Historic Moment for Workers with Philippines Senate Unanimous Vote to Ratify ILO C190


Historic Moment for Workers with Philippines Senate Unanimous Vote to Ratify ILO C190

On 11 December, a groundbreaking victory for the rights of Filipino workers was made when the Philippines Senate voted unanimously (20-0) to approve the country’s ratification of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 190 on Violence and Harassment in the Workplace.

Since the Convention’s adoption in 2019 by the ILO, the UNI Global Union-Philippine Liaison Council (UNI PLC) together with other trade unions, labour organizations and advocacy groups in the Philippines have been tirelessly campaigning for the ratification of this crucial convention, recognizing the urgent need to protect workers from all forms of violence and harassment in the workplace. Their efforts included extensive lobbying, mass rallies, mobilizations, dialogues with policymakers, and grassroots advocacy to raise awareness about C190’s importance in safeguarding the rights of workers.

The UNI Philippines Liaison Council (UNI PLC) paying tribute to its members and other trade unions involved in the win, said:

“The ratification of ILO Convention No. 190 represents a significant triumph for the collective voice of Filipino workers and their advocates. As the ILO Convention No. 190 becomes part of the law of the land, it marks a historic moment that will be remembered as a significant victory for the Philippine trade union and labour movement. It stands as a testament to the power of collective action and advocacy in effecting meaningful change and advancing the rights of workers. This milestone paves the way for a future where every Filipino worker can engage in gainful employment without the fear of violence or harassment, fostering a culture of respect, equality, and safety in workplaces across the nation.”

The UNI PLC is further optimistic that taking the decisive step to ratify this convention sends a powerful message about the country’s commitment to international labour standards and human rights principles that build a workplace environment which upholds the dignity and rights of all workers, in line with the goals of sustainable development and social progress.  

The Philippines government is now well-placed to implement comprehensive measures including establishing legal frameworks, mechanisms for enforcement, and support services for victims, as well as promoting education and awareness on the issue. 

UNI Asia & Pacific Regional Secretary Rajendra Acharya said:

UNI Asia & Pacific is very proud of UNI PLC and our affiliates for their vigorous work and contribution to the Filipino labour movement to achieve this breaking-through win. Our heartiest congratulations to you all!” 

The C190 aims to address and prevent violence and harassment in the world of work, acknowledging that such behaviour not only violates human rights and fundamental principles and rights at work but also undermines the dignity of individuals and the overall well-being of society. Currently, thirty-six Member States of the ILO have ratified the convention, out of which three are from the Pacific region – Australia, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. The Philippines’ landmark decision makes it the first Asian country to accede to the convention. 


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