Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation (SGSF) and Awaj Foundation on Sunday urged the government to address the increase in Gender-Based Violence and Harassment (GBVH) at work linked to the Covid-19 pandemic by ratifying and implementing ILO Convention 190 (C190).
ILO Convention 190 (C190) is the first global, binding treaty on ending violence and harassment in the world of work, said a press release.
SGSF and Awaj Foundation further call on all employers to support ratification and adopt workplace policies to prevent GBVH at work.
SGSF President and Awaj Foundation Founder Nazma Akter said, "For too long women and men's human rights have been violated in the workplace, and this convention will help create the legal and policy structure needed in Bangladesh to help workers fight back against this terrible form of injustice."
She noted that many unions and worker organizations around the world are pushing for gender equality, equal pay, and an end to gender-based violence and harassment. "Not just in the RMG sector, but in all sectors," she added.
Adopted in June 2019, C190 is the first treaty that recognizes the fundamental right to a world of work free from violence and harassment.
According to Awaj and SGSF, that right is under threat from the inequality, poverty and social instability caused by the pandemic, which leaves workers, particularly women and other marginalised workers, at increased risk of GBVH.
C190 recognises how work is structured by protecting workers normally excluded from labour protections, including workers in non-standard work arrangements, in export processing zones and in the informal economy.
The two organisations also called on employers across the country to show their support for ratification and implementation of C190.