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Government urged to ratify convention C 190

By Steven Godfrey Mkweteza

Labour experts have urged the country to consider ratifying and domesticating the convention c 190 so as to eliminate violence and harassment cases at workplace.

The experts said this in Blantyre during the launch of a campaign to lobby government to ratify the instrument.

The international labour organisation(ILO) senior specialist of workers activities David Darkenoo said the convention C 190 is a clean and common framework that prevent and address violence and harassment based on inclusive, integrated and gender-responsive approach.

Dorkenoo said the instrument, among others, acknowledge the fast changing nature of the world of work.

“Violence and harassment in the world of work remains pervasive affecting all countries, occupations and work arrangements. It manifests in different forms and contexts,” he said.

Dorkenoo added violence and harassment deprives people of their dignity and is incompatible with decent work and social justice.

The expert said the persistent inequalities, demographic shifts, changes in work organisation and technology can further exacerbate violence and harassment, including gender based violence and harassment.

According to Dorkenoo, Malawi is among the 25 countries that signed the protocol in June 2019 during the international labour office centenary declaration on the future of work conference.

He said, only six African countries have so far ratified the convention C 190

Vice president of Malawi congress of trade unions( MCTU) Kelvin Chafunda said the promotion of the ratification and implementation or the convention C 190 will help shape the future of work based on dignity and respect, free from violence and harassment.

Chafunda said his union receives over 5000 cases of violence and harassment and workplace annually.

“Of these cases, women are the most affected than men because of some cultural beliefs, illiteracy, gender imbalances and lack of self esteem, ” said Chafunda.

He added that sexual violence are high on the list of violence and harassments.

” A lot of girls and women are the most victims. Others do not want to report for fear of losing jobs or the no n availability of reporting channels. Those who reports they receive poor response. But we feel that this convention will surely fill the gap and create a safe workplace,” he said.

Chafunda said the campaign will go alone the way to influence the legislators to pass it into a law.

” We make sure that the parliament deliberate about it this year because it is long overdue looking at the increasing cases we are are now receiving,” he said.

Executive director of employers association of Malawi(ECAM) George Khaki said his association has noted that many workplaces have no workplace and gender policies to prevent the malpractices.

“It is very imperative for the government to ratify and domesticate the instrument so as to reduce cases of litigations among companies. This will also upscale the productivity levels since many workers lack motivations at workplace due to the hostile environment, he said.

In his remarks, the labour officer for Blantyre district Joseph Sambo said necessary steps have now been implored to ensure that the ratification and domesticating of the convention is done.

“Government is aware on the importance of this instrument and various steps have been taken towards the issue. We have engaged consultants, lawyers , labour and gender experts as well as employers and employees and other partners for inputs, ” he said.

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Robert Ngwira
Robert Ngwira
Attended Our Future Private Secondary School in Rumphi from 2006-2009 Holder of Diploma in Journalism from Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) Hobbies, reading newspapers, going out with friends, listening to radio and watching football. Email: info@faceofmalawi.com

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