Italy authorises ILO Convention 190 ratification

Italy made history. The country’s Senate on 12 January authorised the ratification of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 190 on the elimination of violence and harassment at workplaces. This makes Italy the first European country to take this step. 

Ida Ricci of FILCA-CISL welcomed the Senate’s approval. She said that the Italian trade unions campaigned hard for the ratification of the Convention.

“We now have an additional policy tool against harassment and violence at workplaces. This provides us with a common framework of action and opens opportunities for us to shape a future of work based on dignity and respect, Ricci said.

For her part, Mercedes Landolfi of FILLEA-CGIL said that the ILO Convention complements the “code of conduct” already included in their national collective agreements and many other company agreements.

“We recall the efforts of FENEAL-UIL, FILCA-CISL and FILLEA-CGIL in 2015 in finalising the ‘code of conduct against harassment and violence in the workplace,” which is now part of the national collective agreement of the wood sector. Soon, the same code of conduct will be included in the building and construction materials sector,” Landolfil said. 

As of 2016, more than 1 million Italian women have been harassed at workplaces, representing 1 out of 10 workers. It was reported that 80 percent of these cases are not reported due to the lack of appropriate policy tools.  

Ricci said that trade unions must continue their campaigns against workplace gender-based violence in order for the ILO Convention to succeed. “Trade unions, through collective bargaining and campaigns, must sustain the efforts to combat violence against women at workplaces. In such a manner, we introduce cultural change and guarantee the dignity and equal protection and opportunities of workers,” she said. 

Landolfi said education work will play an important part in popularizing the ILO Convention. “Unions need to raise awareness among workers and companies on the importance of this convention. Every single workplace must be informed,” she said.