United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Didier Trebucq, has commended the launch of the Gender-based Violence (GBV) in the Workplace Project by the Ministry of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, referring to it as “a positive step in the right direction”.
The praise came yesterday on the Zoom platform, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between UN Women and the Ministry that aims to strengthen evidence based public and private sector approaches/responses to GBV in the workplace.
Congratulating the Ministry for its foresight in seeking to increase awareness on the issue, Mr. Trebucq said the UN was aware that failure to frontally address it couldand would derail the achievements of all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), not only SDG 5 that deals with gender equality.
“Violence and harassment and all forms of discrimination are incompatible with the Agenda 2030 as a whole because it deprives people of their dignity; it is a threat to equal opportunities as well as safe, healthy and productive working environments,” the UN official stated.
He reminded those gathered that during the ILO’s Labour conference in 2019, a global commitment was made towards a new global standard, aimed at ending workplace violence and harassment, and the Centenary Declaration on the Future of Work was adopted, which included ILO Convention No. 190 on Violence and Harassment.
“That convention protects all categories of workers and covers all sectors – public, private, formal and informal and the economy. In fact, the global community has made it clear that violence and harassment in the world of work, including gender-based violence will not be tolerated.
“And, I want to say that UN Secretary General, Antόnio Guterres, has more recently called for an end to the ‘shadow pandemic’ of gender-based violence, even the alarming spike in gender-based domestic violence recorded in many, many countries, since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak and all the shutdowns and lockdowns that have followed this outbreak,” Mr. Trebucq explained.
The UN Resident Coordinator further stressed that urgent action was needed to ensure women’s right to work remained free from violence and harassment not only during and after COVID-19 outbreaks, but as a way to promote sustainable recovery and enhance resilience from such a crisis.
He also expressed pleasure that Barbados, with its good history of dialogue and progress, had submitted this Convention to its Parliament for consideration and ratification.