Adopting C190 will help in eliminating violence, harassment at work

harassment at work
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AMMAN — The Ministry of Labor has started the procedures leading to ratifying Convention No. 190 (C190) on Eliminating Harassment and Violence in the World of Work, which contains the definition, strategies, tools, and procedures for securing a work environment free from any form of violence and harassment.اضافة اعلان

Ministry of Labor Spokesman Jamil Al-Qadi told Jordan News that “C190 on eliminating harassment and violence in the work environment was presented to the Tripartite Commission for Labor Affairs on June 2022, whereby the commission decided that the ministry should commence the procedures to ratify” the convention.

As such, “the ministry is currently working on finalizing the procedures pertaining to C190 in preparation to presenting it to the Cabinet for approval,” Qadi said.

According to him, the ministry urges the government to adopt the convention, and to make it part of its legislation, just like other international treaties and agreements, “so we keep pace” with the global legislation.

Qadi said that according to Article 33 of the Constitution, there is no need to submit the convention to the Lower House for approval, and that once ratified, it will be published in the Official Gazette.

“Harassment and violence at the workplace is a global phenomenon,” he said, adding that ratifying the convention “will influence and yield positive results”, and guarantee respect for laborers’ rights.

Qadi said that the Ministry of Labor has various platforms where complaints about harassment can be submitted, and once the final approval for the ratification of the convention is given, “it will be within the ministry’s mandate to monitor such cases” and ensure respect of individuals’ rights.

“In the first quarter of 2022, women participation in the labor market reached approximately 13 percent, so approving adoption of Convention 190 ensures an increase in women participation, since violence and harassment in the workplace are among factors that make women leave and/or not participate in the labor market,” said Morad Kotkot, media and communication officer at the Jordanian Labor Watch, an affiliate with Phenix Center for Economic and Informatics Studies.

He, however, told Jordan News that there are insufficient “policies and mechanisms to report harassment at workplace”.

“There is no safe and guaranteed mechanism for women who report harassment, and therefore many women who face harassment do not report it,” he said, adding that social and cultural reasons, including traditions, are other reasons such cases go unreported.

“According to a 2021 study on women’s safety in the workplace, conducted across various sectors in three governorates, Karak, Tafileh and Madaba, 37 percent of violence and harassment was inflicted by visitors and customers, 31 percent by direct supervisor/manager, 31 percent by unknown, and 13 percent by work colleagues,” Kotkot said.

Hassan Al-Hattab, consultant lawyer at the International Criminal Court and manager of the Middle East Office of the International Human Rights Committee, told Jordan News that “the approval of the convention is an activation of the law and an incentive to guarantee the elimination of violence and harassment at the workplace.”

He said that “it protects male and female workers, so the working environment remains a safe place for work and productivity.”

According to Reem Aslan, gender specialist at the International Labor Organization, Regional Office of Arab States, if approved, “Jordan would be the first Arab state to ratify the convention, showing the country’s commitment to ratifying international labor standards.”

Jordan has ratified the majority of the fundamental labor standards, she said, adding that “ratifying Convention 190 is important because it will showcase Jordan’s interest in providing a work environment free from all types of violence and harassment in the world of work for women and men.”

It also means that the national legislation will need to be amended to be in line with international labor standards, she said.

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