Violence against women: Journalists' unions urge governments to expedite ratification of ILO Convention 190

On the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliates are launching a global call on governments to help eradicate violence at work by ratifying ILO Convention 190 on violence and harassment in the world of work.

According to IFJ statistics, almost two-thirds of women media workers have experienced intimidation, threats or abuse in relation to their work either offline or online. Abuse can come from all directions: colleagues and superiors, sources, the powerful or anonymous users on social media.

These attacks have had chilling effects on freedom of expression, leading women journalists to self censor and have affected their well-being and personal life. They have also had devastating consequences on pluralism and the public's right to know, with many stories not being told by women for fear of being attacked or killed.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) passed Convention - ILO C190 to end violence and harassment in the world of work, as well as a recommendation, 206 on 10 June 2019. Both can bring about change in female journalists’ lives by outlawing violence in the world of work. To date only 8 countries have ratified the Convention - Argentina, Ecuador, Fiji, Finland, Namibia, Somalia, Spain and Uruguay.

IFJ Gender Council chair Maria Angeles Samperio said: "We need this Convention and its Recommendation to be ratified by governments across the world as soon as possible so that violence at work is considered as a health and safety issue and dealt with accordingly. By outlawing harassment and violence in the world of work ILO Convention 190 can turn newsrooms into violence-free zones which are badly needed in journalism."

As part of the campaign, IFJ Gender Council members are sharing testimonials explaining why ratification of the Convention is fundamental in countries such as CanadaCyprus, GreecePeru and Portugal, highlighting the urgency to fight against online harassment and economic violence, among other issues.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: "Violence in the world of work is a health and safety issue media employers have to respond to. We have been campaigning on the side of other Global Union Federations for several years to get C190 adopted and we now urge  governments across the world to take their responsibility and expedite its ratification and amend their national legislation accordingly." 

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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