Iraq takes major step forward towards ratifying ILO Convention 190
28 January 2024
Erbil, Iraq - The International Labour Organization (ILO) with the support of the European Union successfully concluded a transformative workshop in Erbil, Iraq on the ratification of ILO Convention 190 on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work.
The workshop was organized after the Iraq Council of Ministers recently made a historic decision to ratify Convention 190, positioning Iraq as the first country in the Arab States region to embrace this significant commitment.
The two-day workshop brought together key national stakeholders, experts, and representatives from various sectors to engage in discussions about the implications, challenges, and opportunities associated with the ratification and implementation processes relating to the Convention.
Participants in the workshop, held for two days, engaged in insightful discussions, sharing perspectives from their respective fields and collaboratively setting a comprehensive roadmap for implementation of the Convention.
Deputy minister Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MOLSA) Alaa al Sukini said the event marked a significant milestone for Iraq, with promising outcomes and a shared commitment to fostering a safer and more respectful workplace for all Iraqi workers.
"The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs supports Iraq's commitment to ratify Convention 190,” Mr al Sukini said. “This decision aligns with our ongoing efforts to strengthen labour rights, promote social justice, and create a workplace culture that upholds the principles of dignity and equality for all workers.
Participating in this workshop highlights the importance of this convention. We are focused on developing comprehensive legal frameworks and institutional adjustments that will contribute to a workplace environment characterized by respect, fairness, and the eradication of violence and harassment. We are looking forward to implement the convention after the full ratification from the parliament.”
ILO Country Coordinator for Iraq Maha Kattaa said “the workshop has been a resounding success in opening national dialogue on Convention 190, fostering a collaborative spirit among stakeholders dedicated to the successful implementation of Convention 190 in Iraq. The diverse expertise and insights shared have provided a solid foundation for addressing the critical issue of violence and harassment in the workplace.”
Kattaa emphasized that the workshop's success lies in the collective commitment of participants to fostering a safer and more respectful workplace. “The identified strategies and roadmap for implementation will serve as a foundation for real and lasting change. We are committed to working together to create a safe and respectful workplace for all workers,” she said.
Commenting on the results of the workshop, Zainab Al-Jayashi, a member of the Labour and Civil Society Organizations Committee in the Iraqi Parliament, stated, “The Iraqi laws were developed to address all cases of violence and harassment in the workplace. Through the discussions during the workshop, we were able to diagnose the weaknesses in enforcement mechanisms and recognize the necessity of working together to strength these mechanisms.”
Worker Unions Representative Aliaa Hussein said: "Worker unions in Iraq stand together in welcoming the ratification of Convention 190. This decision reflects our joint efforts to secure the rights and dignity of every worker through collaboration and active participation.”
Workshop activities aimed to deepen participants' understanding of Convention 190, elucidating its provisions, principles, and objectives. Attendees actively engaged in discussions on the Convention’s pivotal role in creating workplaces free from violence and harassment. The workshop also identified critical legal and institutional adjustments essential for aligning Iraq's national laws and practices with Convention 190, thereby laying the groundwork for its effective implementation. Notably, participants collaboratively formulated a comprehensive roadmap for implementation, delineating key steps, timelines, and shared responsibilities among stakeholders involved in the process.
Convention 190, is the first international treaty to recognize the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and harassment.
The Convention was adopted in June 2019, by the ILO’s International Labour Conference, and came into force on 25 June 2021.
Governments that ratify C190 will be required to put in place the necessary laws and policy measures to prevent and address violence and harassment in the world of work. The Convention represents an historic opportunity to shape a future of work based on dignity and respect for all.