Violence and Harassment

Mauritius ratifies the Violence and Harassment Convention

Mauritius became the seventh country in the world, and the third African country, to ratify the ILO’s Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190).

News | 01 July 2021
On July 1st, 2021, Mauritius became the seventh country in the world, and the third African country, to ratify the ILO’s Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190).

Honourable SOODESH S. CALLICHURN, Minister of Labour, Human Resource Development & Training and Minister of Commerce & Protection of Consumers, deposited these instruments of ratification with ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, in a virtual ceremony.

Convention No. 190 is the first international treaty to address violence and harassment in the world of work. Together with Recommendation No.206, it provides a common framework for action and a unique opportunity to shape a future of work based on dignity and respect, and underlines the right of everyone to a world free from violence and harassment. It includes the first international definition of violence and harassment in the world of work, including gender-based violence. The Convention applies to the public and private sectors, formal and informal economies, and urban and rural areas. It protects everyone in the world of work, irrespective of their contractual status.

The Convention also requires ratifying member States to adopt, in consultation with representative employers’ and workers’ organizations, an inclusive, integrated and gender-responsive approach to preventing and eliminating violence and harassment, through prevention, protection and enforcement measures and remedies, as well as guidance, training and awareness-raising. It also recognizes the different and complementary roles and functions of governments, employers and workers and their respective organizations, taking into account the varying nature and extent of their responsibilities. The Convention and Recommendation are tangible evidence of the enduring value and strength of social dialogue and tripartism, which will be essential in implementing them at national level.

In depositing the official instrument of ratification, Minister SOODESH S. CALLICHURN stated: “Mauritius is proud to be one among the few countries in the world and the first one in the Indian Ocean region to ratify the present instrument allowing a world of work free from violence and harassment. This process started some 18 years back, in 2003, when we participated in an ILO meeting of experts on the drafting of a “code of practice on violence and stress in service sectors”.

Minister added: “This instrument comes at an opportune moment since we are all going through testing times due to Covid-19 pandemic. Millions of workers have been laid-off and the working ecosystem is adjusting itself in the wake of mutations arising. This ratification exercise is, therefore, a huge leap forward in terms of guaranteeing a safe environment for workers who are our main resource and who contribute immensely to the social and economic development of our country”.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, thanked the representative of the Government of Mauritius for his country’s ratification: “I am extremely pleased to receive this instrument of ratification, which bears witness to the political will of the Government of Mauritius and its commitment and support to combatting violence and harassment in all its forms in the world of work. This ratification, being the fourth registered this year, shows the momentum gained by the Convention and comes at a crucial time as the Convention entered into force on 25 June 2021.”

He added that “in times of crises, such as the past 18 months where the world has been fighting to overcome and recover from a global pandemic, the risk of violence and harassment escalates. Many forms of work-related violence and harassment have been reported. Convention No. 190 will play a crucial role in shaping a human-centered response and recovery, tackling injustice and supporting the building of a better normal, free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence.” He also noted that “the view of the social partners was thoroughly sought before ratification. This augurs well for the implementation of the Convention and Recommendation at national level.”