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Education unions stand up for elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work

Education unions stand up for elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work

“Ratify ILO Convention 190 now”, is the message that was echoed during the webinar organized by EIRAF on the 29th November on the convention that seeks to eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work. The webinar  which was attended by 106 union leaders, AWEN members, and gender activists was organized in the framework of the 16 Days of Global Activism Against Gender Violence and  EI efforts to encourage education unions to fight gender-based violence.
 
Moderated by Teopista Birungi Mayanja, UNATU Trustee Chairperson, the union members were guided to  deepen their understanding of  ILO Convention 190, and the importance of addressing violence and harassment in the workplace. Representatives from AWEN National networks shared experiences of their union campaigns to encourage countries to ratify ILO C190. Strategies to address violence and harassment in union structures were also reflected on. Other presentations were made by Madeleine Kennedy-Macfoy Research, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, EI Head Office; and Lucy Barimbui, EI Africa Regional Coordinator.
 
Dr. Dennis Sinyolo, EI Africa Regional Director urged participants to put pressure on their governments to ratify and apply the Convention and insisted on the need to eradicate violence and harassment from education institutions. He called upon the unions to lobby Parliamentarians, Government Ministers, Prime Ministers and Presidents to ratify and implement the Convention.
 
“Governments should come up with policy, legal and practical measures, including strong monitoring and reporting mechanisms to eradicate violence and harassment in the workplace.  Unions need to develop and adhere to professional codes of ethics, guaranteeing respect and the rights of students, colleagues, and subordinates, he counselled, adding, “We need to mobilise our members and build alliances with other trade unions, labour centres, civil society organisations, the media and other partners. For we are stronger together”.