Canada’s unions call on federal government to ratify and implement C-190

November 24, 2021

Canada’s unions are marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by urging the federal government to live up to its commitments and finally ratify and implement International Labour Organization Convention no. 190 (C-190) on Violence and Harassment.

November 25 marks the beginning of the internationally commemorated 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Gender-based violence and harassment infiltrates every aspect of Canadian society, from our homes, to our community spaces, to the world of work. Violence and harassment is a daily reality for far too many workers in Canada, heightened even further by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “The argument that harassment and violence is inevitable in certain workplaces is unacceptable. All workers deserve to feel safe at work,” said Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). “We want concrete action from the government to prevent and end gender-based violence and harassment at work. That starts with ratifying C-190.

C-190 is the first international standard of its kind that acknowledges the universal right to a world of work free from violence and harassment, and establishes a clear framework for ending it. Once ratified, governments are accountable for preventing and addressing all forms of violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and harassment, and it gives unions the tools they need to make work safer for everyone.

Jobs and sectors dominated by women workers are disproportionately impacted by workplace harassment and violence. Women and gender diverse workers who also face discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, race, disability, Indigeneity, immigration or migration status or other social identity are also more likely to experience workplace harassment and violence, and face additional barriers to reporting. Too often, workers are not protected by existing legislation, leaving them vulnerable to abuse and threatening their safety at work.

“Now is the time for action. The pandemic has increased incidents of harassment and violence against health care and other frontline workers,” said Siobhán Vipond, CLC Executive Vice-President. “And incidents of domestic violence for those working from home have also increased over the past 20 months. C-190 is comprehensive and inclusive. It gives us the tools we need to prevent and address gender-based violence at work, and work toward ending it.”

Join us in marking the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence by asking the new Minister of Labour to ratify C-190 to protect all workers in Canada.

On December 7th we invite everyone to join the CLC’s virtual webinar on gender-based violence at work and learn how ILO C-190 will impact workers in Canada.

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