This week, the Philippines became the first Asian country to ratify the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 190, in a unanimous vote in the Philippine Senate. ILO C190, or the “Convention Concerning the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work,” aims to protect all workers from all forms of violence, regardless of their workplace and employment status, and with the inclusion of a responsive approach to gender-based violence and harassment.
The Philippine labor movement campaigned and lobbied for ratification over the last year, most recently holding a press conference with global union federation affiliates and attending a Senate committee hearing on the convention.
The victory is a crucial step in the movement’s campaign to end violence and harassment in the world of work, particularly in regard to the right to organize and collectively bargain. Philippine unions organize workers and fight for their rights amid killings, illegal arrests, red-tagging, union busting and other freedom of association violations. And for their “resilience, persistence and courage in the face of extreme violence and repression,” they received the AFL-CIO’s top human rights award last week.
The Solidarity Center works with trade unions, global union federations and allied organizations to support advocacy and union organizing that advance labor rights and freedom of association in the Philippines. It also supports Women Workers United, a coalition of women worker groups from different trade unions.