships among other issues.
As part of the strategies, the stakeholders agreed to organize training and education on the meaning of the ratification and the content of C190, with a target of Employers, Labour Union Leaders and Gender desk officers.
They also resolved to embark on
media Enlightenment on the content of the C190 to the public/larger audience
In his welcome address, Eric Edi of the Solidarity Center commended the National Coalition on its effort in ending GBVH in the world of work and the efforts that have led to the ratification of the ILO C190 and called on Trade Unions to undertake more collaborative engagement, identify areas for further research to get understanding on GBVH.
Janet Anaele, Program Officer, Solidarity Center, in her address urged Trade Unions to continue to increase awareness of GBVH, develop policies to prevent and address GBVH, and integrate C190 into its collective bargaining agreements (CBA).
She also called on the government to adopt legislation that promotes all workers.
She noted the current effort of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria with support from Solidarity Center AL-CIO creating awareness among union leaders about key GBVH issues unique to people with disabilities and how unions can best utilize ILO Convention 190 to assist this category of highly vulnerable workers.
Anaele disclosed the planned research on “Access to Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities” being led by Trade Union Congress with support from the Solidarity Center in the six geopolitical zones.
While congratulating Nigeria on the ratification of the convention 190, the Solidarity Center Program Officer encouraged other West African countries to continue to lobby the various governments towards ratification of C190, noting that Violence and harassment disproportionately affect women and that the C190 takes a gender-responsive approach to tackle the underlying inequalities that cause GBVH.
A Union leader, Comrade Roselyn Uba-Anarah, President of NUPSTRAW during the session said that GBVH is still very prevalent in the world of work and the need for workers to unite to tackle the menace.
She pointed to the findings from the NLC research conducted in 2019 showing the prevalence of GBVH in the Nigerian World of Work, especially in the informal sector.