Monday, August 15

ILO Convention 190 and national authorities

On September 14, the Council of Ministers approved the ratification of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention against violence and harassment at work (Convention No. 190), which must pass through the Cortes Generales and the BOE. To date, 9 countries have ratified it (Uruguay, Fiji, Argentina, Namibia, Ecuador, Somalia, Mauritius and Greece).Convention 190 was approved in June 2019 by the International Labor Conference. It is the first international standard on violence and harassment in the world of work and refers to the fact that everyone has the right to a world of work free of violence and harassment (together with Recommendation 206).

Once ratified, the necessary regulations to prevent violence and harassment in the world of work must be put into operation.

Work-related violence and harassment have increased during the COVID-19 crisis (note that there has been an increase in harassment of health personnel and other essential workers during the pandemic) and therefore it is more urgent than ever to put a stop to to situations that were not regulated in their entirety and that affect millions of people in their work environment every day.

The Convention addresses issues that were not set internationally, such as that work is not always carried out in a specific physical location and its text includes professional communications through information and communication technologies (ICT).

Monitoring cases of harassment and violence is a basic premise along with prevention,

For example, there is a professional group that with others has often been plunged into obvious helplessness. Local administration officials with national qualifications who occupy their positions in different municipalities throughout the country have faced, not infrequently, situations of harassment in their workplace, for the mere fact of making a report that politicians did not like him, or for denouncing irregularities in files. This is the reality, (they only have to type in a search engine “harassment of the City Council’s secretary / auditor) of a system that has left thousands of public servants in this country without adequate legal protection. As there is no specific body In order to elevate this harassment, loneliness is clearly evident.

At the moment, no regulation has been made on this issue and it seems appropriate to do so once Convention 190 is ratified.

The harassment to which they have been subjected has been varied: lower wages, denial of vacations “for reasons of service”, blaming them for the inactivity or paralysis of the City Council in question, letting the neighbors know, or creating an image of the official by cataloging it in all the derogatory ways you can imagine and many more that can be read in any medium from time to time.

Because does anyone imagine any other civil servant body having to live with these situations that occur in many municipalities? I have been observing this issue for many years and in the end I have concluded that factors such as lack of support among colleagues, the “national” nature of this professional body that makes it see it as “alien and imposed” by another Administration and often the lack of knowledge of this figure by the citizenship.

Because not a few cases of corruption have been uncovered because of their work. They ensure legality, give public faith or control expenses and that the budget is adapted to current regulations, among other issues.

Is it so difficult to ensure that these functions are carried out with respect for the dignity and professionalism of these public employees?

Convention 190 is recognizing “the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment” and although it may seem very obvious, the “gas light” situation in some work environments implies taking adequate measures so that never plus a worker has to be subjected to this type of event.

Let us remember the movement of thousands of women called “Me too”, or the work carried out by organizations over many years to eradicate violence and harassment in the world of work.

And let us remember that as long as a world without violence or harassment is not respected, we will not be respecting labor rights and, therefore, human rights.