I would like to first send you best wishes for your safety and well-being during these difficult times. Many people have lost loved ones or have been affected in one way or another by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is truly a common wish to realize a better normal coming out of it.
Today, I am speaking to share an important milestone towards realizing decent work and social justice. The International Labour Organization’s Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190), adopted by Governments, Employers and Workers, including from South Asia, at the International Labour Conference in 2019 two years ago, is now coming into force on 25th of June.
This Convention is the first international treaty that recognizes the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment. Together with the accompanying ILO's Violence and Harassment Recommendation, 2019 (No. 206), adopted at the same time, they provide a common framework for action to eliminate and address violence and harassment in the world of work.
The relevance has only been amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic as we witnessed increasing cases of violence and harassment, especially gender-based violence in the world of work. Nobody should be subject to violence nor harassment, including at home. Home, which has become the workplace for so many more during these pandemic times. All of us can contribute to creating a world of work free from violence and harassment for all and we need to enhance our efforts and solidarity to do so.
6 countries have already ratified the Convention. Ratification is an essential step to show the commitment of a country towards the elimination of violence and harassment in the word of work. On this day, I encourage governments in South Asia to ratify the Convention No. 190 to take this opportunity to show leadership and move forward towards the realization of a world of work in South Asia free from violence and harassment for all.