Belgium ratifies ILO Convention NO. 190

Last 13 June, Belgium joined a growing number of countries that ratified the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No. 190 on the Violence and Harassment in Workplaces. The convention is the first international instrument that recognises the right to a world of work free from violence and harassment, and in particular the right to be free from gender-based violence.

BWI affiliates, such as the FGTB, CSC and CGSLB, welcomed the convention’s ratification, calling it an important step to eliminate workplace violence and harassment in the country, and to improve the well-being and performance of workers. The said trade unions actively lobbied the Belgian government to ratify the instrument. Citing a national survey conducted by the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men, the trade unions said that 9 percent of Belgian women have become victims of workplace violence and harassment, while 4 percent of victims are male workers. Young workers are also reported to be the most vulnerable. 

The Belgian trade unions also emphasized the benefits of the convention to migrant workers, notably women, as well as the fight against domestic abuse, which they claimed has a significant detrimental impact on female workers. BWI, for its part, encourages all of its affiliates to continue the campaign in order to achieve more nation ratifications this year and assure its faithful implementation in every workplace.