Geneva, 7th August 2023: Ambassador Marcel Tibaleka, representing the Government of the Republic of Uganda, has deposited the instrument of ratification of Convention 190 (C-190) on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work with Mr. Gilbert Houngbo, the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), at the ILO headquarters in Geneva. The landmark ratification signifies Uganda’s steadfast commitment to fostering a safe and inclusive work environment for all, free from violence and harassment.
Speaking at the ratification ceremony, Ambassador Marcel Tibaleka, Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, emphasized that the ratification of Convention 190 reinforces Uganda’s dedication to building a just and fair society, fostering a safe and respectful working environment, and upholding the principles of human rights and dignity in the world of work. Ambassador Tibaleka further sought the ILO’s support in effectively implementing the provisions of the convention.
Director-General Houngbo praised Uganda’s decisive step in ratifying this important convention. He highlighted that with this ratification, Uganda becomes the 32nd country in the world and the 8th African country to have ratified Convention 190. He extended his congratulations to Uganda, acknowledging that this ratification reaffirms the country’s commitment, as well as the commitment of the entire region, to combating violence and harassment in the world of work.
With this ratification, Uganda looks forward to collaborating closely with the ILO and the international community to comprehensively implement Convention 190. Collectively supporting this essential convention will lead to a better, safer, and more equitable world of work for all.
The Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190), is an international labor standard adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in June 2019. It addresses the issues of violence and harassment in the world of work, aiming to promote a safe and healthy working environment for all, encompassing both the public and private sectors.
Key provisions of the convention include: I. Scope: The convention covers all workers and defines “violence and harassment” as behaviors, actions, or threats that aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual, or economic harm.
- Prevention: Employers are required to take measures to prevent violence and harassment in the workplace, including policies, risk assessments, and appropriate training for employees.
III. Protection: The convention emphasizes the need for appropriate protection for victims and witnesses of violence and harassment, promoting confidential reporting mechanisms and support services for affected individuals.
- Awareness and Training: Promoting awareness and education on the issue is a key aspect of the convention, encouraging training programs and educational initiatives to prevent and address violence and harassment.
- Collective Bargaining: The convention recognizes the role of collective bargaining in addressing the issue and encourages social dialogue between employers, workers, and their representatives.
- Gender-Based Violence and Harassment: The convention explicitly acknowledges the importance of addressing gender-based violence and harassment in the workplace.
ILO Member States that ratify the convention commit to implementing its provisions in their national laws and practices and are required to regularly report on the measures taken to comply with the convention’s requirements. The convention entered into force after being ratified by two member states of the ILO on 25th June 2021. Consequently, the Convention comes into force for any Member State twelve months after the date of its ratification registration.
In May 2023, the Parliament of Uganda passed the Amended Employment Bill, incorporating provisions of this convention.