Haiti: Workers Still Struggle 10 Years After Earthquake

Haiti: Workers Still Struggle 10 Years After Earthquake

Ten years after a magnitude 7 earthquake destroyed a large swath of Haiti, killing more than 300,000 people and injuring another 1.5 million, workers and their families have not benefited from the billions in international aid that poured into country after the disaster. Nor has the government’s response—expanding low-wage, garment-sector jobs—alleviated poverty. Instead, they struggle to support their families with wages too low to live on even as escalating prices for fuel and other necessities compound the difficulties in their daily effort to survive.

“Workers live day by day,” says Reginald Lafontant, secretary general of the Groupement Syndicat des Travailleurs Textil pour la Reimportacion d’assemblage (GOSTTRA), a garment worker union and Solidarity Center partner.

In response to ongoing mass protests last fall against fuel and food shortages and government corruption, President Jovenel Moïse increased the minimum wage for garment workers and others in the export manufacturing sector from 420 gourdes a day to 500 gourdes ($5.09) a day. The miniscule increase left workers’ wages at less than 2018 levels because of inflation, and the move infuriated workers, who told Solidarity Center staff that the new wage is not enough to pay for food, transportation, housing, children’s school fees  and medical care.

Workers Need $18.30 a Day to Support Themselves

More than 60 percent of Haitians survive on less $2 a day, and more than 2.5 million people fall below the extreme poverty line of $1.23 per day. The Solidarity Center report, “The High Cost of Low Wages in Haiti,” which tracked living expenses for garment workers from September 2018 through March 2019, recommends the government increase the minimum wage to an estimated $18.30 per day and allow workers to select their own representatives to the country’s tripartite minimum wage committee.

The cost of living in Haiti has increased by 74 percent since the Solidarity Center’s first wage assessment in 2014. Based on the current minimum wage, workers must spend more than half (55 percent) of their take-home pay on work-related transportation and a modest lunch, leaving little else to cover other necessities. Some workers say they can only afford to eat once per day.

The country’s inability to provide basic goods and services affects workers’ job security as well. With no propane available for cooking in the city, businesses last fall put their staff on unpaid leave. Hotels are closing and major airlines have cancelled flights to the country because of the economic and political turmoil, increasing unemployment and choking off income from much-needed tourist dollars. Haitians are outraged that the island has received millions of dollars in aid since the 2010 earthquake, but public services and infrastructure are nearly nonfunctional.

Haiti’s economy, which never recovered after the earthquake and the subsequent cholera outbreak that claimed some 10,000 lives, has worsened over the past three years. The Haiti Advocacy Working Group, which includes the Solidarity Center, is calling for policies that focus on an equitable and livable future and “promote the creation of decent employment that enables Haitian workers to adequately care for themselves and their families.”

Unions are in the forefront of calling for action to address the crisis. More than 40 labor organizations joined a call last fall for vast nationwide legal reforms, including free and fair elections and the resignation of Moïse. More recently, three Solidarity Center partner unions in the garment industry—GOSTTRA, Batay Ouvriye and Centrale Nationale des Ouvriers Haitiens (CNOHA)—rallied to call for better working conditions, the proper management of pension and social security funds, a living wage and government accountability for corruption.

The government failed to hold elections in October, and one-third of the Senate, the entire Chamber of Deputies and all local offices are set to expire in January 2020, setting the stage for a potential constitutional crisis and another round of widespread protests.

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (NED), NDI, IRI, CIPE AND SOLIDARITY CENTER WELCOME INCREASED FUNDING FROM CONGRESS

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (NED), NDI, IRI, CIPE AND SOLIDARITY CENTER WELCOME INCREASED FUNDING FROM CONGRESS

Washington, DC — The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its four core grantees, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the Solidarity Center, and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) are deeply gratified that the U.S. Congress has shown strong bipartisan support for our work with a substantial increase in NED’s annual appropriation.

On Tuesday, December 17, the House of Representatives approved a spending package that increases annual funding for the National Endowment for Democracy from $180 million to $300 million.  The Senate approved the measure on December 19 and it was signed into law by President Trump on Friday, December 20.

“We thank the Congress and welcome this robust endorsement of the NED’s mission of advancing democracy around the world,” said NED President Carl Gershman. “This work is more critical than ever before as we confront dangerous challenges to democracy, including the rise of authoritarian states like China and Russia that are undermining democratic norms and values around the world; as well as opportunities for progress in transitional countries like Ethiopia  and Sudan.”

The NED is a bipartisan, non-governmental grant-making organization with the single mission of advancing democracy around the world. Governed by an independent board of directors, NED provides support to over 1,500 non-governmental organizations annually in more than 90 countries. These groups are working to protect and advance democratic values, institutions, and processes, including credible and fair elections, independent trade unions, a robust private sector, independent media, and groups that defend human rights and the rule of law.  NED’s four core institutes share the expertise of America’s civil society with grassroots partners around the world who are working to build stable democratic societies.

“Congressional support for democracy assistance is a reflection of U.S. values and national interest – a fourth “d” alongside diplomacy, defense, and development,” said NDI President Derek Mitchell. “We are committed to ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars in support of democracy abroad, and to promote both a more peaceful, stable, and just world, and more prosperous and secure America.”

IRI President Daniel Twining noted that the American people have also shown support for the advance of democratic values abroad. “Polling shows the American public believes supporting political freedom in the world is the right thing to do.  Investing in strengthening democratic leaders and institutions overseas enables our partners to push back against malign influence by authoritarian powers like China and Russia, reduces the conflict and lawlessness that drive mass migration, and creates a more safe, stable and prosperous world for Americans.”

The importance of supporting the values of freedom and democracy extends beyond elections, as the leaders of NED’s business and labor institutes remarked: “The global competitiveness of values and norms extends to the economic sector, with the surging influence of authoritarian capital in markets across the globe, which threatens the competitiveness of American firms,” said CIPE Executive Director Andrew Wilson.

Solidarity Center Executive Director Shawna Bader-Blau emphasized that, “democracy and the ability to exercise one’s basic human rights—including to demand a safer workplace or a more responsive government—are inextricably linked. As more people live in countries where inequality is on the rise and basic rights are eroding, the work to strengthen democracy everywhere is even more urgent.”

Gershman highlighted that NED grants provide critical financial and moral support: “When NED and its institutes provide sustained support for the innovative and often courageous efforts of activists on the frontlines of democratic change, it sends the important message of American solidarity with the struggles around the world for democracy and human rights.  With increased resources, NED and its institutes will be able to further bolster the work of activists who are our natural allies, while also countering authoritarian countries that threaten our security and democratic way of life.”

CONTACTS:

NED: Jane Riley Jacobsen, (202)378-9604, jane@ned.org; Christine Bednarz (202)378-9801, christineb@ned.org

IRI: Julia Sibley, (202) 572-1546, jsibley@iri.org

NDI: Clayton McClesky, (202) 728-5429, cmcclesky@ndi.org

CIPE: Ken Jaques, (202) 721-9245, KJaques@cipe.org

Solidarity Center: Kate Conradt, (202) 974-8369, kconradt@solidaritycenter.org

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (NED), NDI, IRI, CIPE AND SOLIDARITY CENTER WELCOME INCREASED FUNDING FROM CONGRESS

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (NED), NDI, IRI, CIPE AND SOLIDARITY CENTER WELCOME INCREASED FUNDING FROM CONGRESS

Washington, DC — The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its four core grantees, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the Solidarity Center, and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) are deeply gratified that the U.S. Congress has shown strong bipartisan support for our work with a substantial increase in NED’s annual appropriation.

On Tuesday, December 17, the House of Representatives approved a spending package that increases annual funding for the National Endowment for Democracy from $180 million to $300 million.  The Senate approved the measure on December 19 and it was signed into law by President Trump on Friday, December 20.

“We thank the Congress and welcome this robust endorsement of the NED’s mission of advancing democracy around the world,” said NED President Carl Gershman. “This work is more critical than ever before as we confront dangerous challenges to democracy, including the rise of authoritarian states like China and Russia that are undermining democratic norms and values around the world; as well as opportunities for progress in transitional countries like Ethiopia  and Sudan.”

The NED is a bipartisan, non-governmental grant-making organization with the single mission of advancing democracy around the world. Governed by an independent board of directors, NED provides support to over 1,500 non-governmental organizations annually in more than 90 countries. These groups are working to protect and advance democratic values, institutions, and processes, including credible and fair elections, independent trade unions, a robust private sector, independent media, and groups that defend human rights and the rule of law.  NED’s four core institutes share the expertise of America’s civil society with grassroots partners around the world who are working to build stable democratic societies.

“Congressional support for democracy assistance is a reflection of U.S. values and national interest – a fourth “d” alongside diplomacy, defense, and development,” said NDI President Derek Mitchell. “We are committed to ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars in support of democracy abroad, and to promote both a more peaceful, stable, and just world, and more prosperous and secure America.”

IRI President Daniel Twining noted that the American people have also shown support for the advance of democratic values abroad. “Polling shows the American public believes supporting political freedom in the world is the right thing to do.  Investing in strengthening democratic leaders and institutions overseas enables our partners to push back against malign influence by authoritarian powers like China and Russia, reduces the conflict and lawlessness that drive mass migration, and creates a more safe, stable and prosperous world for Americans.”

The importance of supporting the values of freedom and democracy extends beyond elections, as the leaders of NED’s business and labor institutes remarked: “The global competitiveness of values and norms extends to the economic sector, with the surging influence of authoritarian capital in markets across the globe, which threatens the competitiveness of American firms,” said CIPE Executive Director Andrew Wilson.

Solidarity Center Executive Director Shawna Bader-Blau emphasized that, “democracy and the ability to exercise one’s basic human rights—including to demand a safer workplace or a more responsive government—are inextricably linked. As more people live in countries where inequality is on the rise and basic rights are eroding, the work to strengthen democracy everywhere is even more urgent.”

Gershman highlighted that NED grants provide critical financial and moral support: “When NED and its institutes provide sustained support for the innovative and often courageous efforts of activists on the frontlines of democratic change, it sends the important message of American solidarity with the struggles around the world for democracy and human rights.  With increased resources, NED and its institutes will be able to further bolster the work of activists who are our natural allies, while also countering authoritarian countries that threaten our security and democratic way of life.”

CONTACTS:

NED: Jane Riley Jacobsen, (202)378-9604, jane@ned.org; Christine Bednarz (202)378-9801, christineb@ned.org

IRI: Julia Sibley, (202) 572-1546, jsibley@iri.org

NDI: Clayton McClesky, (202) 728-5429, cmcclesky@ndi.org

CIPE: Ken Jaques, (202) 721-9245, KJaques@cipe.org

Solidarity Center: Kate Conradt, (202) 974-8369, kconradt@solidaritycenter.org

Union Women Rock 16 Days of Activism Against GBVH

Union Women Rock 16 Days of Activism Against GBVH

During the recent 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, workers and their unions from Honduras to Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nigeria and Bangladesh made big gains raising awareness about gender-based violence and harassment at work (GBVH) and demanding that their governments ratify the new global convention adopted by the International Labor Organization (ILO) that includes GBVH.

With Solidarity Center support, more than 23 unions, worker associations, and their allies in more than a dozen countries issued statements urging their governments ratify ILO Convention 190. Adopted by the ILO in June, C190 is a global treaty to prevent and address violence and harassment in the world of work that includes gender-based violence and harassment. C190 will become effective for all ILO members states ILO 12 months after two governments ratify it. On December 17, Uruguay became the first country to ratify C190.

Nigeria, 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women, Solidarity Center

Members of the Nigeria Labor Congress held a series of actions throughout the 16 Days Campaign. Credit: Solidarity Center/Nkechi Odinukwe

Solidarity Center union partners far exceeded the organization’s goal for the 16 Days Campaign: 16 letters or statements of support sent from unions and worker associations to their governments urging ratification of C190 in 16 days.

“Women trade union leaders continue to build on the momentum that led to the votes in support of adoption of C190 by an overwhelming majority of governments at the ILO in June, and now their leadership continues as unions and their allies demand that their governments follow up with their commitment by ratifying C190,” says Robin Runge, co-director of the Solidarity Center Equality and Inclusion Department.

“Only through ratification and implementation can the goals of C190 of preventing and addressing GBVH in the world of work be achieved.”

From Union Hall to Parliament Floor

In campaigning for ratification, union women leaders are explaining the need for unions, employers and governments to adopt the broad definition of GBVH in C190, which reflects the experiences of women and other vulnerable workers.

C190 states that gender-based violence and harassment is directed at people because of their sex or gender, or affecting persons of a particular sex or gender disproportionately, and includes sexual harassment.” C190’s strong language also covers all workers—formal and informal—regardless of their contractual status and how work is performed, and it covers the commute to work, at employer-provided accommodations and in work-related communications, including information and communication technologies.

For the first time in a global binding agreement, C190 recognizes the right to work free from violence and harassment, including GBVH. Union activists and women’s rights and anti-violence allies also are springing off the global repudiation of gender-based violence and harassment at work embodied in C190 to advocate changes in national laws and policies to address and prevent GBVH.

Georgia, 16 Days of Action Against Gender-Based Violence, Solidarity Center

In Ukraine, members of  KPVU, a Solidarity Center partner, developed a campaign against violence and harassment at work and  ratification of Convention 190. Credit: Solidarity Center/Tatiana Solodovnyk

Solidarity Center facilitated action by union partners around the globe throughout the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (November 25–December 10).

In Bangladesh, for instance, migrant workers joined garment workers to call attention to the connected issues of gender-based violence at work and the rights of domestic workers, rallying together and forming human chains at the Department of Immigration and Passports and other government buildings. Together, they called for the government to ratify Convention 190 and ILO Convention 189 on the rights of domestic workers. Each year, more than 400,000 Bangladeshis migrate for employment to other countries, the vast majority of them for domestic work in private homes, where they are isolated and often subject to harassment and violence with little access to support.

Union leaders from the Democratic Labor Confederation (CDT) and the Moroccan Labor Union (UMT) took their message directly to Parliament. Speaking on the floor of Parliament, Touriya Lahrech, a member of the Moroccan Parliament and CDT leader and Amal Al Amri, a member of the ILO governing body and UMT executive board member, called on the government to ratify ILO Convention 190.

In Kyrgyzstan, where 13 unions signed a joint statement urging the government to ratify C190, a recent survey by the Kyrgyzstan Association of Women Judges found some 80 percent of women workers in the public sector say they have experienced GBVH at the workplace. With support from the Solidarity Center, more than 60 union members and representatives from government agencies, Parliament, unions and employers’ organizations took part in a December 6–7 workshop on gender discrimination (below).

Kyrgyzstan, 16 days of Action on Gender-Based Violence Against Women at work, Solidarity Center

Following the training, the Women MPs Forum, together with MPs, international organizations and NGOs prepared amendments to national legislation covering GBVH at work. The Labor Ministry representative and women MPs agreed that C190 ratification will be an important “umbrella” for further amendments to the national legislation covering the GVBH at work, says Lola Abdukadyrova, Solidarity Center program coordinator in Biskek, the Kygyrz capital.

The National Confederation of Apparel Workers (CNTRV) union in Brazil released a report that found the vast majority of women in Brazil’s textile and shoe factories who took part in the study say they have experienced some form of violence at work, often gender-based violence and harassment—to the extent that “for many women, work is synonymous with suffering.”

“Obviously it was very shocking to us when we received the results of the report to understand the extent of violence at the workplace,” CNTRV President Francisca Trajano. “At the same time it’s a wake up call to do something about it.”

Cartoons, Campaigns and ‘Orange the World’

Here’s a small glimpse of more of the many actions.

Honduras, Ratify Convention 190 poster, Network Against Violence Against Unions, Solidarity Center

The Network Against Anti-Union Violence in Honduras, a Solidarity Center partner, commemorated International Day of Violence Against Women by demanding on Facebook that the National Congress of Honduras ratify Convention 190.

  • SITRADOMSA, a domestic worker union in Guatemala and Solidarity Center partner, held a vigil to commemorate the violent deaths of women. “We also remember women domestic workers who have died violently from employers,” the union said. Despite the fierce opposition of Central American governments to C190 ratification, nearly 10 major union federations and worker associations in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Honduras took public actions to denounce GBVH at work and call for C190 ratification.
    .
  • Union activists in Nigeria held a gender equality workshop that included a representative from the Ministry of Women Affairs and Nigerian Labor Congress members and attended a candlelight vigil for women targets of domestic violence.
  • The Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) developed a cartoon campaign poster (below) to advocate for C190 ratification and held awareness-raising campaigns in seven regions, reaching union members in one-third of Tunisia.
    Tunisia, gender-based violence at work poster, Solidarity Center, UGTT
  • The Solidarity Center Gender Forum in Georgia held two one-day workshops across the country, aiming to increase the awareness of municipal workers about C190 and gender-based discrimination in labor relations. The Women’s Committee and Legal Committee of the Georgia Trade Union Confederation also held open offices in Tbilisi, Gori and Mtskheta to increase public awareness about C190 and GBVH at work.
  • In Jaffna, Sri Lanka (below), Solidarity Center staff joined the GBV Action Committee of the Jaffna District Secretariat who are becoming trainers on gender-based violence at work issues. Jaffna’s GBV Secretariat is charged with creating awareness about gender-based violence at work and addressing harassment-related complaints.
    Jaffna, Sri Lanka, gender-based violence at work training, Solidarity Center
  • In Thailand, union members staged a public action at a Bangkok train station to raise awareness about the impact of all forms of violence in the world of work as part of their “Stop Violence against Women” campaign. They also urged the government to ratify ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment at work. Train passengers joined the union members in a photo session.
  • Solidarity Center partner Sitradotrans, the Union of Trans Domestic Workers and Various Trades of Nicaragua, marched in Managua, the capital, calling for ratification of Convention 190 and a world without violence.
  • The Federation of Independent Trade Unions in Jordan drafted a letter to the government and collected signatures from their civil society and political parties partners to submit to the government and parliament, and took part in the global media campaign calling for ratification.

Solidarity Center partners see the effort as part of a broad and ongoing campaign to end gender-based violence at work.

“Ratification of C190 is a first step,” says Natalya Levytska, the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU) deputy chair and Gender Committee leader.

“The GBVH campaign is long-term—it’s about building a movement, changing perception and public awareness around the issue. Through educating and mobilizing union members who will build a grassroots movement, and by working with lawmakers in Parliament, we see a two-pronged strategy for success.”

Union Women Rock 16 Days of Activism Against GBVH

Union Women Rock 16 Days of Activism Against GBVH

During the recent 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, workers and their unions from Honduras to Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nigeria and Bangladesh made big gains raising awareness about gender-based violence and harassment at work (GBVH) and demanding that their governments ratify the new global convention adopted by the International Labor Organization (ILO) that includes GBVH.

With Solidarity Center support, more than 23 unions, worker associations, and their allies in more than a dozen countries issued statements urging their governments ratify ILO Convention 190. Adopted by the ILO in June, C190 is a global treaty to prevent and address violence and harassment in the world of work that includes gender-based violence and harassment. C190 will become effective for all ILO members states ILO 12 months after two governments ratify it. On December 17, Uruguay became the first country to ratify C190.

Nigeria, 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women, Solidarity Center
Members of the Nigeria Labor Congress held a series of actions throughout the 16 Days Campaign. Credit: Solidarity Center/Nkechi Odinukwe

Solidarity Center union partners far exceeded the organization’s goal for the 16 Days Campaign: 16 letters or statements of support sent from unions and worker associations to their governments urging ratification of C190 in 16 days.

“Women trade union leaders continue to build on the momentum that led to the votes in support of adoption of C190 by an overwhelming majority of governments at the ILO in June, and now their leadership continues as unions and their allies demand that their governments follow up with their commitment by ratifying C190,” says Robin Runge, co-director of the Solidarity Center Equality and Inclusion Department.

“Only through ratification and implementation can the goals of C190 of preventing and addressing GBVH in the world of work be achieved.”

From Union Hall to Parliament Floor

In campaigning for ratification, union women leaders are explaining the need for unions, employers and governments to adopt the broad definition of GBVH in C190, which reflects the experiences of women and other vulnerable workers.

C190 states that gender-based violence and harassment is directed at people because of their sex or gender, or affecting persons of a particular sex or gender disproportionately, and includes sexual harassment.” C190’s strong language also covers all workers—formal and informal—regardless of their contractual status and how work is performed, and it covers the commute to work, at employer-provided accommodations and in work-related communications, including information and communication technologies.

For the first time in a global binding agreement, C190 recognizes the right to work free from violence and harassment, including GBVH. Union activists and women’s rights and anti-violence allies also are springing off the global repudiation of gender-based violence and harassment at work embodied in C190 to advocate changes in national laws and policies to address and prevent GBVH.

Georgia, 16 Days of Action Against Gender-Based Violence, Solidarity Center
In Ukraine, members of  KPVU, a Solidarity Center partner, developed a campaign against violence and harassment at work and  ratification of Convention 190. Credit: Solidarity Center/Tatiana Solodovnyk

Solidarity Center facilitated action by union partners around the globe throughout the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (November 25–December 10).

In Bangladesh, for instance, migrant workers joined garment workers to call attention to the connected issues of gender-based violence at work and the rights of domestic workers, rallying together and forming human chains at the Department of Immigration and Passports and other government buildings. Together, they called for the government to ratify Convention 190 and ILO Convention 189 on the rights of domestic workers. Each year, more than 400,000 Bangladeshis migrate for employment to other countries, the vast majority of them for domestic work in private homes, where they are isolated and often subject to harassment and violence with little access to support.

Union leaders from the Democratic Labor Confederation (CDT) and the Moroccan Labor Union (UMT) took their message directly to Parliament. Speaking on the floor of Parliament, Touriya Lahrech, a member of the Moroccan Parliament and CDT leader and Amal Al Amri, a member of the ILO governing body and UMT executive board member, called on the government to ratify ILO Convention 190.

In Kyrgyzstan, where 13 unions signed a joint statement urging the government to ratify C190, a recent survey by the Kyrgyzstan Association of Women Judges found some 80 percent of women workers in the public sector say they have experienced GBVH at the workplace. With support from the Solidarity Center, more than 60 union members and representatives from government agencies, Parliament, unions and employers’ organizations took part in a December 6–7 workshop on gender discrimination (below).

Kyrgyzstan, 16 days of Action on Gender-Based Violence Against Women at work, Solidarity Center

Following the training, the Women MPs Forum, together with MPs, international organizations and NGOs prepared amendments to national legislation covering GBVH at work. The Labor Ministry representative and women MPs agreed that C190 ratification will be an important “umbrella” for further amendments to the national legislation covering the GVBH at work, says Lola Abdukadyrova, Solidarity Center program coordinator in Biskek, the Kygyrz capital.

The National Confederation of Apparel Workers (CNTRV) union in Brazil released a report that found the vast majority of women in Brazil’s textile and shoe factories who took part in the study say they have experienced some form of violence at work, often gender-based violence and harassment—to the extent that “for many women, work is synonymous with suffering.”

“Obviously it was very shocking to us when we received the results of the report to understand the extent of violence at the workplace,” CNTRV President Francisca Trajano. “At the same time it’s a wake up call to do something about it.”

Cartoons, Campaigns and ‘Orange the World’

Here’s a small glimpse of more of the many actions.

Honduras, Ratify Convention 190 poster, Network Against Violence Against Unions, Solidarity Center
The Network Against Anti-Union Violence in Honduras, a Solidarity Center partner, commemorated International Day of Violence Against Women by demanding on Facebook that the National Congress of Honduras ratify Convention 190.
  • SITRADOMSA, a domestic worker union in Guatemala and Solidarity Center partner, held a vigil to commemorate the violent deaths of women. “We also remember women domestic workers who have died violently from employers,” the union said. Despite the fierce opposition of Central American governments to C190 ratification, nearly 10 major union federations and worker associations in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Honduras took public actions to denounce GBVH at work and call for C190 ratification.
    .
  • Union activists in Nigeria held a gender equality workshop that included a representative from the Ministry of Women Affairs and Nigerian Labor Congress members and attended a candlelight vigil for women targets of domestic violence.
  • The Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) developed a cartoon campaign poster (below) to advocate for C190 ratification and held awareness-raising campaigns in seven regions, reaching union members in one-third of Tunisia.
    Tunisia, gender-based violence at work poster, Solidarity Center, UGTT
  • The Solidarity Center Gender Forum in Georgia held two one-day workshops across the country, aiming to increase the awareness of municipal workers about C190 and gender-based discrimination in labor relations. The Women’s Committee and Legal Committee of the Georgia Trade Union Confederation also held open offices in Tbilisi, Gori and Mtskheta to increase public awareness about C190 and GBVH at work.
  • In Jaffna, Sri Lanka (below), Solidarity Center staff joined the GBV Action Committee of the Jaffna District Secretariat who are becoming trainers on gender-based violence at work issues. Jaffna’s GBV Secretariat is charged with creating awareness about gender-based violence at work and addressing harassment-related complaints.
    Jaffna, Sri Lanka, gender-based violence at work training, Solidarity Center
  • In Thailand, union members staged a public action at a Bangkok train station to raise awareness about the impact of all forms of violence in the world of work as part of their “Stop Violence against Women” campaign. They also urged the government to ratify ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment at work. Train passengers joined the union members in a photo session.
  • Solidarity Center partner Sitradotrans, the Union of Trans Domestic Workers and Various Trades of Nicaragua, marched in Managua, the capital, calling for ratification of Convention 190 and a world without violence.
  • The Federation of Independent Trade Unions in Jordan drafted a letter to the government and collected signatures from their civil society and political parties partners to submit to the government and parliament, and took part in the global media campaign calling for ratification.

Solidarity Center partners see the effort as part of a broad and ongoing campaign to end gender-based violence at work.

“Ratification of C190 is a first step,” says Natalya Levytska, the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU) deputy chair and Gender Committee leader.

“The GBVH campaign is long-term—it’s about building a movement, changing perception and public awareness around the issue. Through educating and mobilizing union members who will build a grassroots movement, and by working with lawmakers in Parliament, we see a two-pronged strategy for success.”

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