THE INTERNATIONAL Labor Organization (ILO) says government should quickly ratify Convention 190 which aims at eliminating violence and harassment in work places.

In an interview, ILO senior regional gender specialist Mwila Chigaga said employees who were victims of violence and harassment could not be.

“The International labor Organization on 19th of June 2019 adopted a new international labour standard which is on eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work convention 190. It was adopted with overwhelming support. So what we are trying to do as ILO is trying to promote ratification of convention 190. We would like as many stories on our continent in Africa to ratify this convention. I think it is extremely important that we as Africans are seen to be taking the lead, we must be seen to be owning this agenda and it should not always be looked at as an outside agenda. When you are looking at the issues of eliminating violence and harassment in the workplace, it actually goes to the heart of productivity of an enterprise because every employer wants their employees to be productive and that contributes to the productivity of the enterprise. A worker who is a victim of violence and harassment is not going to be a productive worker because they are dealing with the issue of trauma,” said Chigaga.

“The issues of sexual harassment, bullying these are very serious issues in the work place. Every person has the right to be free from violence and harassment in the work of place. When we are promoting ratification of C190 we are actually looking to our government to signify to the international community that Zambia is a good global citizen that we are in compliance with international labour standards that are set by the global community. We are hoping that working with media houses advocating and influencing the government to quickly ratify convention 190. Last week, Namibia submitted instruments of ratification to the international labour congress. They are the first African country to ratify C190 and I would love Zambia to be the next to ratify C190. We are a very progressive country when it comes to issues of gender equality and I don’t see any challenges why we can’t be a model of global citizens.”