New International Convention focused on making workplaces free from violence and harassment

An historic international agreement by unions,employers and governments was forged last week in Geneva at the InternationalLabour Organisation (ILO) with a new international Convention passed toeliminate violence and harassment at work. The passing of this ILO Conventiondemonstrates that violence and harassment for working people is aninternational issue and needs international action.

“Working people must be safe at work. Moreaction is needed by employers to ensure that everyone is able to work in safeenvironments which are free from violence and harassment. Just last weekanother security guard working in one of our public hospitals was assaulted atwork,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

“This new international Conventionrequires governments to ensure that there are adequate protections for allworking people such as training, staffing alert systems and workplace policies.Critically, the Convention covers all workers, including contractors.”

“New Zealand played a strong role in thedevelopment and passing of this Convention. I’m enormously proud of the work byNew Zealand union representatives, on behalf of working people, who have doneso much and were active for more than two years in ensuring this Convention waspassed. We also worked hard with the New Zealand Government who voted in favourof the Convention.”

“International agreements are vitallyimportant in ensuring that working people are protected in their own countrybut also that international law exists which provides further protection.”

“The next step is getting our ownGovernment to ratify this Convention and checking the adequacy of our ownnational laws and policies to ensure working people are able to work free fromviolence and harassment. The Convention is a great step forward in the processbut there is now more work to do in New Zealand,” Wagstaff said.

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